Drink spiking ends in tragedy

By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au

WHEN a 35-year-old local woman went out for drinks with friends on Friday night, the last place she expected to wake up was in hospital.

The woman, who did not want to be named, rang The Observer office yesterday in tears after the incident at an inner city premises.

"I haven't been out in ages, I never go out and I will never be going out again,'' she said.

After regaining consciousness in hospital, the woman said a doctor told her she was the ninth patient in the last two weeks seen at the hospital as a victim of spiking.

However, the incident has had more damaging consequences for the pregnant woman who lost her baby as a result.

She also had her wallet, containing $500, stolen during the commotion. It was later found hidden in the female toilets.

"I was at the poker machines and all of a sudden I was flat on my back,'' the woman said.

"I stopped breathing and my eyes rolled back in my head, no one knew what was wrong.''

The woman said the quick thinking of a security guard at the premises was the only reason she was still alive.

The security guard, who also wished to remain anonymous, said when he arrived at the scene the woman was in a bad way.

He said drink spiking in Gladstone was a problem and carried with it potentially dire consequences.

"We thought it was getting better, but from what we've seen and been told on the weekend obviously it isn't,'' he said.

Queensland Ambulance Services advanced care paramedic Russell Thomas said locals needed to be aware of drink spiking.

"We had a bit of a spate a couple of months ago,'' he said.

Mr Thomas said the symptoms included slurred speech, dizziness, rapid pulse and aggressive behaviour.

Gladstone police crime manager Kev Whicker said drink spiking could potentially kill a person.

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