Party-goers beware of drink spiking

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DATE   3 December 2008

               Party-goers beware of drink spiking
            Sydney South West Area Health Service (SSWAHS) has issued a warning to
            party-goers this Christmas and New Year to be aware of the dangers of
            drink spiking.

            SSWAHS Manager of Sexual Assault Services, Lisa Simpson, said reports of
            sexual assault and drink spiking were much higher over the summer holiday
            period and men and women of all ages need to understand the potential dangers.

            “Drink spiking can put people in dangerous situations, sometimes resulting in
            sexual assault, unwanted pregnancy, violent attack and robbery,” Ms Simpson

            “Around twenty five per cent of males and females reporting sexual assault have
            stated the incident occurred after a case of drink spiking.

            “Drink spiking is a serious crime with dangerous and potentially fatal
            consequences. Although other sedatives can be used to spike a persons drink
            alcohol is the most common drug used.

            “Getting a person intentionally intoxicated especially without their knowledge is not
            a joke and can expose the victim to serious consequences such as being sexually
            assaulted,” she said.

            Ms Simpson warned that additional quantities of alcohol and other drugs could
            also be easily slipped into a person’s drink within seconds. Some drugs have no
            taste, odour or visible trace and drink spiking is not limited to just alcoholic

            “If you feel any strange effects, such as dizziness, sleepiness or nausea,
            particularly after having only a small amount of alcohol, ask someone you know
            and trust to immediately take you somewhere safe. Seek treatment or call an
            ambulance if required,” she said.

            When preparing for a night out, it is important to remember the following points to
            protect yourself against drink spiking:

                   Plan your night out and tell people where you are going

                   Never accept a drink from a stranger or leave drinks unattended,
                   particularly if the bottle has been opened

                   Tell bar or security staff if you see someone spiking drinks

                         Media Communications and Marketing
                                 Ph: (02) 9515 9607
                                 Fax: (02) 9515 9603
Ms Simpson said that one of the most important things you can do is to keep an
eye out for friends.

“Never drink a beverage if you feel unsure about it and always remember that if
you suspect your drink has been spiked, do not drive - take a cab, ask a friend for
help or call an ambulance,” she said.

   Issued by Sydney South West Area Health Service Media and Communications Unit.
   For further information contact James Yeandel on 02 9515 9607.

           Media Communications and Marketing
                   Ph: (02) 9515 9607
                   Fax: (02) 9515 9603

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