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The Border Mail - a new world every day

Solution to drink spiking
April 9, 2006

Drug Spotter:
The anti-spiking kit

PUBS and clubs have been urged to adopt new anti-spiking technology which allows patrons to perform do-it-yourself drug tests on their drinks.

Manufactured in the form of a drink coaster, the kit tests for ketamine and GHB, also known as fantasy, the drug thought to have killed cruise-ship drink-spiking victim Dianne Brimble.

Drinkers can place a drop of a beverage on designated spots on the coaster. If either turns blue, drugs are present.

At least one hotel has introduced the coasters, but Australian distributor Dean Sunshine said hoteliers were reluctant to stock them for fear of scaring off customers.

"The feedback I've had is that, if people see test kits at the bar, they will think it must be a place where people regularly get spiked," Mr Sunshine, of Drink Safe Technologies, said.

"But if you've got two bars next to each other, one of which stocks these kits, which one are you going to feel safer in?"

Mary Gilhooley's Irish Pub, at Lismore, has recorded a drop in spiking incidents since it began stocking the coasters nine months ago. "We have a sign that says, 'Drink spiking test gear available behind the bar' and we're seeing fewer and fewer reported incidents," co-owner and licensee Brad Stamp said.

Mr Stamp, who is also president of the Lismore City Liquor Accord, said the hospitality industry should embrace the kit as an important awareness tool.

"Drink spiking is a horrible, cowardly practice that happens everywhere, no matter if you're at a metropolitan hotel or a country pub like us."

National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre spokesman Paul Dillon, also a member of the Government-appointed NSW Drink Spiking Action Group, said the test was a novel way to raise public awareness.




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