Mike Ballard | 22 Sep 15:25 2005

[pulp] Meanwhile in Perth..

News Home | Story Drink spike victims 'simply drunk'
From: AAP
September 22, 2005

MOST people who seek treatment at hospital emergency departments claiming their
drinks have been spiked are simply drunk, a new study has found.
Emergency doctors at Perth's Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH) have
completed Australia's first medical study on drink spiking.
They found patients' symptoms were often caused by excessive alcohol and
illicit drug use rather than sedatives.
"In the community there is a view that drink spiking occurs and that it is the
scenario of an offender slipping a sedative into another person's drink,
presumably to stupefy them in order to take advantage of them – this is what we
used as the basic premise of our study," study leader Dr Mark Little said.
"Our research findings don't support that."
SCGH doctors and researchers from the University of Western Australia found
only four definite cases of drink spiking among 97 study participants, but none
involved sedatives.
 Most of the participants were females aged under 25 years.
Dr Little said 21 per cent of patients tested had drugs such as amphetamines
and cannabis in their bloodstream.
Many of the participants reported only consuming a few drinks, but mistook
their drunkenness for drink spiking.
"Most of the participants had a much, much higher blood alcohol level than they
thought," he said.
"The average blood alcohol level for the patients was close to 0.2.
"It's possible someone had bought them drinks with a much higher alcohol
content than they expected, presumably with the aim of getting them drunk."
Doctors were concerned both study participants and the wider public were
unaware of the effects of binge drinking, Dr Little said.
Many contemporary pre-mixed drinks had a high alcohol content, he said.
"There are a lot of drinks available now which taste fruity and innocuous, like
soft drinks, but in fact have a very high alcohol content," he said.
"Some people simply underestimate how much alcohol they're actually consuming."


"To one who is ignorant, a small garden
is a forest."



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