Drink Spike Terror

Australian television viewers were last night treated to a brilliant satire showing how modern investigative journalism treats us like infants. On last night’s Today Tonight show, David Ecclestone, posing as an “investigative journalist”, raised that grand old scare story “Drink Spiking”.

You can tell your drink has been spiked when Australian Idol begins to feel entertaining

You can tell your drink has been spiked when Australian Idol begins to feel entertaining

Here are some highlights from his script.

They prey on innocent people who just want to enjoy a drink with friends. ‘Drink spiking’ is on the rise and what’s even more scary is it’s virtually impossible to police…. so are you safe?

It’s evil, it’s grubby and it’s calculated. Trapping the vulnerable and police are powerless.

What we know they’re putting in drinks is still the insideous date rape drug rohypnol, ketamine or special ‘K’ and up to 40 other substances that cripple the mind and body. More than 44,000 adults are raped each year in Australia.

Then, in a brilliantly scripted piece of comedy, two actors pretend to be in a bar and film one tipping what looks to be powder into the other’s drink.

Aimee and Daniel are actors. With a hidden camera they’ll pretend to be on a date, they’ll order a drink, then Aimee will go to the bathroom. Daniel will slip what looks like a drug into her drink. What will other drinkers and bar staff do? Turn a blind eye or get involved. If you were there… what would you do?

Our spiker dumps the drug. No one at that table sees it. So he does it again, this time more obvious, again – no reaction. The third time he’s over top and it’s only now he’s caught the eye of a woman across the room. She looks, looks again, but it’s only when our spiker leaves the table – she has the courage to dob him in.

Having been “caught” they shift to another bar.

The next time, different venue, same stunt, more people to catch him in the act but our spiker goes undetected.

Until someone actually sees what’s happening , when….

A guy sitting at the table was onto our bloke in a flash – alerting staff.

No doubt you may have guessed by now that this wasn’t satire at all and David Ecclestone isn’t a satirist but a journalist. The hidden camera situations were desperately contrived and, when they were spotted, the “victim” was alerted before she drank the poisoned brew.

Instead, this was yet another attempt by a “current affairs” programme to whip up a storm over precisely fuck all. For the record, before I slashed my wrists and jumped from my window, Today Tonight also featured hard-hitting stories about a magician who was going to predict lottery numbers and the outrageous cost of lawnmowing.

Please Sir, can I have some more?

Please Sir, can I have some more?

But drink spiking sounds like it might be a problem, doesn’t it?

Why would that be?

Perhaps, because lazy, crap journalists like to use shock, horror, fear of the stranger, and hyperbole in order to get us to consume and believe in their increasingly, shitty product.

Shark attacks are a problem too, right? We read all about them whenever they happen…

But in New South Wales this year over 120 people drowned and none* were killed by sharks.

Shark attacks are exciting though, you don’t find the same shock, horror, fear of stranger (well, strange big fish) and hyperbole in a drowning. Which is why most of those who drowned were probably worrying about being eaten alive rather than getting themselves into a dangerous situation they can no longer control.

Instead of worrying about an anonymous stranger lurking up to your beverage and tipping in a drug that will knock you knickerless to the floor, be aware of this…

There is no standard reaction to alcohol.

Your ability to function under its effects are determined by a number of factors.

  • Your experience
  • How much you have eaten that day
  • Whether you are taking medication in any form
  • Whether you are sitting, or have been sitting, in direct sunlight
  • Whether you have a bug or a virus
  • Whether you have exercised heavily.
  • Whether you are tired or have missed sleep.

And, one for the ladies…

  • Your monthly cycle.

Now, any one or two of these may occur occasionally when you drink. And on those occasions you will end up feeling more drunk than you usually do.

But if 4 or 5 should line up on the same night (a rare occurence seeing as each has a probability attached) you will end up shit-faced and bawling down the toilet.

And, thanks to the “investigative” efforts of “journalists” like David Ecclestone, who will you blame?

The stranger. The lurking predator that stalks our every move because we are helpless, powerless infants.

Alternatively, you could recognise those 6/7 factors and make sure you stay within your limits or switch from booze to water. Or you may decide to ride that rickety roller coaster and deal with the train smash tomorrow.

But at least you had a choice.

And choices are for grown-ups.


*Although some were vigorously chewed

8 Responses

  1. An incredibly clever Forensic Toxicologist I’ve worked with [tell her what you had to drink and eat and she can calculate your blood alcohol level in her head – fantastic woman to have at parties] reckons less than one in a thousand [yes kids, 0.1%] people who’ve blamed unusual symptoms of intoxication on their drinks being spiked have anything in their system other than more alcohol than they remembered/admitted drinking and/or other drugs they [usually later] admitted to consuming. In short, it can happen, but it’s very rare and you’re probably at much greater risk of getting yourself in trouble by running into a rugby league player in the loos…

  2. Ding Ding Ding!
    Yet an observational study* on 101 patients admitted to hospital complaining of drink spiking, discovered that 35% of them continued to insist they were victims of spiking despite being shown the evidence to the contrary. We’re all bonkers.

    *published in Emergency Medicine Australia, Volume 21, Number 3, June 2009

  3. I find it both offensive, and irresponsible of you apparent drink-spike deniers, that you should poo-poo on the severity of this very serious plague that is increasingly affecting our inner-city hotspots.

    I for one can recall at least two separate occasions in the last month where I have been suspicious of the possibility that an intense hangover, or varying degrees of non-recollection of the previous nights events, has in fact been the fiendish result of a nightlife predator.

    As a stunning woman in her early twenties, a combination of dieting, regular workouts, and responsible amounts of A Class drugs on weekends, ensure I that I am always looking my (and much more than your) best. Unfortunately the downside of said, envious beauty, is that I must be constantly on the lookout against this scourge of drink spikers whilst i slam back my margarita’s with shots of sambucca.

    • you might find them easier to spot without the Class-A’s and the margarita’s and sambucca’s because let’s face it Cindy. At your age with all that going on, you’re gonna end up sleeping with someone

  4. Cindy, are A Class drugs different to Class A drugs?

  5. What you need to remember, Cindy, is that self-esteem is important in a woman your age.
    At least you know they really want to sleep with you if they spend money on spiking your drinks…

  6. […] Posted on September 16, 2009 by DrThrottling So it seems that it’s not just us here at the Notes who had issues with the piss poor journalism of David Ecclestone. According to the media diary of […]

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