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New Weapon Against Spiked Drinks

A card that tests if your drink has been spiked will be available to drinkers in Wollongong bars and clubs from today after a surge in incidents.
The card - the first of its kind in Australia - changes colour when it detects drugs commonly used in spiking including GHB (fantasy) and ketamine, a horse tranquiliser.
The action was initiated by the University of Wollongong Student Representative Council to combat the spiking of drinks.
SRC president Michael Szafraniec said there had been a spate of drink spiking in Wollongong, with at least three women hospitalised. '
"It's not just women - men are targeted too," Mr Szafraniec said.
Earlier this month three women were taken to hospital after collapsing in local nightclubs. In May, the city's Harp Hotel broadcast a warning over the PA system after three people had their drinks spiked in one night.
Earlier this year about 15 female university students were treated for drink spiking in the space of a month, with one hospitalised.
Many woke up to find themselves naked, in a strange place and unsure of what had happened.
The card, the Drink Spike Detector, has been bought by the SRC and distributed among Wollongong pubs and clubs for use by patrons. It will also be available in Amcal and Guardian pharmacies.
It works by placing a few drops of the drink on the card, which contains a litmus test and changes colour if the drink has been spiked.
Karen Harrigan, 21, and her friends always watch each other's drinks. "It [spiking] is really common at the moment, everyone knows someone who has had it happen to them," she said.
They spent Saturday night having a few glasses of wine at a popular bar, but did not leave their glasses unattended. "It's always in the front of my mind when I go out and even the men are worried because it's happening to them too," Ms Harrigan said.

Daily Telegraph (30-6-2003)
Lisa Miller


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