The Herald Sun
By Tanya Giles, August 17 2002
Rape drug alert sounded
SEXUAL predators are using potentially deadly drugs
to spike drinks in Melbourne's nightclubs and pubs,
police warned yesterday.
An internal police memo has raised an alarm that the
illegal drug GHB, also known as fantasy or liquid ecstasy,
could be being used to sedate women at Melbourne's night
The drug is potentially lethal, particularly if taken
with alcohol, and can induce impaired movement and speech,
respiratory collapse, unconsciousness and coma.
Det Sen-Sgt Chris O'Connor, of the rape squad, said
yesterday rapists were using drugs and alcohol to prey
on vulnerable women in pubs and nightclubs.
"Logic suggests that there are always opportunistic
sexual predators out there who will seek to satisfy
their lust," he said.
"Invariably, almost exclusively, the victims are
vulnerable women and consent is not an issue."
A Centre Against Sexual Assault study over six months
last year found more than 200 people reported being
sexually assaulted at or after leaving licensed venues,
with 82 believing their drink had been spiked.
Police figures last financial year showed that about
1100 people reported being raped in Victoria, with about
30 believing they had their drinks spiked.
Toxicology results showed that 10 to 12 per cent of
the victims had traces of sedatives in their system.
None of those samples had traces of GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate).
The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre has said
while GHB was particularly easy to overdose on, it was
difficult to detect in blood and urine.
There are several anti- spiking precautions people
DRINKING from sealed containers.
BUYING your own drinks.
HAVING someone you trust mind your drink.
ALERTING someone you trust if you are feeling unwell
REFUSING to accept pills from anyone.