Incidents of drink spiking and drug assisted rape have risen rapidly in the UK over the last few years. Did you know:
- The attacks are made on men and women, in all age ranges and across all ethnic groups.
- There is no one drug used in attacks: Rohypnol, GHD, Ketamine and other sedatives are the most common. Mixed with Alcohol the effects are more pronounced and much more dangerous.
- Often the “drug” is simply a strong spirit mixed into beer or alcopops.
Spotting the Symptoms.
You can keep you and your friend’s safe by asking yourself these questions:
- Does the drink taste unusually salty or bitter?
- Are there any odd colours or textures?
- Do you feel as if you are losing control of yourself?
- Are you experiencing hallucinations or disorientation?
- Is your friend acting with less inhibition than usual?
- Is he or she displaying other unfamiliar traits – amnesia, aggression, lack of judgement, incoherence or drowsiness?
- Are they experiencing nausea or vomiting?
Remember - not all the above-mentioned symptoms need to be present, one or any combination may occur!
What to do if your drink has been spiked!
- Find someone you trust and tell them what you think has happened.
- Tell them you feel ill, if you need to, make yourself sick.
- If you can’t find a friend, make a scene!
- Never leave a venue on your own in case you pass out.
- Either you or a friend should contact the police and report the suspected incident.
Did you know?
Whilst this offense is mostly committed against women, it is believed that 11% of victims are male.
Drink spiking and the law
The Offences Against the persons Act of 1861 states drink spiking is: “unlawfully and maliciously administering a poison or noxious thing as to endanger life or inflict GBH”. And of course, the penalties if sexual assault, robbery or theft are involved are even higher.
What you can do to stay safe
- Plan your night out, including the journey there and back and make sure that someone knows where you are and what time you are expected home.
- When going to a pub, club or party avoid going alone. Friends can watch out for each other.
- If there is, a group of you appoint a nominated drinks – watcher, probably the same person who is the nominated driver.
- Remember, alcohol effects your actions and your reactions as well as your ability to be alert. The worse you are for drink the less likely you are to spot something suspicious.
- Stay aware of what is going on around you and keep away from situations that make you feel uncomfortable.
- Never accept a drink from anyone that you do not completely trust.
- If you do wish to accept a drink from someone make sure it is in a bottle and that the bottle is opened in front of you.
- Always drink from a bottle – it is far more difficult to spike a bottle than a glass.
- Never drink left over drinks, or drinks discarded by someone else.
- Don’t leave your drink unattended, when going onto the dance floor and especially when going to the toilet.
Last Updated: October 2023