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February 16, 2017
Drink spiking occurs when a person deliberately adds alcohol or another drug to a drink without the knowledge of the person who will be drinking it.
Drink spiking is illegal in all Australian states and territories. Penalties include fines and imprisonment ranging from 2 to 25 years.
Victorian legislation makes the spiking of another person’s food or drink an offence. The offence is committed even if the food or drink is not consumed or if the spiking does not harm the person.3
Drink spiking is when someone deliberately adds alcohol or another drug to your drink without your knowledge.
People usually spike drinks as a prank to get someone drunk or high, but sometimes drink spiking is used to assault, rob or rape someone. Estimates suggest that one-third of drink spiking incidents are associated with a sexual attack.2
Incidents of drink spiking are under-reported.1 Often victims think that people won’t believe them, especially if they have been drinking or taken drugs.
We have no way to know how many times drink spiking happens. The Australian Institute of Criminology suggests that between 3000 and 4000 suspected incidents of drink spiking occurred in Australia between 2002‒2003.1
When you’re out at a pub, club or party, watch your drinks.
If your drink has been spiked you may not be able to see, smell or taste it. The drug or extra alcohol may be colourless and odourless and may not affect the taste of your drink.
Warning signs include:
Drink spiking is serious: In an emergency, telephone triple zero (000) or the nearest police station.
For information about sexual assault, or for counselling or referral, call 1800RESPECT
Most of the time, drinks are spiked with alcohol. Either the drink is stronger than you think, or someone has added extra alcohol.
Despite recent media reports, drink spiking with drugs like GHB and Rohypnol® is very rare. Alcohol is a far more common way to spike drinks. Drugs that are used to spike drinks are usually depressants that make you act like you are drunk, or just about to pass out.