It’s a dangerous world for teenagers in Perth, Western Australia, where synthetic drugs have taken lives.
Rod Bridge, a father who lost his son, Preston, to the effects of synthetic LSD, is educating teenagers and parents about the dire physical and mental effects of these drugs. With two supporters, he has launched the not-for-profit Sideffects Bus educational campaign.
You and your children can meet Rod in the Sideffects Bus at the Living Well in WA Expo, being held in conjunction with the WA Day celebrations, at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, 3 to 5 June this year.
Avoiding more tragedy
Assisting Rod will be his supporters, former West Coast Eagles premiership player Chris Waterman and family friend Damian Green. These three good men run the Sideffects organisation.
Their aim is to help families avoid the same tragedy that Rod’s family has faced in the loss of Preston.
At the Sideffects Bus, Perth parents will discover how easy it is for their children to access synthetic drugs. They will learn about the common but poisonous household products being used to manufacture these drugs. They will also learn the signs to look for in their children that indicate drug use.
One time use can result in mental and physical damage that may last a lifetime. For instance, synthetic marijuana has been found to bring on psychosis requiring ongoing psychiatric care, and resulting in suicide attempts.
The names applied to these synthetic drugs hide the sinister outcomes of their use. A child’s hopes for a bright, healthy, happy future can be killed overnight, in just one instance of using what many young people are told is harmless. When the child is damaged, the entire family is damaged. One name found on a packet of synthetic marijuana being sold in shops in southern suburbs is Climax.
Parents lack knowledge
Rod believes parents do not understand the enormity of the problem and do not have enough knowledge needed to protect their children.
At schools, Rod, Chris and Damien are looking for students interested in learning about the drugs and who can then discourage their peers from using them. Schools can identify students who would be interested and nominate them for an empowerment program that will give them the necessary information and leadership skills.
Rat poison in drugs
They will be able to stand up against what Rod describes as a scourge, and ask their fellow students questions like: “Do you know what is in those drugs?” They will have knowledge of the ingredients often found in these drugs, as well as information about the hidden mental and physical destruction they cause.
Poisons in these readily available synthetic drugs may include: chlorine; battery acid; bleach; rat poison; bath salts; and drain cleaner.
The medical profession confirms the damage being done by synthetic drugs has frightening and lasting effects on our youth.
To visit the Sideffects Bus, go to www.livingwellinwa.com.au where you can register for free ticketing. The Sideffects Bus is on the program and it is where you will find out what every parent and teenager needs to know about the horrors of synthetic drugs.