Fine Gael are reportedly due to introduce a bill next week making drink spiking a standalone criminal offence.
The crime is currently covered under poisoning legislation with a maximum penalty of three years’ imprisonment.
The bill seeks to introduce heavier penalties, including an increase on the maximum sentence for spiking to ten years.
The new law will punish those who spike someone so they can “overpower or sedate” a person to “engage in a sexual act, cause harm, make a gain or cause a loss, or otherwise commit an offence”.
Acting Minister for Justice Simon Harris is expected to present this bill to the Seanad on Wednesday, the day before Helen McEntee returns to Government after maternity leave.
The Irish Independent reports coalition ministers are not expected to oppose the proposal, and the finer details of the bill will be decided in committee stages.
The HSE defines drink spiking as putting drugs or alcohol into another person's drink, without their knowledge.
According to the HSE, spiking can lead to hallucinations, memory loss, blurred vision and finding it hard to move.
Reports of spiking increased significantly in the past 3 years, from 12 in 2020 to 106 in 2022.
In 2021, Ms McEntee and Mr Harris introduced an awareness campaign to raise awareness of spiking, give guidance on how to help potential victims, and encourage reporting of any suspected incidents.
Third-level students in particular have been told to be aware of the risk of spiking as there are increased reports of spiking within colleges.
The Department of Justice has been contacted for comment.