Grade 10 student on West Shore killed by suspected drug overdose
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Thursday, June 7, 2018 6:36PM PDT
B.C.'s overdose crisis has worked its way into a Langford classroom after a Grade 10 student died from a suspected drug overdose on the weekend.
Dorrian Wright, a Grade 10 student at Belmont Secondary School, was found dead Sunday, according to district officials.
While the coroner is still investigating his exact cause of death, the district said the tragedy serves as a painful reminder of the invasive and deadly reach of illicit drugs.
"I think that, perhaps, we as parents and students don't understand the real risks that are out there right now for the potency of the drugs that are available," said Sooke School District Supt. Jim Cambridge.
Fellow students at Belmont were stunned by the news, with many describing Wright as "really nice" and saying he would do anything to help his friends.
The death comes just two months after the suspected overdose death of a student in Oak Bay, 16-year-old Elliot Eurchuk.
His parents believed he was taking street drugs to manage pain from past surgeries.
Cambridge said the toll the overdose crisis is taking on students seems unprecedented.
"I can't say I've ever seen this number of deaths," he said. "If you think about it, it's a small sliver, a fraction of what we're seeing in the adult community."
CTV News has learned Wright was in foster care. When contacted, the Ministry of Children and Families issued a statement on his death.
"We extend condolences to the family and friends of this young man, his community, and all who loved him," the ministry said.
The impact of the sudden loss has been made even heavier by its timing.
"June is usually a time of celebration in a high school, so this has hit particularly hard," said Cambridge.
The BC Coroner's Service issued a new report Thursday on illicit drug overdose deaths, showing that nine out of 10 deaths are among men between the ages of 19 to 59.
While there have been high-profile suspected overdoses among high school students, according to the coroner, those types of deaths remain the exception.