Don't be a victim
Drink spiking occurs when drugs or alcohol is added to your drink without you knowing about it. This may affect your behaviour.
Symptoms of drink spiking include feeling drowsy, confused and finding it difficult to speak or move.
You may also feel more drunk than you should depending on how much you have consumed. You may not be able to remember what you have done.
If your drink has been spiked it's unlikely that you will be able to see, smell or taste any difference.
Drink spiking is illegal, whether or not an attack or assault has been carried out. It can result in a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison for anyone who is found guilty of doing it. If an assault, rape or robbery has also taken place, the sentence will be higher.
Prevent yourself from becoming a victim
The following steps may help:
- Never leave your drink unattended.
- Don't accept a drink from someone you don't know.
- Keep an eye on your friends' drinks.
- Stay away from situations that you don't feel comfortable with.
- Let someone know where you are and what time you expect to be home, especially if you're going on a date with someone you don't know.
- Don't give out too much information to someone you've just met, such as your address.
- It's important to remember that if you've already been drinking, it may make you less aware of any danger.
What should you do if you think that your drink has been spiked?
Tell someone you trust such as a friend or staff at the premises and get to a safe place. If you are alone, ask the pub landlord or bar manager to call a trusted friend for you.
Your trusted person should take you to the accident and emergency (A&E) department of your nearest hospital and tell the medical staff that you think your drink has been spiked.
Report it to the police as soon as you can. They will need to take blood and urine samples. Most drugs leave the body within 72 hours of being taken but some can be gone in 12 hours so it's important to be tested as soon as possible.
If you have been sexually assaulted, even if you are too upset to report it to the police immediately, you should try to seek medical assistance if you have been hurt or injured. Any forensic evidence obtained during tests can be stored.
For additional advice on staying safe on your night out plesae visit the 'Before your night out' page.