Loading articles...

Parents of Victoria teen say outdated laws prevented them from helping son who died from drug overdose

Last Updated Jun 27, 2019 at 6:05 am PDT

Elliot Eurchuk poses in this undated family handout photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Rachel Staples)

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – The parents of a Victoria teenager who died of a drug overdose say they don’t want others have to go through the same trauma.

After eight days of hearings, a BC Coroners Service jury is about to start deliberations to make recommendations to prevent similar deaths.

The 16-year-old’s parents say their efforts to help their son battle drug addiction were hampered by outdated laws, ones that actually hamper parents from helping children in their time of need, according to father Brock Eurchuk.

“Elliot was incapable of making a healthy decision for himself, and the information we needed to catch Elliot as he was falling was not provided to us,” he said. “And those are all pieces of the puzzle in Elliot’s death, who was a beautiful boy.”

The teen’s parents believe his addiction started after being prescribed opiate painkillers, following two separate surgeries.

“We don’t want other children to navigate our community in a very difficult, vulnerable state, and fall through the cracks like Elliot did,” the father said. “As Elliot’s father, I’ll be dealing with my failures as his father for the rest of my life.”

Elliot’s mother, Rachel Staples, says privacy laws prevented her family from getting complete medical information about their son, who was struggling with drug addiction.

“Based on the messages I’ve been receiving from people I don’t event know, they’re horrified to learn that a child can block information — particularly when a parent sets up something like a drug screening tests. But, parents can be blocked from receiving that information.”

The boy was found unresponsive in his bedroom last April. More than 40 people have testified at the coroner’s inquest.