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Spiking Was the Story of 2021: How to Stay Safe

2021 was the year we became more aware of spiking. This is nothing new – it’s been around for decades. However, 2021 seemed to see a resurgence of the problem plus a new type of spiking – direct injection.


What is Spiking?

Drink spiking is adding other substances to a beverage. GHB, Rohypnol, and other sedatives may have a terrible effect on a person, far more common is alcohol spiking – spirits in a soft drink or beer making the drink stronger than the person drinking it assumes.

Symptoms of spiking includes (depending on what substance is used in the spiking): lower inhibitions, confusion, drunkenness, nausea – are all typical with alcohol spiking. Other symptoms when prescription or illegal drugs are used to spike may include vision problems, confusion, and even unconsciousness and memory loss.


What To Do If You Think You’ve Been Spiked

The first symptoms you’ll experience include a certain strangeness, nausea, and drunkenness way beyond what you might expect.

  •          Go to a trusted friend and tell them how you’re feeling
  •          Alternatively, speak to a manager at the venue. Do not go anywhere with someone you do not know
  •          You need to leave or find somewhere safe – always with the company you trust who should ensure that you get home safely. If you are seriously ill, you should consider phoning home to get someone to come and pick you up
  •          Ask for Angela: A new initiative, approach any member of a pub or club staff and ask to speak to “Angela.” This is a code used to denote that you need help, suspecting you have been spiked


What To Do Once Home

Ask someone to stay with you there the effects have passed. You may need medical treatment depending on what you were spiked with. This could be anything between a few hours and overnight.

That way, the person accompanying you can monitor your state and call for medical help if needed. It is also advisable to inform the police. They may wish to do a drugs test, even if alcohol was used in the spiking. This helps them determine what is going on and build a picture of whether this was a one-off or a widespread problem in that venue.


Please Remember It’s Not Your Fault

There are a lot of bad people out there. Some spike drinks purely because they think it’s funny. Others do it with far more sinister motives

Steps you can take while out include:

  •          Ensure your phone is fully charged your phone before you leave.
  •          Don’t leave your drink unattended. Ask the venue if they have drink covers
  •          Never take drinks from people you don’t know
  •          Download a personal safety app such as BSAFE and connect with others in your social circle. These apps use SOS buttons by which you can communicate with others on your network, alerting them to your distress