Study reveals motivations for drink spiking

A nationwide study into drink spiking found 43 per cent of drink spikers
had added alcoholic shots or substances to beverages 'for fun.'

According to the RMIT study, respondents were also motivated to increase
their chances of engaging in consensual sexual activity.

"Most perpetrators reported that they did not drink spike to gain control of
a person, but 29 per cent thought it would 'put people in the mood' for
consensual sex," said psychologist and study author, Bridget McPherson.

"In addition, 21 per cent stated it was easier for them to approach people
for sex if the victim was drunk or drug-affected."

The study, which was undertaken with 805 Australian's aged 18 to 35,
also found respondents who spiked drinks shared similar beliefs.

"People who spiked drinks tended to believe that it's acceptable to cause
intoxication in others and that alcohol consumption increases interest in
casual sexual activity," said Ms McPherson.

"They also failed to accept responsibility for other people's safety, and
didn't seem to care or think about the consequences of what could

The study also found 46 per cent of victim's drinks were spiked at a
nightclub and 25 per cent at a bar.

Ms McPherson said drink spiking is occurring to a significant degree in

"We live in a culture where alcohol is viewed as a fun, bonding experience
and because of this mindset, people appear to be less likely to seriously
think about the consequences of drink spiking in Australia.

"To reduce this problem, we can use this research to develop prevention
programs to potential perpetrators of drink spiking, emphasising the
physical and psychological consequences," she said.

Ms McPherson will present the study at the 42nd Australian Psychological
Society national conference, 'Psychology Making an Impact,' at the
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from 25 to 29 September.

To coordinate an interview with Ms McPherson please contact Elaine
Grant on 0412 683 068.