Drink spike testing
By MEL MARTIN
MARTY Phillips never wants to see a single case of drink spiking on his premises.
So as soon as he heard about Drink Safe coasters, the Coffs Hotel licensee was on the phone, placing his order.
With a short and simple test, the coasters can tell you whether your drink has been spiked with GHB (aka fantasy, liquid ecstasy, grievous bodily harm) or ketamine (aka Special K, kitty kat, K), the two most popular illicit drugs used in drink spiking.
Both drugs are colourless, odourless, and virtually tasteless.
"It's a deterrent, more than anything else," Mr Phillips said.
"But with the way the world's going, we want to make sure we're doing everything we can to prevent drink spiking and keep our hotel safe.
"Prevention is better than cure."
In fact, Mr Phillips thinks all Coffs Harbour venues should make the coasters available.
The test takes only a couple of minutes and is as easy as placing a couple of drops from your drink on the active test spot with your finger or a straw.
If the drink is spiked, the colour on the test spots will change.
"People who may have left their drink unattended or are concerned can ask for the free coasters at the bar any time they like," Mr Phillips said.
"We'll have posters everywhere, telling people about the coasters.
"We've won the Coffs Harbour Environment For Women's Safety (CHEWS) award for the second year in a row, this is something that will make it even safer."
A recent survey by the Australian Institute of Criminology found 4500 people a year had their drinks spiked, 40 per cent of them were then sexually assaulted and 10 per cent of the victims were male.
To prevent drink spiking:
Watch your drink being prepared;
Keep an eye on your drink at all times;
Don't leave your drink unattended;
Don't accept a drink from a strang- er;
Don't go out alone;
Look out for your friends;
Don't drink a drink that doesn't taste, smell or look right;
Don't share drinks;
Don't go home with a stranger;
Discard any drink you think may have been tampered with.