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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

No charges yet in death of Abbotsford officer Allan Young

Police and Crown say the investigation is still underway

COLUMN: What the Nelson library needs most … is you!

Avi Silberstein of the library fills us in on the progress of re-opening

Practical fashion: Local designers make supplies for Nelson dentists

Surgical caps and gowns have been in short supply for dentists during the pandemic

UPDATE: Search effort underway for Slocan River drowning victim

The man was swimming near Winlaw on Wednesday.

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Canada vows retaliatory measures as Trump restores tariff on Canadian aluminum

The new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that replaced NAFTA went into force on July 1

Canada ‘profoundly concerned’ over China death sentence for citizen in drug case

Police later confiscated more than 120 kilograms of the drug from Xu Weihong’s home

Smoker Farms bringing craft-style cannabis to Beaverdell

Husband-wife team growing small-scale cultivations of marijuana

Answers to 5 common questions facing families for the COVID-19 school year

COVID-19 protocols are likely to vary even more at the school board level, and even and school-to-school.

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Most Read