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National project on drink spiking: investigating the nature and extent of drink spiking in Australia

Natalie Taylor, Jeremy Prichard and Kate Charlton
ISSN 0 642 21124 8
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, November 2004

© Commonwealth of Australia 2004

A report commissioned by the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy.


Executive Summary: Overview

In July 2003 the AIC was commissioned by the Australian Government Attorney-General’s
Department, on behalf of the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs, to conduct Stage One
of a national project on drink spiking. Drink spiking was identified as an emerging issue for
examination under the alcohol priority area identified by the Ministerial Council on Drug
Strategy and has received considerable media attention in the last couple of years. Drink
spiking is where drugs and/or alcohol are added to a drink without the consent of the person
consuming it. The potential consequences of drink spiking can be severe, both physically and
emotionally, depending on the type of additive used and the motivation of the perpetrator.
Knowledge about drink spiking in Australia is currently very limited but suggestions that
incidents of drink spiking have been increasing in recent times has resulted in a need to
greatly improve the knowledge base on drink spiking.

The national drink spiking project is a major project being conducted in two stages – the first
stage focuses on identifying the nature and extent of drink spiking in Australia and identifying
communication and educational initiatives to prevent and respond to drink spiking. The
second stage of the project will focus on improving awareness and practices of key
organisations in the community that come into contact with those at risk of drink spiking. The
AIC was commissioned to undertake Stage One of this project.