Only females are victims of drink spiking
FICTION - In 2003 12% of victims were male, thats 772 attacks out of 6,650 were reported to have occurred with men being the unfortunate victims. Why should it not happen to men if it happens to women?
Drink spiking only happens at clubs
FICTION - Statistics released by the Roofie Foundation show that although clubs/pubs were the most common places to get drugged, private parties, business premises and private houses followed closely. There were even reports of people being drugged on aeroplanes and ferries - so that just proves it can happen anywhere!
Anybody can spike a drink
FACT - This is sooo true! Anbody can spike anyone else's drink. Here are a few links that may prove this point!
Any sort of drink can be spiked
FACT - Whether the drinks are alcholoic or not it doesn't matter. Tea, coffee and soft drinks have all been spiked before so it can happen again.
If your drink seems topped up, to taste funny or has changed colour then dont drink it - it may have been drugged.
Alcohol is the most popular substance used to spike drinks
FACT - It's true, alcohol is the most common substance. Even adding one shot of alcohol has the potential to alter someones mind leaving then vunerable and open for attack.
Are liquid ecstasy and the date-rape drug the same?
FICTION - Liquid Ecstasy is GHB and the Date-Rape Drug is Rohypnol, they are two different drugs.
You always end up unconscious and can die from the drugs used
FACT and FICTION - You can be rendered unconscious and can die due to heart failure, respiratiory failure, slipping into a coma but it really does depend on the drug used and the quantity administered. For example Ketamine when mixed with alcohol can be lethal. If an attack is going to happen it will usually happen before you slip into unconscious as inhibitions are reduced then.
When people have been drugged with Rohypnol and are attacked they often know whats going on but just cant stop it
FACT - Rohypnol will stop you being able to conduct yourself so therefore you wont be able to stop someone attacking you - even though you know what they are doing. Also you will have difficulty remembering what happened after the event and when the drug has worn off. That's one of the scary things about Rohypnol.
Rohypnol always changes the colour of drinks now
FICTION - Only legal Rohypnol will change the colour of alcoholic drinks. Beer turns green, clear drinks turn blue and dark drinks turn cloudy. Illegal or counterfit Rohypnol doesn't change the colour of drinks. Illegal Rohypnol is still on sale on the street.
Drink spiking is when alcohol or another drug is added to your drink without you knowing.
What are the effects of drink spiking?
The effects of drink spiking depends on a number of things, including your size, weight and the amount or combination of the 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.
This results in you becoming drunk or drug affected unexpectedly. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks can be spiked, and it can happen at clubs, bars and at parties. Spiked drinks are also called a 'mickey finn' or being 'slipped a mickey'.
What drugs are used in spiking?
Alcohol is the most common drug used in drink spiking. It may be done either by having alcohol added to non-alcoholic drinks and adding shots of spirits to alcoholic drinks to make your drink much stronger than you think. Don't assume that you can always taste the alcohol in your drinks. If your drink is sweet or has strong flavours the taste of alcohol can be masked.
Depressant drugs, especially sedatives can be used to spike drinks. These drugs are usually used to relax the body or help people sleep. Combined with alcohol they can have very strong effects. This may result in you feeling very drunk and mean that you can't remember some or all events that took place after you were drugged.
The drug's effects can start within 15 to 30 minutes, and can last up to 8 hours or longer, depending on the amount used and how much alcohol you have drunk. Effects include feeling sleepy, dizzy or drowsy, loss of motor skills, muscle relaxation, slurred speech, memory loss, impaired judgment, loss of inhibition, loss of consciousness, visual problems and nausea.
Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) can cause amnesia, impair movement and speech, and can be added to drinks without visible trace. GHB is also known as 'fantasy', 'grievous bodily harm (GBH), liquid ecstasy and 'liquid E'. It comes as a colourless, odourless, bitter or salty-tasting liquid, or as a crystal powder. GHB has been used medically as a general anaesthetic and to treat sleep disorders. The effects of GHB include hallucinations, extreme drowsiness, vomiting, convulsions or seizures, and unconsciousness or abrupt short-term coma. GHB is a dangerous drug in itself. Mixed with alcohol, the harmful effects are stronger.
How to avoid drink spiking
- Don't accept drinks from strangers or leave drinks unattended. If someone offers you a drink, go to the bar with them
- Buy your own drinks and know what you are drinking
- Don't drink something you did not open, or see opened or poured
- If you're unsure about your drink, leave it
- If you feel dizzy or sick, ask someone you trust to take you to a safe place. If you are alone or can't find your friends tell the staff behind the bar
- Keep an eye on your friends. If someone collapses and is unconscious, call an ambulance immediately - but do not leave them alone
- If you're on a date with someone you don't know arrange for a friend to call you during the evening and / or pick you up. Meet in a public space. Arrange your own transport
How do I know if my drink has been spiked?
You might not be able to see, smell or taste if your drink has been spiked - the drug may be colourless, ordourless 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
What to do if you think your drink has been spiked?
If you think your drink has been spiked, tell a friend, the bar or security staff, or the police. Your doctor can test for the presence of traces of certain drugs through urine or blood tests within 24 hours.
If you think that you have been assaulted or raped, it's important you tell a friend or family member, and go to a doctor or hospital.