14 Jun 2023
As we come to the end of term, there are lots of opportunities to celebrate, spend time with friends, and meet new people.
For some, this may include alcohol, and for others not! In this blog, we share some tips on how you can keep yourself and your friends safe during this period of June events, May Balls, garden parties and get-togethers.
Content note: in this blog, we talk about drink spiking and some of the potential motives behind it.
What is spiking?
When it comes to spiking, whether we drink alcohol or not, our drink can be spiked. Though women are disproportionately affected, a person of any gender can have their drink spiked, including men!
A person’s drink can be spiked to make them vulnerable to theft or sexual assault, for example. Spiking is when a substance is added to our drink without our knowledge. This can be:
- an extra shot of alcohol
- ‘date-rape’ drugs
- illegal drugs
- prescription drugs
What are the signs that your drink may have been spiked?
- Feeling drunk, woozy or drowsy
- Feeling “out of it” or drunker than expected
- Mental confusion
- Speech difficulties (such as slurring)
- Memory loss
- Loss of inhibitions
- Nausea and vomiting
- Breathing problems
What can you do to keep yourself safe?
- Never leave your drinks unattended, whether it’s alcoholic or not
- Always buy your own drink and watch it being poured
- Never accept drinks from strangers
- Do not go out alone and stay with your friends
- Look out for each other and if you see one of your friends struggling then get them home and stay to look after them
- Use drink covers when possible (there will be plenty of these at the June Event!)
How can you help a friend if you think their drink has been spiked?
- Tell a bar/event manager, bouncer or member of staff
- Stay with them and keep talking to them
- Call an ambulance if their condition deteriorates
- Don’t let them go home on their own
- Don’t let them leave with someone you don’t know or trust
- Don’t let them drink more alcohol – this could lead to more serious problems
- Report the incident to the police by calling 999 or 101
Download the TASA anti-spiking app which:
- allows you to send emergency messages to friends
- provides information on how to protect yourself
- allows you to report if you have been spiked
- Informs you of the location of nearest police station and hospital
In next week’s blog, we will provide tips for safe drinking, but in the meantime, please see below some of the tips shared by Trinity Hall students at our roadshow this week:
Your anti-spiking tips (from the flip-board)
- Don’t take unattended drinks
- Know the symptoms of spiking
- Always keep my drink with me/a friend
- Go to the Porters
- No drinks from random people
- You can buy drink-test strips on-line
- Keep my phone charged so I can reach my friends or get help if I need to
- Go out with friends
- Cover the top of your drink with your hand or a sticker
- Canned drinks (more covered)
- Call your friend to make sure they’re home safe / look out for your friends
- Make them afraid of me!
Tips for safer drinking
- Eat before and during the event!
- Drink water
- Have some alcohol-free drinks too
- Count your drinks!
- Don’t drink and cycle!
Some helpful resources:
- Tasa anti-spiking app
- Drinkaware information on drink spiking
- Drinkaware video on drink spiking
- Drinkaware – staying safe while drinking
If you would like to find out more about how to keep yourself safe from spiking or on how to drink as safely as possible, you can contact the Wellbeing Team at firstname.lastname@example.org