Roadshow a glimpse of drug horror

Callum HunterSouth Western Times

The South West, Peel region and parts of the Wheatbelt are being schooled this month by drug awareness organisation Sideffect as to the dangers of synthetic drugs.

Sideffect was started by Rodney Bridge after his son fell to his death in 2013 at his school ball after party after taking a synthetic form of LSD.

Mr Bridge and organisation chief executive David Hobbs started the tour in Rockingham on Monday and hoped to visit 30 schools and towns within 20 days.

“Rodney and myself are now on a bit of a mission to educate as many youth as possible,” Mr Hobbs said.

“The road trip is to reach regional WA with our very strong message about synthetic and illicit substance abuse.”

With more than 75,000 people reached so far by the One Life One Choice campaign, Mr Hobbs said both the interest and feedback they had received was fantastic.

Within the South West, sessions in Donnybrook, Boyup Brook, Bridgetown, Manjimup, Pemberton, Margaret River, Busselton, Vasse, Bunbury and Australind have all been confirmed for the remainder of this week and next week, with two sessions in Waroona confirmed for early September.

“Inevitably what we’re hoping to do is get the very first digital, online drug education portal accessible to every child in Australia,” Mr Hobbs said.

“We’ve got Peter Waterman, a doctor, with us as well who’s giving us a hand in looking at the curriculum side of what we do.”

During their time in Bunbury, Mr Bridge and Mr Hobbs will visit both Bunbury Catholic College campuses, Bunbury Senior High School, Newton Moore Senior High School and Australind Senior High Schools.

“We want the State Government to support what we do because we know it works,” Mr Hobbs said.

“We should be able to get to these regional schools, where it’s no cost to the school.”

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