THE SID­EF­FECT STORY

The Australian Mining Review - - DRUG & ALCOHOL EDUCATION -

Sid­ef­fect is a not for profit or­gan­i­sa­tion born from the tragic loss of 16-year-old Pre­ston Bridge in 2013 when he jumped from a bal­cony after tak­ing a syn­thetic drug known as 25iNBOME at his school ball.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion was founded by Pre­ston’s fa­ther Rod­ney Bridge, along with for­mer Ea­gles cham­pion Chris Water­man and cor­po­rate busi­ness­man David Hobbs, with the aim to ed­u­cate young peo­ple about the dangers of syn­thetic drug use. “Sid­ef­fect is the legacy of my son who lost his life at the age of 16 by mak­ing one un­in­formed de­ci­sion,” Mr Bridge said. “Let’s stop our kids from play­ing Rus­sian roulette and arm them with knowl­edge.”

In 2015, Mr Bridge in­fil­trated Chi­nese drug gangs ex­port­ing to Aus­tralia and saw first­hand the deadly in­gre­di­ents used in the pro­duc­tion of syn­thetic sub­stances. The dan­ger­ous stunt proved that large quan­ti­ties of syn­thetic drugs could eas­ily be smug­gled into the coun­try un­de­tected by snif­fer dogs. Sid­ef­fect be­lieves education is key to putting a stop to Aus­tralia’s syn­thetic drug prob­lem, and is now ready to fill that void.

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