A 13-year-old Victoria-area girl has died in Victoria General Hospital after a severe adverse reaction to a street drug.
The girl and two friends bought and consumed what they believed was ecstasy,Victoria Police Insp. Clark Russell said Tuesday. Her two friends were not harmed.
He said the youths bought the pills "purported to be ecstasy" late Saturday afternoon in downtown Victoria.
"Within the hour she started feeling unwell and violently sick and ended up in hospital Saturday night."
Vancouver Island Health Authority spokeswoman Karin Heimlich said Tuesday night that the girl died "as a direct result of taking an amphetamine."
She said the girl's family was grateful to staff members in the pediatric intensive-care unit at VGH for their efforts in trying to save their daughter.
It is not clear if the drug involved was ecstasy or another substance, and toxicology reports will not be completed for a couple of weeks.
"The family wanted people to know just how easily this can happen," Heimlich said.
She said they wanted to emphasize the danger of street drugs, to keep such a tragedy from happening to others.
Russell also stressed the perils of using illegal drugs.
"It's important for the public to be aware that when you go out to purchase street drugs you have to recognize that you're running a risk, in terms that you take the person's word that it is what they say it is."
Russell said anyone who is intent on using illegal drugs should use the buddy system, although that didn't work in this case.
"Don't take them alone, and if you start to feel unwell, then seek medical attention sooner rather than later."
The girl was not a resident of the city of Victoria, was not known to police and lived at home with her parents, he said. Her name is not being released and the municipality where she lived is not being named.
The investigation is continuing. "One of our focuses is to track down the person who sold [the pills] to her," Russell said.