Family of Burnaby teen dead of suspected fentanyl overdose speaks out
WATCH: A 17-year old B.C. boy is the latest unsuspecting victim of an apparent fentanyl overdose and tonight his family is speaking out about their loss and the dangers of the drug. John Daly has this Global News exclusive.
Jack Bodie was a 17-year-old who was working to pay off a new car, balancing school and hockey while at Burnaby North Secondary School, and thinking about his future.
But today, his family is left with only memories. Bodie died on August 2, less than a day after he was found by police, passed out in a Vancouver park, after a suspected fentanyl overdose.
“Full of life,” said Mark Bodie, remembering his son.
“Bombastic. Charismatic. He lived life at a frenetic pace. And he did it under his terms, which in retrospect is a beautiful thing. It made him a leader, and it made him a strong guy.
“Jack is an outstanding guy, wonderful guy, he’s got a huge friendship in the community. He’s not what we could consider, in our mind’s eye, the typical overdose. He’s a young man who took a pill and fell asleep on a park bench.”
Police believe Bodie ingested an Oxycondone-type pill, known as a “fake 80’s”, with a green hue and the number 80 on it. Across Metro Vancouver, police forces are issuing warnings about fentanyl, which has been linked to more than 75 deaths in B.C. over the last year.
Because of its ability to be mixed with other drugs, people can take fentanyl – which can be up to 100 times more powerful than morphine – without realizing it.
WATCH: Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Perry Kendall, joined Sonia Sunger on UpFront last week to talk about the latest warning about the drug fentanyl
“Kids are using this like drinking, a casual thing for a fun time,” says Jack’s mom, Barb.
“If it’s a street drug, you don’t know what’s in them. You have no idea. Someone is just trying to make money, and they’ll put anything in it to make it cheaper or get your business.”
Bodie’s family says that the police officer who told them about Jack’s overdose had to tell another family a similar story the very same day.
“He had to visit two families yesterday to tell them that their kid had died, and to console them and tell them what the next steps were. That’s a brutal job for a police officer,” said Mark.
“It’s the illusion that it’s a safe pharmaceutical that leads a lot of people to believe it’s safe. The sophistication they’re using to make this pill is extraordinary.”
Jack’s Celebration of Life will be at the Willingdon Church at Willingdon and Moscrop in Burnaby. The date will be announced in the future.
Today, his family wants to prevent any more needless deaths.
“Parents can only do so much. I don’t mean to abdicate our responsibility as parents. Believe me, we didn’t as a family, but..it’s not only the family that needs to be dealing with it, I think peers need to be dealing with it,” says Mark.
“The people who are taking it, their friends need to tell them it’s not the right thing. I think we’ve seen this before in society…We find it’s a killer and we turn on it. Everybody needs to get involve in stopping it.”
It’s a message that resonates with Grace Bodie, who is left without her older brother.
“If they say, ‘It’s a one time thing, I’m not going to do it again,’ don’t listen to them. They don’t know what you’re going to do. It’s a drug. Once you get hooked on it, you’re hooked. It’s out of their control. It’s important to get someone else to help,” she says.
“Growing up, sisters and brothers, we were pretty close in age. We’d fight and bicker, but we always had a special bond. We’d be able to talk to each other about anything.”
“He wouldn’t let anyone hurt me.”
– With files from John Daly