Mom skeptical of investigation into son's deadly overdose at centre
Fentanyl-containing tablets are shown in this undated file photo.
Linda Givetash, The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, November 13, 2016 1:02PM PST
Last Updated Sunday, November 13, 2016 1:56PM PST
VANCOUVER - The mother of young Coquitlam, B.C., man who died in substance-abuse treatment centre says she doubts a third-party investigation into his death will hold anyone to account.
Brandon Jansen, 20, died on March 7 at the Sunshine Coast Health Centre, a privately-run facility in Powell River, B.C., where he was being treated for his addiction to the opioid fentanyl.
The centre's chief executive Melanie Jordan will be releasing findings from a third-party investigation into his death on Monday in Vancouver.
Brandon's mother, Michelle Jansen, said the centre did not inform her about Monday's announcement and although she doesn't know what will be presented, she says she suspects the centre will try to minimize their involvement in her son's death.
“They are just wanting to wash their hands of it,” Jansen said.
A public relations agency representing the centre declined to comment on Jansen's allegations and the agency deferred to Monday's announcement.
Skeptical of the centre's investigation, Jansen said she is waiting for an inquest by the BC Coroners Service to understand what went wrong leading up to her son's death.
Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe announced on Nov. 1 that the service would launch an inquest into Brandon's death, which is expected to occur over two weeks in January.
For two years, Brandon had been struggling with an addiction to fentanyl - a substance responsible for more than 60 per cent of the 555 overdose-related deaths in B.C. this year.
Jansen said the Sunshine Coast Health Centre was the 11th drug-treatment centre her son attended in attempt to kick the habit.
Jansen said long wait lists and what she called inadequate treatment options available through publicly-funded facilities forced her to send her son to private programs.
She said the bill for the Sunshine Coast facility was about $40,000 per month. Brandon had been there only three days when he died.
Text messages on Brandon's phone showed he arranged to have a dealer drop off fentanyl to him at the centre in the hours before he overdosed and died alone in his room, Jansen said.
“I put my son there thinking they had the expertise and they could take care of him and keep an eye on him and they didn't, they failed,” she said.
Brandon's wasn't the only death the family had to endure due to drugs.
Jansen said her younger son's girlfriend was found dead of a drug overdose in a Port Moody, B.C., coffee shop bathroom in August.
“She had been ready to go into treatment but there was a four to six month waiting list,” Jansen said. “You can't wait, it's Russian roulette with your life.”
Angry with the lack of support for people addicted to fentanyl and other substances, Jansen has started a drug awareness foundation.
Through the Brandon Jansen Foundation, Jansen and her younger son have given talks at high schools to inform youth about the risks of taking drugs, particularly fentanyl, and explained to them how to get help. Jansen said they eventually want to open up treatment centres in the Lower Mainland as well.
“We're going to move full steam ahead to try to save some lives,” she said.