How to Know if your Drink Has Been Spiked
Sadly, every year, many incidents are being reported of victims ingesting alcohol or other drugs against their consent. The crimes cannot always be apprehended, as they are usually perpetrated in seemingly non-threatening settings, such as summer parties, nightclubs, festivals, 'date nights', fraternity parties, etc.. Adding to that, there are some common misconceptions running, with regards to drink spiking, such as: drink spiking is always automatically related to sexual assault or having soft drinks instead of alcohol beverages, lessens the chances of having one's drink spiked.
In reality, drink spiking can have other motivations than sexual assault. It could be perpetrated to mug the victim or to play a simple college prank. Soft drinks can be spiked too, with either alcohol or other drugs. While the taste difference might not always be perceptible, how can we then prevent or/and protect ourselves from drink spiking? OneHowTo offers insights on how to know if your drink as been spiked.
Prevention - Better safe than sorry
To know if your drink has been spiked, it helps to previously do your research on the type of party you want to attend, like, who is hosting it? What is the location? What is the crowd like? As a rule of thumb, go to parties with friends or have always someone you can trust around or notify your entourage where you are going. And although none of this represents a strict risk free guarantee, an extra pair of eyes can be handy, especially if there's a drink spiking attempt.
Don't accept drinks directly from strangers. Be alert, if someone offers to buy you a drink and brings you a different drink than the one you requested. Go with them to the bar. Accept drinks only from closed beverage containers and when in doubt, avoid drinks served in wide bowls and at anyone's disposal, such as punches or sangrias.
Also, avoid leaving your drink unattended, and should you have doubts about the taste of your drink, stop drinking it.
When in doubt, seek help immediately
If you have doubts and you think you might have ingested some of the spiked drink, seek help and medical assistance, if applicable. The effects would usually depend on the type of drug, the quantity that has been ingested and the amount/variety of drinks you had. Most drugs take effect within 15-30 minutes. Some of the symptoms may be:
• Loss of inhibition
• Loss of balance or difficulties to speak or stay focused
• Nausea, vomiting
• Visual hallucinations or blackouts
• Confusion, seizures
If you pass out, you might unfortunately not be able to do prevent the aggression. Try to act as fast as you can, if you have the slightest uncertainty about your drink, leave the party. Have a designated driver or ask someone to call a taxi.
The signs indicating that there's been an aggression can be subtle, especially as the victim typically does not remember the accurate course of action. If you woke up in a strange place, with bruises, scratches, traces of semen or blood, or if your belongings are missing, your clothes are in disarray, you feel hungover and you don't remember consuming alcohol, you might have been a victim of drink spiking. You should immediately seek medical assistance and report the aggression to your local authorities. You may be asked to do a urine or blood test, do it as soon as possible to detect the drug still present in your body. It is also advised not to shower or change clothes right away, as you may carry evidence on the identity of the aggressor. Call a victim line and talk to an assigned advisor. If there's been a sexual assault, get tested and call a sexual assault crisis line.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to How to Know if your Drink Has Been Spiked, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.