Woman's night out a blank after drink spiking

A YOUNG Warrnambool woman says she has been left fearful after her drink was spiked during a night out.

The young woman, who did not want to be identified, said she arrived at a Warrnambool venue on Sunday, February 9, about 1am and had one alcoholic drink.

Over the course of the night she consumed five more alcoholic drinks but from 1.30am till about 3.30am she has no memory of what happened.

“I’ve always been very careful but I never really thought it would happen. I don’t want to go out again.”

“All I remember is sitting across the road,” she said.

“Apparently I was continually asking my friend where my other friends were.”

The woman, whose mobile phone had also been broken, was looked after by a friend and taken home to their house.

“I couldn’t remember anything,” she said.

The woman’s mother said she’d been worried sick about her daughter when she hadn’t contact her at the end of the night.

“She slept most of Sunday,” the mother said.

“In the afternoon she had the shakes and her heart was racing. I rang a friend who’s a nurse who said take her straight to emergency.”

The mother said her daughter was treated at the hospital but no blood test was taken.

The young woman said that in the following days she had a stabbing pain in her kidneys. She said the incident had left her fearful and uncomfortable about going out at night.

“I was freaked out,” she said. “A friend made a comment to me that he could have been watching me. 

“I was lucky I had my friends with me.

“I’ve always been very careful but I never really thought it would happen. I don’t want to go out again.”

The young woman’s mother said the venue had been fantastic but she wanted people to know that drink spiking was happening in Warrnambool.

“So many people have no idea,” she said.

“I just don’t want people to be complacent.”

Local police and alcohol counselling services have warned people to be vigilant against the “cowardly and bastardly act” of drink spiking.

Western Region Alcohol and Drug Centre director Geoff Soma said if people presented to his organisation with suspicions of drink spiking they were often referred to the South West Centre Against Sexual Assault (SWCASA).

“If someone feels like they’ve woken up in this situation they should go to Accident and Emergency and contact CASA if they suspect any sexual assault,” he said.

“It’s a cowardly and bastardly act.”

Mr Soma said for people whose drinks had been spiked it was difficult to come forward and report it to the appropriate authorities.

“There’s stigma around it and people may not believe you,” he said.

“You go out to have a good time and a few drinks and people will say you got drunk. I think people know the difference. Usually if a drink is spiked it’s with medication. People go in and out of sleepiness.”

Mr Soma said people should be aware that it could happen and be alert to what was happening around them.

“Be careful,” he said.

“Make sure you have your drink with you at all times. Where possible be aware of your friends if they appear to be really drunk.”

Senior Sergeant Shane Keogh, of Warrnambool police, said if someone suspected their drink had been spiked their health and welfare was the number one concern.

He said in the past five years there had been numerous reports to police of drink spiking but it was difficult to prove.

He said after a suspected drink spike people should go to hospital within the first 24 hours and have a blood test.

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