Saturday, April 2, 2016

Rod Bridge went to China to learn the truth about the synthetic drug trade

Rod Bridge went to China to learn the truth about the synthetic drug trade

SEPTEMBER 14, 2015
When his teenage son died after taking the synthetic version of LSD, Rod Bridge was devastated.
Preston, 16, fell to his death in 2013 after consuming the drug and thinking he could fly.
Ever since, Mr Bridge has been determined to let no other Australian families suffer a similar tragedy. His quest to find out the origins of synthetic drugs took him to China.
His story airs on 60 Minutes at 8.30pm on Nine tonight.
Reporter Liz Hayes accompanied Mr Bridge on his mission abroad.
“In essence it’s a father’s journey to get answers, and what he found is pretty confronting.”
She said Mr Bridge couldn’t “sit still knowing his son won’t be the last victim”.
That tragic story featured in a 60 Minutes report two years ago but since then he “felt compelled to seek answers” about where the drugs came from and how easily they entered Australia.
“I guess what he found was that most, not all — but most, roads lead to China. It’s an extraordinary place for these drugs because they’re legal there.”
That was possible due to the fact they came under the label of ‘research chemicals’. However, Hayes told news.com.au: “We couldn’t find much research, but certainly found a lot of chemicals.”
Rod Bridge speaks to Liz Hayes
Rod Bridge speaks to Liz HayesSource:Supplied
Rod Bridge lost his only son Preston to a synthetic drug two years ago.
Rod Bridge lost his only son Preston to a synthetic drug two years ago.Source:Supplied
They were also able to chart the path of the chemicals as they made their way from China to countries like Australia, and into the hands of young people who had no idea what they were taking.
“They’re sold to anyone who wants to buy them really.”
Hayes said because the drugs mimicked so may other illicit drugs they were hard to detect and could be sent straight to someone’s front door in a post bag.
“And they come from a background of being legal at one stage — they were a ‘legal high’.
The danger was that not even the supplier could reliably say what the dosage was.
“They can’t give you any direction on what’s too much, who should take it ... They just sell it to you. And therein lies the problem.”
During this investigation, 60 Minutes was offered at least 5 different types of synthetic drugs for import to Australia.
During this investigation, 60 Minutes was offered at least 5 different types of synthetic drugs for import to Australia.Source:Supplied
The program speaks to a scientist who tests the drugs and who discovered the incredible potency of them.
For the drug that mimics LSD he found it was a staggering 60 per cent stronger than regular LSD.
“Now not many people would know that ... and that’s just one example of how toxic it can be. And that is the drug that [Mr Bridge’s] son took and [he] thought he could fly and jumped off a balcony.”
Hayes thought it was a story that would resonate with many Australians.
“The problem with these drugs is your first experiment can kill you ... You don’t have to be an addict, you just have to have the wrong one — and no one knows how powerful the drug you have just been handed is.
“It’s Russian roulette.”