Preston’s legacy

Alexander ScottPilbara News
Sideffect: Rod Bridges lost his son Preston after he overdosed on a synthetic drug. Pic: Michael Wilson The West Australian.
Camera IconSideffect: Rod Bridges lost his son Preston after he overdosed on a synthetic drug. Pic: Michael Wilson The West Australian. Credit: The West Australian

A father whose teenage son died after taking a synthetic drug has travelled to the Pilbara to use his heartbreaking tale to tell high school students of the consequences of drug use.

Rod Bridge's 16-year-old son Preston was enjoying his Year 12 ball when he took a tab of synthetic LSD and then jumped from a balcony in Scarborough, with the family making the decision to turn off his life support three days later.

The tab was supplied to him by a school friend and bought from the Silk Road website.

After his son died, Mr Bridge, pictured, started the drug awareness organisation Sideffect to reach out to students and warn them of the potential dangers.

Mr Bridge will visit Karratha Senior High School next week before going to Roebourne District High School on November 10. He will also visit Port Hedland, Nullagine and Marble Bar.

Sideffect director Peter Waterman said the drug education program had reached 105,000 children across the State.

“Rod has been on the warpath ever since and went to China with 60 Minutes and did some great work over there breaking down several drug syndicates,” he said.

Dr Waterman said the talks promote the adverse effects of substance abuse and its impact on decision-making.

“Preston passed away when he jumped off a balcony in Scarborough after taking a small synthetic drug only costing $2,” he said.

“He made one bad choice in his life.”

Dr Waterman said it was important that students knew the collateral damage that those drugs are having on their community, friends and family.

“Now is the time when they're making really important decisions in life, whether it be sex or drugs or whatever, they making really important decisions,” he said.

“Some of those decisions that they make will affect them for the rest of their lives.”

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