Staying Safe: A Guide On How To Be Safe With Alcohol

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Making mindful decisions when it comes to alcohol can be trickier than it looks, and staying safe is crucial. Over the decades drink spiking has sadly become more prevalent.

What is Drink Spiking?

Drink spiking is when a person adds a drug, known as a “date rape drug”, to another person’s drink without their knowledge or consent. The main reason in today’s society for drink spiking is the intention of sexually assaulting a victim or stealing their personal belongings. Other times it can be done to embarrass a victim. Date rape drugs that are often used include Ketamine, Rohypnol, and GHB.

Symptoms of Drink Spiking

When a victim’s drink has been spiked a variety of symptoms can occur based on what drug they were spiked with and how their body could react to it. Symptoms usually kick in within 30 minutes and can last up to 7 hours of digestion. When date rape drugs mix with alcohol they create a severe anesthetic result, making the symptoms more severe. The symptoms of drink spiking can often be confused with the effects of consuming alcohol, making it even harder to distinguish when a victim has been spiked.

Symptoms include:

  • Loss of balance
  • Slurring words
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision/trouble seeing
  • Disoriented and confused
  • Blackouts/memory loss
  • Unconsciousness
  • Temporary loss of body sensation 
  • Drowsiness or light-headedness
  • Hallucinations
  • Difficulty concentrating or speaking
  • Difficulty with being able to move

How to tell if a drink has been spiked before consumption

  • Foggy appearance to the drink
  • Excessive bubbles
  • Sinking ice
  • Change in color

How to help a friend who you think has been spiked

  • Stay with them and keep talking to them
  • Tell a member of the bar staff
  • Call an ambulance and report to the police

How to prevent a drink from being spiked

  • Always have the drink covered
  • Never leave a drink unattended
  • Do not accept a drink from a stranger
  • Lookout and be cautious if there are visible alters to your drink
  • Do not share a drink with others