Rainbow Serpent wants to test pills after mum’s push

HEARTBROKEN: Adriana Buccianti is pushing for dying testing to become available at music festivals.
HEARTBROKEN: Adriana Buccianti is pushing for dying testing to become available at music festivals.

ALMOST four years ago, Adriana Buccianti made a promise that she would use her son’s death as a catalyst for change.

In January 2012, her then 34-year-old son Daniel died at Lexton’s Rainbow Serpent Festival after a combined drug overdose.

“I made Daniel a promise that his death would be catalyst for change and not just a drug death statistic,” Ms Buccianti said.

In a bid to prevent such a tragedy from occurring again, Ms Buccianti has started a change.org petition demanding the implementation of drug testing services at music events.

Daniel Buccianti, 34, died after a drug overdose in 2012.

Daniel Buccianti, 34, died after a drug overdose in 2012.

The plea comes as Australia enters its summer music festival season and follows the news of a 25-year-old Sydney woman who died last week after taking ecstasy at Stereosonic.

"Initially what I would like is for drug testing services to be made available at festivals,” Ms Buccianti said.

"What I'm hoping will come out of it in the broader context is an open and honest dialogue about drugs and drug policies.”

The pill testing services have already been implemented in countries across Europe and feature onsite laboratories providing information about substances contained in pills.

This week, Rainbow Serpent Festival released a statement supporting calls for change in how the government and police approached recreational drug use.

Festival director Tim Harvey said his event would look seriously into any harm minimisation strategies including pill testing and working with emergency services.

“It’s really legislative change that’s preventing us from looking at it.” Mr Harvey said.

“We need some progressive and brave politicians who recognise the current approach isn’t working and can communicate the benefits of changing strategies to the mainstream Australian population.

“We don’t believe current practices such as sniffer dogs and strip searches will solve this complex problem.”

Ms Buccianti said her son would still be alive had pill testing facilities been available.

"The people testing that substance would have been able to tell him what was in it and I bet you my bottom dollar he would not have taken it...he wouldn't have taken his own life like that," she said.

“I can't get my son back but I want to make sure no-one else has to go through the hell of losing their child to a mistake like I did.”

The petition has already received more than 27,000 signatures online. To sign the petition, visit www.chn.ge/1Npvl8O ​