THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK!

“The last thing I remember is finishing my drink”

Sadly we hear this all too often and unfortunately, instances of drink spiking are on the rise.

If you ask them, most people will know someone who has had their drink spiked or even have had their own experience.

Drink spiking

Drugs such as rohypnol (often referred to as the date rape drug), gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and ketamine are commonly used to spike drinks due to their anaesthetic like qualities when mixed with alcohol. Powder or tablets are dropped into the person’s drink when their glass or bottle is left unattended even for a second. It’s unlikely that anyone would see, taste or smell the substance.

Effects

Most drugs take effect within 15 – 30 minutes and symptoms usually last for several hours. Nausea, vomiting and disorientation are among the early signs that someone’s drink has been spiked often progressing to unconsciousness, memory loss and in rarer cases, coma and even death.

Penalty

The reasons for spiking someone’s drink also vary. Motives are often sinister, resulting in rape or assault. Often though, people will spike the drink of friends or strangers purely for amusement. Regardless of the reasons, spiking is a criminal offence which carries a maximum 10 year prison sentence. sp 1

Precautionary measures

“Spikeys” (http://www.spikey.co.uk/) are inexpensive and can be bought online. These are small plastic stoppers with a hole for a straw which are place in a bottle neck, making it next to impossible for anyone to put anything into the bottle.

 

CYD 4

 

CYD drink testing kits (http://www.checkyourdrink.co.uk/) are inexpensive and can also be bought online. The kit comprises of a small strip which has been treated to instantly detect the presence of drugs in a drink.

 

A small price to pay to avoid a night to remember becoming a night you can’t remember.

What to do

If you see someone spiking a drink, tell the owner of the drink and report it to staff. If someone shows any symptoms of being spiked, stay with them and tell a member of staff. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, an ambulance may have to be called.

If you think you have been spiked, tell someone immediately or if you’re alone, call someone you trust or dial 999.

If you have been raped or assaulted, contact the police, your GP surgery or hospital or contact Scottish Borders Rape Crisis on 01896 661 070 or 07584 149 391

And finally…

If you’ve been spiked, please report it. Spiking is not a victimless crime and sadly, most cases go unreported. Due to this there are few available statistics but highlighting the problem is the first step towards fighting it.

 

Further information/Useful links

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/abuse/Pages/drink-spiking.aspx

http://www.spikey.co.uk/

http://www.checkyourdrink.co.uk/

http://www.scotland.police.uk/whats-happening/campaigns/2015/student-safety-2015/

http://www.scottishbordersrapecrisis.org.uk/

K Glass

bcsamedia@borderscollege.ac.uk