If you or a friend start to feel strange, confused, or more drunk than you should be, get help straight away. If you think you or someone else has been spiked, you should:
- Speak to the staff in the venue (in Union venues, the Customer Safety Team) as soon as possible. Don’t leave the venue and try to go home as you might need medical attention and it’s best to stay with first aiders where you are safe.
- Contact Student Services. You can do this during week days by phoning or emailing the Advice and Support Centre, or on evenings, overnight and weekends by calling the Security and Response Team who will put you in touch with Student Services. Student Services can provide testing strips for drinks and urine, which may be helpful if the incident occurred in the past few hours. More information on support provided can be found on the drink spiking support page.
- If possible, keep the drink you think has been spiked. We can offer testing strips to test it for some drugs.
- If you’re at an event like a house party or you begin to feel unwell on your way home, you should stay in a safe place and call 999. If you’re outside, try to get to a safe place if you can, like the Union or a nearby hall.
- If you think someone else has been spiked stay with them and seek help. Don't let them leave with someone they don't know or trust. Encourage them not to take any more drugs (including alcohol).
- If it is later or the next day, make sure you keep you or your friend safe from any potential ongoing effects of the drug, like avoiding driving a car or operating machinery.
- Most drugs leave the body within 12-72 hours so it is important to seek medical attention and get tested as soon as possible. If you make a submission to the Police, they may ask for blood and urine samples but you can take a trusted friend with you for support.
- If you think you or someone else has been spiked by a needle:
- Encourage the wound to bleed if possible, ideally by holding it under running water.
- Wash the wound with running water and plenty of soap. Do not scrub or suck the wound.
- Dry the wound and cover it with a waterproof plaster or dressing.
There’s a small risk of infection from needle sticks so you may need further medical treatment or testing, like post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) or antibiotic treatment. If you haven’t already sought emergency medical attention, call 111 or speak to your GP as soon as possible for advice.
Testing for spiking isn't always effective, as often tests only identify certain substances, so if you have been spiked with a different drug, it may not show up on a test result. It's important to note too that the majority of spiking incidents are where someone adds more alcohol to your drink than you agreed to, and there is no test that can identify if you have been given additional alcohol. Regardless of if you are tested or not, if you feel something is not right, trust your body and get to a safe place.
Drink spiking support
Drink spiking support
Refs. https://www.yourunion.net/support/safety/spiking/ and https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/advice/staying-safe-while-drinking/drink-spiking-and-date-rape-drugs