'Pill testing could have saved my son': Mum's plea to NSW government

Adrianna Buccianti has relived the pain of losing her son - and the frustration over pill testing - after the drug-related deaths of two people on the weekend following a music festival.

For Melbourne mother Adrianna Buccianti the arguments for and against pill testing are nothing new.

The death of 23-year-old Joseph Pham and a 21-year-old Melbourne woman at a music festival on Saturday, has reminded her of the pain of losing her son Daniel, who died after taking drugs at the Rainbow Serpent music festival in 2012.

She is convinced pill testing could have saved his life.

Adrianna Buccianti says pill testing could have saved her sons life.
Source: SBS

“If he had known pill testing was available and the people testing it would have told him what was in it, he could have been saved, my son would have never wanted to go out in a body-bag,” Ms Buccianti told SBS News.

There have been renewed calls for more pill testing after the weekend deaths at Sydney music festival Defqon.1.

The New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has categorically ruled out pill testing, saying the practice would give the green light to illicit drug use.

She has vowed to close down the festival in the future.

"I'm absolutely aghast at what's occurred. I don't want any family to go through the tragedy that some families are waking up to this morning," she said.

"This is an unsafe event and I'll be doing everything I can to make sure it never happens again."

But the Australian Medical Association is urging the New South Wales government to consider trials.

“We need to be clear and have proper coordinated clinical trials to see and look at the evidence as to whether pill testing does have a role to play,” AMA President Tony Bartone told Sky News.

“So an innovative approach under controlled circumstances and then look at the evidence look at the outcomes and then make an informed decision”.

Joseph Pham died at Defqon 1. festival on Saturday.
Source: Social media.

In April Groovin The Moo music festival in the Australian Capital Territory was the first to offer a pill testing service.

Amongst dozens of low-quality drugs detected the trial also found some pills with potentially lethal substances.

Drug reform campaigner Kieran Palmer from the Ted Noffs Foundation says the current approach isn't working.

“She (Gladys Berejiklian) has come out and said she is not interested in the facts, but is more than happy to continue down a path that has failed young people for decades,” he told SBS News.

Published 17 September 2018 at 7:53pm, updated 18 September 2018 at 7:34am
By Jarni Blakkarly