Mike Dickie with his granddaughter Samantha Louise Thomas who died of a fentanyl overdose on Jan. 13, 2018. (Photo provided by Mike Dickie)

Vancouver woman, 26, dies after consuming pill cut with cocaine and fentanyl

Grandfather says anyone who takes recreational drugs is playing Russian roulette.

Upon returning from the funeral service for his 26-year-old granddaughter, Samantha Louise Thomas, Ucluelet resident Mike Dickie earnestly wants to share this message with his community:

“For everybody taking drugs recreationally, be very careful. Not only does it affect the person that’s taking them, but it’s devastating for friends and family.”

His granddaughter, who was working and going to school in Vancouver, passed away on Jan. 13, 2018 after overdosing on a fatal pill. A toxicology report would later confirm she had ingested a mixture of cocaine, morphine, and fentanyl.

“As far as I know, she was going to a party and somebody gave her a pill. She got into a taxi and died. She was visiting her mom,” he said. “[Samantha] was so loved. She didn’t have an enemy in the world and she never said a bad thing about anybody. That’s all I can say. She was so loved.”

Dickie remembers taking his granddaughter fishing in his rowboat and hanging out at local coffee shops when she came to visit the Coast. He said she loved Ucluelet and learned how to surf out here.

“We miss her so much,” he said. “The whole family is crying. There were 300 [First Nations] at the funeral in Surrey.”

Dickie said it wasn’t until recently that Samantha started taking drugs.

“I think she got into some people that were doing it. I mean, she wasn’t an addict. She hated the stuff because of what it did to her mother.”

Constable Jarett Duncan of the Ucluelet RCMP reiterates the fact that you could lose your life if you take recreational drugs.

“At the end of the day you have no idea what’s been put in that. You have no idea how its been made, you don’t know where it’s been made and ultimately there too many cases of people throughout B.C. and Canada wide who have been dying due to fentanyl. I think it’s very tragic and this is something that is preventable if people decide not to use these recreational drugs,” said Duncan.

According to a news released published by the BC Coroners Service on Jan. 31, 2018, approximately 81 per cent of the suspected illicit drug deaths to date in 2017 had fentanyl detected, up from 67 per cent in 2016. In most cases, fentanyl was combined with other illicit drugs, most often cocaine, heroin or methamphetamines.

“As the coroners’ data show all too clearly, we are still in the midst of a persistent and continuing epidemic of unintentional poisoning deaths,” said provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall in the news release.

In 2017, there were 1,422 suspected drug overdose deaths, according to the data gathered by the BC Coroners Service. This is a 43 per cent increase from the number of overdose deaths in 2016 (993). The number of illicit drug overdose deaths in 2017 equates to about 3.9 deaths per day for the year.

“Through heroic and unprecedented actions, responders on the front lines are daily saving hundreds of lives. But hundreds more are still dying, most often alone and with no one nearby to act when things go wrong. We are going to need to think more broadly, and further out of our comfort zone, to end these tragic losses,” said Dr. Perry Kendall.

Dickie hopes his message is heard loud and clear.

“For people taking this stuff, you’re dealing with Russian roulette. When they die, they affect so many people that love them,” he said. “All I’m talking about is we miss her so much. The whole family is crying.”

RELATED ARTICLES

Just Posted

Ladysmith set to star in new Syfy series: Resident Alien

Ladysmith will play the role of Patience, Colorado in the series

Ladysmith wins ‘Brownie’ Reach Out award for communication of Waterfront Plan

The Town of Ladysmith has received national recognition for the successful public… Continue reading

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital raising funds for new surgical suite

The new suite will reduce endoscopy wait times for residents from Ladysmith to Bowser

Belair Street development ready for next steps following public hearing

Fred Green’s Belair Street development cleared another hurdle at a Town of Ladysmith public hearing

Strike taking a toll on families of WFP workers with Christmas approaching

Donations being sought at the union hall in Duncan to provide assistance

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Oscar Hickes: Longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Most Read