One night out in Tumbarumba almost two years ago turned out to be the scariest time of Jen Lavis' life to date.
"I had only been at the pub about an hour before I just blanked out," Ms Lavis said, describing the night she believes her drink was spiked.
"I remember talking, then I turned around to speak to someone I knew and their face was just jumping in and out of focus the whole time."
For up to four hours, Ms Lavis cannot account for her movements. She has no memory of where she went or who she spoke to. All she remembers is when she woke up with her family at around 11.30 that night.
"I was so ill for the week, I had to drive back to Wagga and my kidneys just hurt so much," she said.
"I was vomiting all the next day and spent the next week in bed. I've never been so crook in all my life."
Now living in Grafton, the experience has left the 42-year-old woman unwilling to venture far ever again.
"It's not what you want to go through, especially in your hometown," she said.
"I usually stay home, and I absolutely don't want to go out now. If it can happen to me, it could happen to anyone."
IN OTHER NEWS:
With the safety of distance, both in terms of her new location and the time that has passed, Ms Lavis has decided to share her story to save others from experiencing the same fate.
"I would never have thought this would happen to me, I never would have thought anyone would be so malicious," she said.
"I just want to say to everyone, don't ever put your drink down. I'm far too trusting, I left [my drink] to go to the toilet and I never should have done that."
In his many years as a publican in Wagga, Red Steer licensee Ben Stratton has thankfully never come across such a serious incident.
"I have heard of it happening, but I have never seen it, so I did think it was not too prevalent in Wagga," he said.
"I've never witnessed [an episode of drink spiking], I've only ever been told second-hand accounts."
Mr Stratton recognises this result as being due to the efforts of the city's pub staff, rather than any coincidental good fortune.
"All the hotels and pubs here are committed to keeping people safe and we do that by monitoring any sort of anti-social behaviour and trying to weed it out," he said.
"The biggest part of hospitality is making sure it's an environment that people can come to and be comfortable in."
Acknowledging the difficulty staff and security are presented with during the busiest nights, Mr Stratton said it has always been the number one priority to make sure those with nefarious intentions are not given an opportunity to strike.
"Unfortunately there's no direct way of ensuring it will never happen, but we can minimise the chances of it," he said.
"We do that by clearing away drinks when they're unattended, just to make sure people don't have a chance to be spiked.
"You can't control people's behaviour, but you can influence it."
To aid in the efforts, Mr Stratton has appealed to patrons to also make their personal safety their number one priority.
"Share the night with friends you trust and respect, take responsibility, drink responsibly and be aware of your surroundings," he said.
"Be responsible and know that if you're losing control, you're at greater risk. We do have a binge-drinking culture in Australia, but we've got to do our bit to keep each other safe."
Alongside the university's programs and strategies, its on-campus watering holes offer ongoing support and disseminate safety information in the hopes of safeguarding the student population.
The Wagga campus has also signed on to promote the Ask For Angela safety campaign. If a student or event-goer believes themselves to be in danger, they may approach an organiser or bartender asking for "Angela", and know that they will be transported to safety.
Similarly, Mr Stratton confirmed the need for patrons to seek help from bar staff should they feel in danger.
"Our responsibility is the safety of our patrons, we have a duty of care to them," he said.
"Come to us, it's our role to look after you. In particular, the manager has the higher tier training for situations like this and they can assist."
As part of the Charles Sturt's ongoing desire to drop rates of campus crime - particularly with regards to attacks involving alcohol - it signed an agreement with the city's police to ensure strong working communications going forward.
"Charles Sturt University is a UniCAN [universities committed to Changing Alcohol Norms] level one accredited institution [and] is working toward becoming a level two accredited institution," Ms Copeland said.
"In August last year, Charles Sturt University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Riverina Police District as part of the University's ongoing efforts to ensure student safety."
Under the terms of the memorandum, the university has agreed to provide police with information of suspected or known illicit activities on campus, and the police have agreed to provide the university with knowledge of investigations involving students.