How to avoid drink-spiking

Simon West
Monday, January 4, 2010
Drink spiking
You hear the horror stories of drink-spiking via the news or by word of mouth, but surely such a sickening thing wouldn't happen to you, especially when you're out with your friends. Unfortunately, it's times like that when you're most in danger.

Drink-spiking is a growing problem worldwide and it's most likely to occur when you drop your guard. If you're out drinking at nightclubs, hotels, pubs or other venues where you're socialising with strangers, you need to be wary.

Whether it be with alcohol or another substance, if your drink is tampered with then you're at risk of becoming severely intoxicated or worse, this opening you up to robbery, unwanted sexual advances or worse — drug rape.

Remember, it only takes a flick of the wrist it drop a pill, powder or liquid into a drink, and most of the time you’re moving about in a noisy environment, so noticing any changes in a drink will be difficult. Most of the drugs used to spike drinks are odourless, colourless and have no smell, which makes noticing changes even harder.

So, how do you avoid having someone tamper with your drink? There are a few precautions you can take to prevent you being another victim.

1) Have your drink positioned in front of you (or in clear sight) when socialising in public environments.
2) Don't accept drinks from strangers.
3) Either buy your own drink, or watch it being prepared/opened.
4) At the first sign of illness or dizziness, ask a friend to sit with you.
5) Don't head off out-of-sight with strangers.
6) Always keep an eye on your friends.

How do you know if your drink or another's has been spiked?
1) Feeling inexplicably dizzy, faint or ill.
2) Feeling drunk if you’ve only had little to drink.
3) Passing out.
4) Waking up disorientated and with large blanks from the previous evening.

If you suspect your drink or a friend's drink has been spiked, you should always take action by heading to a doctor. A blood or urine test will be able to confirm that something suspicious has been dropped in your drink.

Precautions should always be taken when playing jokes on others too. Drink spiking is a serious crime, so even if you think you're having a little fun, the recipient may not see it that way. Drink-spiking can bring heavy punishment by the law and can also contribute to serious health issues.

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