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Now You CAN Tell If Your Drinks Are Spiked

These three friends know too well the extent and implications of drink-spiking.
Two of their friends have been hospitalised after having their drinks spiked in nightclubs.
According to SA Police. emergency doctors and drug and sexual assault bodies, they are examples of a growing and under-reported problem.
But there is a new defence on its way - The Drink Spike Detector. "A girl who I know was hospitalised after getting her drinks spiked and she can't remember, whole parts of the night, she just became really vague and delirious," said Rhianna Crouch, 20, of Myrtle Bank.
Liz Wilsen, 20, of Hawthorn, also knows about the dangers.
"It is something I am always aware of - if my friends go to the bathroom or go to the dance floor, I always watch their drinks," she said.
In an effort to reduce the incidence of drug-facilitated sexual offences, the new pocket test kit will be introduced to the South Australian market this week.
The Drink Spike Detector is the first of its kind in Australia - a credit-card sized product that is able to test for odourless and tasteless drugs placed in drinks- The Drink Safe Teconologies product is able to test, from a few drops, if a drink is spiked with the illicit substances GHB (Fantasy) or Ketamine.
About 30 drink-spiking incidents have been reported in SA in the past six months, a police spokeswoman said.
The Centre Against Sexual Assault House counsellor Juliet Watson said the problem is under-reported.
The centre had 156 drug and alcohol-facilitated assaults reported to them from February to October last year in Victoria alone, and figures were similar in Queensland.
"I think it is under-reported," Ms Watson said yesterday.
"Some drugs are out of the system quicker than 24 hours and we are dealing with a crime where the victim has little memory of what has happened."
Emergency department registrar at the Royal Adelaide Hospital Dr David Caldicott said the amount of drink-spiking victims that reported to the hospital varied seasonally.
"Drink-spiking comes in waves. Recently there have not been that many but in the past few years we were dealing with 10 a week," Dr Caldicott said.
"The vast majority don't present to us though, they would just go home, so we can never really know the complete story."
The University of Wollongong Student Representative Council is distributing the product in pubs and clubs in response to a surge in drink-spiking incidents in New South Wales. The product will be released, through Amcal and Guardian pharmacies, this week. The Crown & Anchor already stocks the product. It will retail for $13.95 for six tests.

Adelaide Advertiser (2-7-2003)
Laura Anderson


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