Ethanol may be source of drink spiking

By NATALIE PEUTnataliep@gladstoneobserver.com.au

COULD pure ethanol be the cause of the drink spiking incidents here in Gladstone?

After The Observer reported 10 alleged cases of drink spiking last weekend, a number of locals questioned whether drugs were the only cause.

According to Gladstone Hospital medical superintendent Dr Ian Mottarelly, enough pure ethanol could be the cause.

Although he could not comment that this was the main cause in Gladstone, it could be happening.

He said pure ethanol was the same alcohol as spirits in a drink.

'It has the same effect, just in a stronger form,' he said.

Dr Mottarelly said he had no idea where someone could get this kind of substance.

'The substance works like alcohol and screens as pure alcohol in the system,'' he said.

'I don't know how easy it is to get, or where anyone would get this in a pure form.'

He said a person could become unconscious if given enough. A drink-spiking victim who could not be named was disappointed by the fact people blamed drink spiking incidents on girls drinking too much alcohol.

She said she only had one and a half drinks and there was no way that small number of drinks could have landed her in hospital unconscious overnight.

'It was such a scary experience and it was horrible to think they blamed it on too much booze,' she said.

She said she wanted to emphasise the importance of being safe when going out on the town.

'I was so lucky to have friends with me, and I recommend if you are going out to ensure you have at least one friend with you at all times,' she said.

A local who wished to remain anonymous said they had seen people spike drinks with alcohol.

'It is so important that they keep their drinks with them at all times, and not trust anyone.'

Gladstone Police reminded members of the public to report these incidents so they could investigate them further.



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