“I was three meters from him, in the house”

Mathis, 15, died of an overdose caused by a pill purchased on the black market. Christian Boivin wants the death of his son to provoke dialogue in families.




How do you begin an interview with a father who has just lost his 15-year-old son to an overdose from a pill purchased on the black market?

The best I could say when Christian Boivin answered the phone yesterday was:

” How is it going this morning ?

— This morning, it’s tough. School starts again…”

Christian Boivin’s voice broke slightly between the two central syllables of the word “start again”, precisely between the two “m”.

PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, THE PRESS

Christian Boivin in his son Mathis’s room

But it was the start of a long monologue where I hardly asked any questions.

“The firefighters, the ambulances, the police arrived… There was a toxicological investigation with what I found in his things. That’s when I went out on Facebook, on LinkedIn1, to save people. I wanted the message to get across. I said it, I’ll say it again: I have no cause. I give, all the time. At the 24 hours of Tremblant for sick children. When there is tragedy in the world, I give. There, my cause, I have it… This cause will be prevention…

“I watched the series on opioids. The pharmacist, Painkiller. I will watch Dopesick. It’s not me who’s going to stop that, it’s a big machine. It started, what, in 1997? »

We look at this, the opioid crisis, you say to yourself: it doesn’t make any sense… But you don’t understand until it hits you. When you are part of statistics, you understand…

Christian Boivin

“I have so many messages of support. My message on LinkedIn has been viewed 300,000 times in the past four days. Lots of people write to me, tell me: it opened a dialogue with my children. Mathis is dead, but that puts a name to the dangers of these pills. It’s stupid, but that’s what it takes sometimes.

“Mathis, I talked to him about drugs. He was experimenting. He had been experimenting with drugs for six months. In the pandemic, he had isolated himself. But over the past six months, he had changed. He had made friends, he went to parks, he had changed. We thought it was good. But at the same time, he was trying out business… I told him last fall: don’t touch the blue pills.

PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, THE PRESS

Mathis was 15 when he died of that overdose, just before Christmas.

“That evening, Mathis had just finished his math tutoring. He came to eat pizza with the rest of us in the kitchen. I had just been on vacation. It was a completely normal day. Then he went up to bed. He took a pill, he was alone… We found out later that he told a friend that he felt like he was falling asleep.

“Scuse. I’ll give you lots of stuff at the same time…

“At 15… I would have had the same risk. You know, we look at them, our children, and it’s annoying how they look like us. When I talked to him about that, about the dope, he said to me: ‟Yes, yes, dad, it’s correct. » He felt invincible. We had exchanges with him. He was taking jar. I told him: ‘Okay, the product is legal… I’ll buy it from you. You’re not going to buy it on the street. At the SQDC, they don’t have 15 kinds of pills to sell you in addition to jar. At the metro station, in the parks… Yes. »

“Your child goes to bed, your teenager goes to bed. You’re not going to shake it to see if it’s correct. Even when he goes to bed early. Me, I get up early. Long story, but 4:30 is my time. I don’t know if I could have done anything for him, but even that… You’re not going to shake your child at 4:30 in the morning to see if he’s okay! When it happened, when he overdosed, you know what was sneaky?

– What ?

— I was three meters from him, in the house. That doesn’t make sense… You’re right next to your child. »

Mathis was 15 when he died of that overdose, just before Christmas. He thought he bought oxycontin, he bought isotonitazene, a synthetic opioid more powerful than fentanyl.

A blue pill, like the one in Christian’s warning last fall, marked with an “M” on one side and a “30” on the other.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY CHRISTIAN BOIVIN

Mathis thought he bought oxycontin, but he bought isotonitazene, a synthetic opioid more potent than fentanyl.

While listening to Christian Boivin, I thought of this wonderfully informative and particularly terrifying series published in fall 2022 in The Press“Overdoses: the invisible epidemic”2. Journalist Philippe Mercure explained how overdoses strike anyone, in defiance of all the certainties and prejudices that we may have about people who overdose.

I was listening to Christian Boivin and any parent of a teenager around me could have heard the words of this father, regarding discussions on the dangers of drugs.

“I say to parents: dialogue. But at the same time, I know… We can’t check everything all the time. And they need to experiment with autonomy.

“We kept the kids at home today. Frédérike and Olivier did not go to school. Schools are good at managing all that, but… But we felt it was better that way.

PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, THE PRESS

Christian Boivin and his family

“Do you know what? It’s my birthday today. I am 51 years old. I see happy birthday wishes on my Facebook page… I can tell you that I don’t have the heart to celebrate.

“There are people who tell me: ‘You’re brave to talk about it, there are people who would be ashamed. » I have zero shame. It can happen to anyone. Mathis, his friends… Ah! It was good to see them in the living room. Mathis liked Coke. I bought 300 cans, drank so much I couldn’t sleep that night.

“Thank you for writing about Mathis. I really want to save as many as possible. I’m not the one who’s going to stop the bad guys… And who are the bad guys? The 20-year-old who didn’t know what he was selling? The police investigation is ongoing. Some would be eager to catch someone guilty. I’m ready to wait until they go higher, until they dismantle a network, a lab…

“I’m going to use Mathis’ story to talk about this cause. Will I go to schools to talk about Mathis? We will see. But I’m used to giving conferences, for the job.

“I text it again. Even if he’s not here anymore. This is my way of… I bring our conversation to the top of my text list. I like seeing his face, tse…

— His face, Christian?

— Yes, there is his photo in the text conversation. »


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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