As It Happens

Father of teen who overdosed warns using fentanyl is a game of roulette

Jack Bodie had a lot going for him. But on Saturday night the 17-year-old overdosed on fentanyl in a Vancouver park. He died the next day. Now his family is speaking out about the dangers of street drugs.
17-year-old Jack Bodie, left, with his father Mark Bodie.

Jack Bodie had a lot going for him. He'd just landed his dream job at a luxury car dealership, he had a lot of friends. But on Saturday night the 17-year-old overdosed on fentanyl in a Vancouver park. He died the next day. Now his family is speaking out about the dangers of street drugs.

Mark Bodie, Jack's father, tells As it Happens guest host Peter Armstrong that the family wanted to make use of the popularity of Jack's story in the news and on social media.

"We realized we had an opportunity to serve a purpose and that was to get the word out about this fentanyl tragedy that's happening on the streets across Canada," says Bodie.

The B.C. Coroner's Service says that 10 people overdosed on the weekend, though it's not yet been determined if they're all linked to fentanyl. More than 75 people have died in B.C. because of the drug this year.

"This street level fentanyl. There is no control over the strength of it. There's no control over what it's being made from and cut with," says Bodie.

Jack Bodie, pictured above, has been identified by family members as the 17-year-old who died following a suspected fentanyl overdose in Vancouver over the B.C. Day weekend. (Facebook)

He fears that his son's friends don't understand the life and death nature of the drug. He describes how Jack took the drug, likely experienced a euphoric high, but then his lungs and heart shut down, and Jack drifted out of consciousness. He was with a friend who also overdosed, but survived.

"His friend, in this in-and-out stupor, was able to see that they were in distress and phoned 911. The paramedics and police came and the paramedics were able to revive Jack's friend, but the damage to Jack's brain was too much."

Bodie says he can't tell people to not do drugs, but he does want to warn them.

"What I think is tremendously unfortunate is that we're now given the choice of get high or die. The casual use of fentanyl is on the same level as, 'Hey, let's have a beer this weekend. Nah, I had some beers last night, let's do fentanyl.' So the message is, you can't do recreational drugs anymore because you may die."

Bodie calls the use of recreational drugs as "fentanyl roulette" and says more deaths will happen unless the problem is immediately addressed.