Drink Spiking: The Facts

In recent months, there has been a stark rise in the amount of drink spiking incidents, resulting in bars and clubs having to increase their security and use preventative measures such as drink stoppers in a bid to tackle the issue.

And, learners and young people alike have responded to this rise in drink spiking by stopping going to nightclubs and bars as part of the Girls Night In protests in a bid to raise concerns over women’s safety.

Statistics show that many hundreds of people become victims of drink spiking each year. Unfortunately, most of these cases are not reported. People are simply embarrassed or reluctant to speak out about what has happened to them.

What is drink spiking?

Drink spiking occurs when someone puts a substance into an individual’s drink without their knowledge. These substances are either drugs or alcohol and are put into people’s drinks with the intentions of sexual assault, theft or other sinister motives. Common drugs that are used to spike drinks include:

  • Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB)
  • Tranquillisers
  • Rohypnol

These can be administered into a drink in powder, tablet or liquid form.

What are the symptoms of drink spiking?

There are lots of symptoms that come hand in hand with drink spiking, including the following:

  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Loss of balance
  • Visual problems
  • Memory loss
  • Feeling confused
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Unconsciousness
  • Unusually long hangover

How to avoid drink spiking – what steps to take?

When you are out and about, there are lots of things you can do to avoid drink spiking, including the following:

  • Always go to the bar with a friend – two eyes are better than one
  • Always make sure that your drink is covered
  • Don’t accept drinks from strangers
  • Never leave your drink unattended
  • Look out for changes to your drink
  • Don’t drink from other people’s glasses

Here’s what to do if you’ve been spiked

If you’re worried you’ve been spiked, it’s important that you take the following steps:

  • Let someone know

Firstly, if you suspect that you have been spiked you should let someone know that you trust that you have been spiked immediately.

  • Call 999

 If you’re worried you’re in danger and you have been spiked, you should always ring 999 as soon as possible. If you feel unwell, you should go to A&E (preferably ask a friend to take you), and tell the medical staff that you think your drink was spiked.

  • Report it

If you have been physically assaulted or robbed due to your drink being spiked, you should report it to the police.

  • Tell the bar you were spiked

 Finally, you should always let the bar where you have been spiked know what has happened. This can help them improve security and help your case by checking CCTV.

  • Stay calm

Any tpm learners concerned about this can find out more information at the link below or you can speak to a member of the safeguarding team at tpm.

More information on drink spiking on the Drinkaware website