“BE WARNED now – it’s happening here, it’s happening local.”
That’s the message from a young Lakelands mother who ended up in hospital on Saturday night after her drink was spiked.
Emma Birtwistle was with her partner and a friend on a night out at a club in Mandurah when it all turned sour.
“It could have killed me,” she said.
“I collapsed out the front [of the club], I started to go really limp, I couldn’t control my legs and my neck started to go.”
Ms Birtwistle waited in the taxi cue uncontrollably ill before her father was contacted to race her to Peel Health Campus (PHC).
“I went into shock about it,” she said.
“It was a horrible experience.”
While at PHC, another young woman presented with the same symptoms which led the hospital to notify the police of the incidents.
A full investigation is now underway.
As a mother of a two-year-old son, Ms Birtwistle said it was alarming to think how quickly it can happen.
“What about my little boy?” she said.
“What if he lost his mother?”
Ms Birtwistle said people should be aware of the signs and symptoms.
“Everyone has heard about it but you never think it will happen to you,” she said.
“Buy bottled drinks and make sure you keep them covered.
“You can’t take the risk these days.”
Forced to take Monday off work with lingering side effects, 23-year-old Ms Birtwistle said she just wanted people to be aware.
“These people are sick – I wasn’t targeted, it was a random sick act,” she said.
Mandurah senior sergeant Chris Hoath said those going out should be pro-active.
“Make sure you know where your drink is,” he said.
“And follow the general rules like don’t leave your drink at the bar unattended.”
Ms Birtwistle said the damage had been done.
“I don’t even want to go out anymore,” she said.
Anyone who has had their drink spiked recently should contact local police.