If you are planning a night out then be aware of the hidden danger of spiking. It can strike at any time and you won’t know it has happened until it’s too late. Here is what you need to know to keep safe…
Alcohol is the most popular way of spiking drinks. It can be added to soft drinks or double measures can be used instead of singles. Drugs, known as ‘date rape drugs’, are also used and if this happens it is unlikely you will see, smell or taste any difference although some drugs, such as GHB, may taste slightly salty or have an unusual smell.
Other warning signs and symptoms include:
- loss of balance or finding it hard to move
- visual problems, blurred vision
- feeling confused or disorientated
- nausea or vomiting
- paranoia or hallucinations
- falling unconscious
- memory loss
This is by no means a complete list and if you start to feel strange or more drunk than you should be, get help immediately. Most ‘date rape drugs’ take effect within 15 – 30 minutes and the effects can last for several hours or longer.
If you start to feel unwell you should ask for help, go to your nearest A&E department or call 999. Should you see someone who shows these symptoms or you think might have been the victim of drink spiking then get them the help they need. Always report it to the police as soon as you can.
You can try and prevent it happening by making sure you never leave your drink unattended and if you have to get a friend to keep an eye on it. Don’t accept a drink from someone you don’t know or consider sticking to bottled drinks.
If you would like more advice or want to report an incident, whether it be on or off campus, contact the wellbeing team. They hold drop in sessions every day, 2nd floor University House or call 01482 462222 to book an appointment.