Drink spiking and drug rape are on the increase. This section provides you with basic information on dink-spiking, tips on how to avoid it and also information on where to go for help.
What Is Drink Spiking?
Drink spiking is when alcohol or another drug is added to your drink without you knowing. The substance can be added to any drink including soft drinks, water or alcohol. This results in you becoming drunk or drug affected unexpectedly. It can happen at clubs, bars and at parties.
What Are The Effects of Drink Spiking?
The effects od drink spiking depend on a number of things, including your size, weight and the amount or combination of drugs used. You can become unconscious, not able to defend yourself, or remember what happened. People may spike your drink as a prank or with the intent of assaulting, robbing or sexually assaulting you.
How Do I Know If My Drink Has Been Spiked?
You might not be able to see, smeek or taste if your drink has been spiked. The drug may be colourless, odourless and may not affect the taste of your drink.
Warning signs include:
- Feeling dizzy or faint
- Feeling sick or sleepy
- Feeling intoxicated or confused even if you have only had a little alcohol to drink
- Passing out
- Waking up feeling uncomfortable and disorientated, with memory blanks about the night before
Some Tips To Avoid A Spiked Drink
- If someone wants to buy you a drink, go to the bar with him or her
- When you buy a drink watch the person behind the bar pour it
- If you have a bottle keep you thumb over the top
- If you have a glass, hold your hand over the top and keep and eye on it
- If you need to go somewhere without your drink, make sure you get someone you trust to watch it until you come back
- If you put your drink down or lose sight of it, don’t go back to it. It is very easy for someone to slip something into your drink
- If your drink tastes remotely strange don’t drink it
- Be careful who you go home with. Can you really trust them?
- If you are with a group of friends, look out for each other.
Even though you can do things to prevent your drink being spiked you may still be at risk, so try and go out with other people you trust. Make sure those people know your mobile or phone number and if someone goes missing, make sure you look for them, as they may be in a vulnerable position and unable to protect themselves.
If someone behaves out of character or seems really out of it, don’t assume they are drunk. Their drink may well have been spiked. Get them home or seek medical assistance immediately if required. Also, only let them leave with someone trustworthy.
What Should I Do I My Drink Has Been Spiked?
If you think you have consumed a drink that has been spiked, alert someone you trust like a friend. If you are out alone or can’t reach your friends, alert a staff member at the club or pub you are at. You should also get medical attention immediately and insist on providing urine and blood samples. If your drink has been spiked, the drugs don’t stay in your system for long, so give samples straight a way. If you feel you cannot speak to anyone initially, at least get a sample of your urine and store it in a clean sealable container in the fridge until you decide what you want to do.
What Services Are Offered If I Have Been Assaulted As A Result Of Drink Spiking?
If you have been physically or sexually assaulted as a result of drink spiking you can contact the Gardai just to get some advice or to make a report. If you don’t want to speak to the Gardai, you can contact your local sexual assault/rape crisis centre for support and advice.