Langford teen dead of apparent overdose was grieving suspected overdose death of friend
Alanna Kelly, CTV Vancouver Island
Published Tuesday, August 13, 2019 6:15PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 14, 2019 6:46PM PDT
A teenage girl who died suddenly from an apparent drug overdose last week was still mourning the suspected overdose death of a classmate, according to her family.
Kyla Johnson rushed to a Langford apartment building on the night of Aug. 8 to find her half-sister Abby Barker dead.
“It wasn’t supposed to happen like that,” said Johnson. “She was loved by many people. She touched so many people’s lives.”
Barker, 16, attended Belmont Secondary School and in her last months was struggling with the death of a friend.
Dorrian Wright was also 16 years old when he died from a suspected overdose in June 2018. He was also a student at Belmont.
The Sooke School District would not comment on Barker’s death Tuesday. Last year, former district superintendent Jim Cambridge said “we as parents and students don’t understand the real risks that are out there right now for the potency for the drugs that are available.”
Police confirmed Barker's death was sudden and unexpected, but would not provide any further details.
Island Health has issued an advisory saying overdoses in the Greater Victoria area have doubled in recent weeks and the drug supply circulating in B.C. capital is stronger than usual.
Director for mental health and substance abuse Kelly Reid said today’s drugs are different than they used to be.
“Now they are deadly,” said Reid. “Unfortunately, part of growing up is having this sense of invincibility.”
Parents who think their children are struggling with addiction can access resources here, but most importantly Reid says establishing a trusting relationship with your children is vital.