There are currently increasing concerns regarding the number of people who are having their drinks spiked when out and about in the bars and clubs. Drink Spiking is a serious offence and can result in robbery, violence, and sexual assault. It is a premeditated act; a personal violation and criminal act that risks your safety.
Having a drink spiked be it with alcohol or another substance, makes someone very vulnerable and can lead to prosecution. If someone has been spiked with the intention of carrying out a rape or assault or robbery; this is viewed as a much more serious offence. Having sex with someone without their consent is always a crime – no matter what the circumstances are. Assault, rape, and robbery all carry additional sentences.
Drink spiking can be done to any drink; alcoholic or not. It is more dangerous if the person has already been drinking alcohol. It may be alcohol that is added to the drink, but it could be a drug that is specifically added to incapacitate. Often these crimes remain unreported due to embarrassment, so the true extent is hard to know.
Drinks may be spiked with more alcohol, an illegal drug such as ecstasy, LSD or ketamine, prescription drugs or a date rape drug. It can be a very frightening experience. The most common “date rape” drugs are rohypnol (roofies) and Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB). These are used to debilitate someone, so they are vulnerable to a sexual or physical assault. They don’t smell and are colourless, you are unlikely to spot them. They take affect within 15-30mins and can last several hours.
Symptoms of being spiked will differ dependant on the drug that has been used. However, this could make you drowsy, confused, unbalanced. It could also make you feel super confident and sociable, you could feel or be sick, have trouble seeing clearly and could pass out or be unconscious. If you or a friend suddenly start to feel more out of it than you should be then seek help.
One of the more serious consequences of being spiked is being physically or sexually assaulted. This is particularly if a date rape drug has been used as these can lead to amnesia, loss of memory.
If this happens be sure to tell someone. This is not your fault. You are the victim of a crime. You can let the police know or go to an emergency department at the hospital. Otherwise, the Rape Crisis helpline 0808 802 9999 (12–2.30pm and 7-9.30pm every day) is there to help you.