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What should you do if you think your drink has been spiked?

Police have warned partygoers to be vigilant during New Year celebrations

Written by
Faima Bakar

With New Year celebrations set to take place over the weekend, partygoers are being asked to remain vigilant in case of drink and needle spiking.

Over the past year, police have recorded nearly 5,000 cases of drink and needle spiking, where people unknowingly drink or are injected with a substance leaving them vulnerable to passing out and memory loss. Here are some things to be mindful of if you’re heading out to celebrate the New Year this weekend.

How do I know if my drink has been spiked?

According to the charity Drinkaware, the effects of drink spiking vary depending on what you’ve been spiked with. Your symptoms could include:

  • Lowered inhibitions

  • Loss of balance

  • Feeling sleepy

  • Visual problems

  • Confusion

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Unconsciousness

How common is drink spiking in the UK?

Every week there are reports about drink spiking incidents in the UK. In December, the Commons Home Affairs Committee quoted a YouGov poll which found that one in nine women and one in 17 men in the UK said they had been the victim of drink spiking.

What do people spike drinks with?

Shots of alcohol can be added to drinks to make them stronger, causing someone to get drunk much quicker than expected. Or sometimes a drink can be spiked with drugs that are specifically designed to incapacitate someone.

Rohypnol (or Roofie) and GHB are the most commonly known ‘date-rape’ drugs. Both drugs can be used to commit physical and sexual assaults.

Recreational drugs like Ecstasy, LSD, Ketamine and other ‘party drugs’ are sometimes used to spike alcoholic drinks.

Who should I tell when my drink has been spiked?

You should tell staff members at the venue and alert the police as soon as possible. Also make friends aware of your situation so you can be taken care of. 

How do I tell the police if I think my drink has been spiked?

You can report a crime involving spiked drinks or date-rape drugs online, or by calling on 101.

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