THE devastated mother of a 17-year-old boy killed by a toxic poppy brew wants greater accountability from the industry.
The teenager was found dead at his Forcett home in south-east Tasmania by his family, who want to keep their anonymity at this stage.
The circumstances surrounding the discovery of his body early on Sunday night were too painful for his mother to discuss last night, The Mercury reports.
It is understood that he had taken the fatal drink with a friend after the alleged theft of poppies from the local area.
"Nothing will bring my son back but I want to see measures in place that make these plants less accessible," his mother said.
"What can we do now but ask that my son's death raises community awareness?
"There are no electric fences out here, no warning signs, as far as I can see."
She said his friends had been at the house, "sitting in his bedroom, just wanting to be close to the essence of him".
"He was a boy so full of life . . . so trusting and so ready to grab excitement, try what life had to offer; he loved snowboarding, music, experiencing everything he could," she said.
"He's done this, and it's cost us him - and the impact . . . there are no words."
Her son had just finished college and had plans to travel.
She said she was loath to revert to cliches, but said drinking poppy brew "was like roulette", and added that her son was a "normal adolescent exhibiting normal, risk-taking behaviours".
She wanted parents everywhere to be aware of this danger and to talk to their sons and daughters.
"For us there will be no escape," she said.
"From where I live I can see poppy fields in three different directions. I can't avoid them - it has been a growth industry in this area and they're everywhere."
The boy's death was the second caused by poppy capsule ingestion in two years.
A 50-year-old Ravenswood man died after consuming the toxic ingredient - used to make morphine and other narcotics - in February last year.
Tasmania is the only state in Australia to commercially farm industrial poppies. Tasmania Police southern drug squad boss John Arnold said the narcotics in poppies were extremely dangerous.
"The death of the young man is a tragic outcome for his family and friends," he said.
"The narcotics contained in poppy capsules are extremely dangerous and with the poppy harvest season approaching it's sadly a timely warning of the potentially lethal effect of ingesting any poppy product."
In recent years, police and the Poppy Control Board have reduced the theft of poppies through rigorous monitoring of the commercial crops.
Det-Insp Arnold said the number of thefts had been cut from 10,000 in the 2005-06 growing season to about 687 last year.
"It's been declining but there's almost a generation of kids that don't realise the dangers of cooking up poppies and ingesting them," he said.
Insp Arnold said the concentration of narcotics in a poppy capsule varied depending on how mature the flower was, climate and growing conditions, making it difficult for people to judge the potency of poppies they were ingesting.
A coroner's report on the death is being prepared and a probe into the circumstances of the tragedy is continuing.
The teen's funeral will be held later this week.
Read more at The Mercury.