BENDIGO police are warning pub and club-goers to watch their drinks after a man was found with a syringe and vial of a drug commonly used to spike drinks, outside a Bendigo nightspot.
The 23-year-old man was arrested outside HuHa Club early Sunday morning after he was denied entry to the club and allegedly assaulted police.
After his arrest police found a vial of the date-rape drug GHB and a syringe in his possession.
The man has been summonsed to court for possessing drugs and assaulting police.
Sergeant Greg Gentry said the drug, a transparent, flavourless liquid, was commonly used for date rape.
“The problem with these drugs is that they are very quickly effected into the system,” he said.
“To the people around them, (the people who have taken the drug) just look really drunk. It is very concerning.”
University of Adelaide associate professor in pharmacology Robert Ali said GHB had potentially deadly consequences.
He said an overdose could stop breathing and affect the heart.
“The drug in combination with alcohol is potentially deadly,” he said. “The difference between a toxic dose and the intended dose of a drink-spiker is quite small.”
Professor Ali said the GHB chemical worked directly on the brain, causing a sedative feeling similar to that of alcohol.
He said people should go to a hospital if they thought their drink had been spiked.
“They key thing is, if people feel far more intoxicated than they think they should be, they really need to be seen in a hospital setting.
“If you think a friend’s drink has been spiked you shouldn’t leave them alone.
“If they have collapsed, put them in coma position and call an ambulance or get assistance.”
Sergeant Gentry said it was a timely warning as summer approached and people began to go out more at night.
He urged the public to be vigilant when out at clubs or pubs.
“People should be really careful to never leave their drinks unattended and keep their thumb over their bottle at all times if they can.”