Rapper 360 criticises Aust codeine plan

Melbourne rapper 360 has always been open about his struggles with drug abuse, but despite his overdose last year from the over-the-counter painkiller codeine, he doesn’t believe the opioid should be made a prescription-only drug.


The decision by the Therapeutic Good’s Administration will come into affect from February, but 360 believes there’s another solution to the problem.

“I think they should do the exact same thing they do with pseudoephedrine, the way you have to put your licence down so that they can keep track of if anyone’s taking too much. Because there are people who don’t abuse it,” 360 told AAP.

The rapper is clean now but understands better than anyone how easy it is to get caught up in the grip of opioid addiction.

In Australia the highest number of drug-induced deaths come from prescription drugs, namely benzodiazepines and oxycodone, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

It was through his reliance on oxycodone, an opioid, in combination with heroin that 360 – real name Matt Colwell – turned to the over-the-counter option codeine.

“When I couldn’t get enough OxyContin to last the tour, I was getting prescribed 80mg of OxyContin meant for people who were dying of cancer … I couldn’t get enough to last me the tour and I wasn’t prepared to take heroin on a flight because I was too scared. So I knew that I could use Nurofen Plus,” 360 told AAP.

The rapper was taking a total of 90 pills combining codeine with ibuprofen every morning just to stave off heroin withdrawal.

While in Byron Bay on tour, his addiction finally got the better of him and he overdosed on codeine.

“Apparently I started convulsing on the floor. I just woke up in hospital and I was on suicide watch,” he said.

It’s been a long road for 360 who was also diagnosed with biopolar disorder during his recovery.

His life is back on track and he’s releasing his long-awaited fourth album Vintage Modern.

It’s actually a second draft, more honest than what he originally planned to put out.

“I had a whole other album ready, it was pretty much the polar opposite of what this album’s like. There was a lot of very hard trap beats, it basically just sounded like a lot of the current rap music in America,” he said.

“And I didn’t want to drop an album that was just hard rapping, I actually had a lot of s*** I wanted to talk about, which is how the album sounds now. It’s everything I really wanted to talk about.”

* Vintage Modern is out on Friday

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.

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