Australian Rod Bridge was devastated two years ago when his 16-year-old son, Preston, fell from a balcony and died in February 2013. Preston had used 25i-NBOMe, a psychedelic synthetic drug said to be 60 times more potent than LSD and its size is comparable to six grans of salt. “Preston was hallucinating in some form,” said Bridge. “The hallucination for some reason caused him to think he could fly or jump.”
In fact, there is an epidemic of synthetic drug use among teens in Australia. It’s gotten to the point that Australian Justice Minister Michael Keanon announced new police powers to “to seize the substances and prevent them from getting into the hands of dealers.” However, Bridge is taking matters into his own hands after claiming the government ignored his requests for help. In a special for 60 Minutes, he traveled to the source of the synthetic drugs, China, where he infiltrated the gangs exporting the drugs to Australia by posing as a kingpin.
In a ballsy move, Bridge wore audio recorders and cameras as he met with Chinese drug lords. He risked his life to show just how easily the drugs are shipped into the country. In these meetings, he was told that 100 kilos of synthetic drugs were imported into Australia every month. Bridge was offered five different chemicals to import into Australia. One deal that he was offered was to receive 200 kilos of one of the synthetic drugs. “We have lots of experience sending packages to Australia,” one dealer said when asked about how safe it was to ship. “We know how customs works. Don’t worry, Australia is safe.”
The Chinese dealers are so nonchalant because the sale and production of synthetic drugs is legal in the “Land of the Rising Sun” under the “pretense of medical research.’
“I hope it will save other lives,” said Bridge. “These synthetic drugs and psychoactive drugs kill people — it’s Russian roulette with your life.”