Spiked drink nightmares

2008-07-21 00:00

WHAT was meant to be a pleasant night out with friends at a local nightclub turned into a nightmare for a 21-year-old woman after her drink was spiked.

She woke up in a stranger’s home, bewildered and confused, with no recollection of where she lived.

The woman, who did not want her name revealed, said she considers herself lucky.

“The stranger who found me turned out to be a good Samaritan who took me into his home and returned me to my rightful home the following day. Despite having ended up in a safe place, I was bewildered, unable to even remember my parents’ contact numbers.”

She said the incident took place in a local nightclub that she has patronised for several years.

The stranger found her in his garden with severe hypothermia, which put her at risk of death by exposure.

“This has been a traumatic experience for my family and [me]. Women of PMB, please be careful because you might not end up as lucky as I was. Drinking can make you feel invincible, but the truth is quite the opposite, it makes you more vulnerable and an easier target for drink spikers,” she said.

Her message is simple: “Be vigilant, go out in groups and keep guard of each other”.

Police said they receive reports of similar incidents from time to time.

The woman’s story is similar to that of a 26-year-old lawyer and local resident, who asked not to be named.

She said she went to a local bar in March with a group of friends.

“I’m a working person and I’m not in the habit of getting smashed. I did that at varsity and got the T-shirt.”

She ordered drinks for the group — two shooters each — but that is all she remembers.

Although the group had been drinking before this, she said it was not enough for her to totally lose control.

“The last thing I remember is waking up in my bedroom at about 2 am, with puke around me. My friends drove me home, but I couldn’t remember which one was my house. They apparently carried me to one house, which happened to be my next door neighbour’s, who was able to direct us to my house.”

She described the ordeal as “very scary” and said she is grateful to have had friends around.

“I can’t say when the drink was spiked, but I suspect the barman. It was an open bar and I went to order drinks for everyone. We were literally there for 45 minutes and fortunately [I] was still able to tell my friends I wanted to go … I have never experienced anything like it in my life before. I was totally out of control.”

She said a friend had a similar experience at the same night club, but she ended up in hospital.

Her advice is: “Watch your drinks and rather order bottled or canned drinks”.

Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said there is little the police can do and it is up to drinkers to be vigilant.

sphumem@witness.co.za

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