Adding drugs or excess quantities of alcohol to someone’s drink, known in the UK as ‘spiking’, is a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Why do people spike drinks?
A person’s drink can be spiked to make them more vulnerable for a variety of motives, including theft or sexual assault.
How do people spike drinks?
Shots of alcohol can be added to drinks to make them stronger, causing someone to get drunk much quicker than expected. Or sometimes a drink can be spiked with drugs that are specifically designed to incapacitate someone.
Date Rape and Spiking
The most common reason for spiking is ‘Date rape’ A date rape drug is administered and incapacitates another person and renders that person vulnerable to a sexual assault, including rape.
Date rape drugs
The most common date rape drugs are ‘GHB’ and ‘Rohypnol’ both are medicines that when administered in a drink will sedate or incapacitate a victim and leave them vulnerable. They are odourless, colourless and tasteless, typically symptoms appear after 15-30 minutes ‘Party’ Drugs
Spiking with ’party drugs’ like: Ecstasy, LSD and ketamine is less common but still prevalent and similarly leaves the victim in a compromised state and vulnerable to attack.
Prevention of spiking
Spiking can be mitigated against with ‘Spikeys’ or ‘Alcotops’,
brightly coloured plastic stoppers and lids that prevent substances being put into bottles and glasses.
However, the best advice is to not leave your drink unattended. Keep an eye on it at all times and do not accept drinks that you yourself have not seen poured or opened.
Recognizing the signs of spiking:
Mixing alcohol and drugs can be very dangerous and can cause serious medical problems, ranging from nausea to coma. The effects of drink spiking vary depending on what the victim has been spiked with, how much alcohol they have consumed, their size and weight and other factors.
Symptoms of spiking could include:
Lowered inhibitions Loss of balance Feeling sleepy Visual problems Confusion Nausea Vomiting Unconsciousness.