Needle Spike Attacks Reach Hunter

 

AN alarming new trend has hit the Hunter with women reporting that they have been injected with a drug while out at bars – the practice is called needle spiking.

Needle spiking has been prevalent overseas for some time, however there have been several recent reports in the Hunter.

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The Australian Institute of Criminology states, “Drugs have been used to facilitate sexual assault in Australia and abroad.

“Offenders sometimes covertly spike their victim’s drink in order to incapacitate them, typically at a party or a bar.

“Drugs misused in this way include prescription drugs such as Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), as well as illegal drugs such as gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), a steroid alternative for bodybuilders.

“Rohypnol is prescribed for insomnia in Australia, and in response to its misuse as a date rape drug, the pharmaceutical company Roche recently changed its formulation.

“Its availability and tablet strength have been reduced, and it now releases a bright blue dye in liquid, with the aim of making it more difficult for potential date rape offenders to abuse.

“However, generic versions of the drug which do not contain blue dye are still available.

“Research in the United States points to a range of date rape drugs, and there is evidence to suggest other drugs besides Rohypnol and GHB are used in Australia to facilitate sexual assault.”

However the trend which has seen women injected with a very fine needle is just one more reason for women to take additional care when on a night out.

“Date rape drugs commonly result in a loss of consciousness and memory, so victims often do not report the crime.

“For this reason, investigation and prosecution of drug facilitated sexual assault cases is difficult as identification of suspects and details of the attack are difficult to establish.”

If you believe that you have been a victim of a needle spike or date rape drug you should contact the Police.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

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