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Alcohol and Drink Spiking

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The dangers of leaving your drink unattented at a bar or club are continually increasing. Mind-altering substances, such as drugs or alcohol can be easily added to your drink without you knowing.

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      14.05.2012 12:16
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      Keep yourself safe.

      As someone who has had their drink spiked, I felt I should share my story with you all.

      When your drink is spiked a substance has been added to it without your consent. This can be alcohol, prescription drugs or illicit drugs. The reasons for spiking drinks can be to rape, assault, steal from or just for amusement.

      Drink spiking, like many things in life, has many myths and stereotypes surrounding it. It is not something that just happens to women or binge drinkers. Sure, the more you drink in social situations does increase your chances of it happening to you but it just takes one evening in the wrong company regardless if you are male or female. There is a lot of focus on the issue towards women but men are at risk as well.

      The night it happened to me I wasn't even supposed to be going out. But at around 11pm I had my arm twisted into it and then only had a few drinks in the pub. My last drink of the evening was bought for me by someone that I had just been introduced to. I thought nothing of it and waited for him to come back and give me my drink. My friends had disappeared by this point and I was left alone with this man I had never met before. I felt instantly uneasy around him and had to get away (I didn't even make an excuse). I have never felt this uncomfortable with someone; there was just a darkness surrounding him. As I walked away I started to feel light headed and sought out my friends. I remember vaguely going downstairs to sit down but other than that everything else is a blur and influenced by what people have told me since.

      The next thing I remember is I am lying on the ground and I could hear people shouting around me. The music had stopped. I couldn't open my eyes, I couldn't shout or speak to the people who were shouting my name, I couldn't move any muscle in my body and I couldn't cry. I slipped out of consciousness again.

      I started to open my eyes, greeted with a green blur of the paramedics uniform and the sharp white of the ambulance interior. I was asked questions that I couldn't answer properly regarding my care and what had happened but I was too confused and out of it. I lay in A&E for a few hours before being seen to by a doctor who assumed that as a young woman on a night out that the reason I was lying there was due to either having had too much to drink or having taken something myself. Neither of which were true but she was adamant that this is the reason. I was sent home after she confirmed that I had enough power in my legs and without caring that I was unconscious for over 45mins.

      The next day I was completely spaced out. I lay on the couch in the living room while people came to visit me. I tried to interact with them but most of the time I couldn't concentrate. I can't remember much of that day; it is less clear that my interactions with the doctor.

      Once I started feeling less spaced out is when I started panicking about what could have been. Asking myself every 'what if' you could imagine. There were feelings of regret and depression but also quite thankful that nothing worse did happen.

      From the whole experience I am most thankful to those that ensured I was safe while unconscious and the police for not being judgmental and believing what I said.

      To avoid getting into the same situation as me, there are some things that you should do:

      * Never leave your drink unattended
      * Don't accept a drink from someone you don't know (as tempting as it is, I found out the hard way)
      * If you do accept a drink anyway, be suspicious if its something different to what you requested
      * If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, make your excuses and leave,
      * Ensure you know where your friends are.
      * If you start to feel light-headed find people you know and trust

      If your drink is spiked, the symptoms you experience will depend on the substance in your drink and some are a symptom of drinking too much. Some typical symptoms include:

      * feeling light headed/ loss of consciousness
      * memory loss/ black out
      * difficulty speaking
      * loss of balance
      * paranoia
      * loss of body sensation
      * hallucinations
      * blurred vision
      * nausea/ vomiting
      * confusion

      If you believe that your drink has been spiked there are some things you can do:

      * Make sure you have people that you trust around you - friends or bar staff.
      * Do not go outside alone for fresh air.
      * Seek medical help
      * Report the incident to the police.

      Drink spiking is an important issue to be aware of. It can happen to anyone, male or female and if you cannot get to safety can also have worse consequences. I learned the hard way that it is not just a case of not leaving your drink unattended but to refuse drinks from strangers and that if someone is making you feel uncomfortable you are safer to walk away and find someone you know and trust. While it can happen to anyone and it is important to stay alert, don't let the paranoia of it happening to you ruin a good night.

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        25.11.2009 20:43
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        ok, so as a victim myself, i find the people who feel they have the need to spike drinks disgustingly selfish!

        a few summers ago, a friend and i decided to go for a cheeky mid-week drink. once in our town, we chose a pub, headed inside and ordered our drinks. a couple of drinks later, we were approached by a few men working in our town. they sat with us, and we were having a nice converstation between us all. So, after a little while, we were both offered a drink...and like anyone, accepted, (which we both totally regret now).
        We drank our drink that was bought for us, and that was that...so we thought. This was my last memory of the night. I woke up in the nearby hospital, not knowing what the hell was going on...but soon i was told. My friend and i were found unconscious in the street, and taken by ambulance to the hospital....thats right...the drinks off the 'friendly men' had been spiked. Luckily, we both recovered and live to tell the tale. Yes, we were stupid enough to accept and drink the drinks, but thats not the point.

        Every night of the week, someone somewhere will experience this, I cannot help but feel hatred to the 'spikers'. I cannot understand how anyone can risk making someone seriously ill, or even worse kill someone just because they want to show them 'a good time'!!
        Since this happened to my friend and I, we have both learnt alot of things:
        1. NEVER accept a drink off someone you dont know
        2. NEVER leave your drink un-attended for any length of time....take them to the toilet, or (if you are a smoker like me) finish your drink before going out for a ciggarette.
        3. if you do leave your drink, DO NOT go back and drink it
        4. in a busy pub/club, always keep your hand over your glass, or thumb over your bottle.

        following just these few simple things to keep yourself out of danger are well worth it.
        I would never wish being a victim of this to my worst enemy.

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          22.10.2009 23:03
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          just have some street knowledge and youll be ok

          Sadly, the levels of alcohol and drink spiking has gone up due to the uprise in British binge drinking culture, and british young thing's interest in clubs, pubs and partying.

          Although it is great fun to go out, let your hair down and have a drink or two there are some dangers you should always be aware of!

          When buying a drink you should always carry it with you where ever you go. Having had this information pushed at me since I was a young teen, it is a second nature to never let my drink out of sight.
          I think that if you are particuarly vigilant anyway, you will be careful of your things. Coming from an area where pick pocketing is rife, I have always always never been able to let my handbag out of my sight. I simply can't walk around with my handbag unzipped and dont feel comfortable with it resting behind my body even. I am the same with my drink.

          Just keep your drink in front of you. That's all you have to do, you don't know who is around, what sleazy creep is going to slip something into your drink without you noticing. Its not over the top or paranoid to think in this way, your own saftey is at risk if you are a young woman, at a particuarly rougher night club, you are absolutely off your face and leaving your drink around so you can dance.
          I say young woman, though it has been repoted to have happened to emn too though usually females' drinks are spiked more often.
          You can buy bottle top protectors that you canjust leave over your bottle neck when you arent drinking.
          The best thing to do it to jsut keep your drink in hand, where you can see it, and if you are still worried then stick to bottle drinks like beer and alcopops which have a thinner neck, so you can take it with you without spilling it everywhere on the dancefloor, and there is less chace of it being drugged.
          The people that actually go out to slip drugs and rohypnol into unsuspecting girls' drinks are scum. They should be fought against at all costs and if you see any person doing that then report them to a bouncer immediately.
          But don't be so worried that you stay home. Going out and having a drink is a great way to let your hair down, just make sure you know yourself.

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