There are certain things that are worth knowing in case any of your friends ever find themselves in a difficult situation. In this section, we provide some tips on how you can help your friend if their drink has been spiked.
If your friend tells you that they feel strange, drunker than they expected to be, or suspect that their drink might have been spiked, try to not jump to conclusions as this might cause extra panic and stress for them.
You can still take some steps to keep them safe:
- Go to the bar staff and alert them. You can do this by asking for ‘Angela’. They will ask you about your situation and will call you and your friend a taxi or help you discreetly – without drawing attention to it.
- Prevent your friend from consuming more alcohol.
- Do not let them leave the venue alone or with someone you don’t know or trust.
- Get them to a safe space and keep them talking. Take care not to ask questions that might make the victim feel they are to blame for what has happened to them.
- Take note of the time and areas where you and your friend have been in the last 30 minutes. This will help in getting evidence from CCTV.
- If you can, take them to the nearest A&E department and tell the medical staff that you think they have been spiked.
- Stay with them until the drugs or alcohol have fully left their system. It’s likely that this will be the following day, but it is important to stay with them should they be unable to look after themselves in case their symptoms get worse.
- With their agreement, support them to report it to the police at the earliest opportunity. Call 999 (Emergency Services) or 01223 823333 (Campus Security, if on campus).
- Use the more specific language of ‘drugged’ or ‘poisoned’ rather than ‘spiked’ if the healthcare practitioner does not understand the term.
Things to be mindful of with regard to going to the police:
- After a spiking incident people are advised to have blood and urine samples taken by the police as soon as possible. Most drugs leave the body 12 to 72 hours after being taken.
- Make sure you wait until your friend is conscious and able to make the decision of getting their blood and urine samples tested. Consent matters here too.
- If you still have some of the spiked drink left, keep hold of it if possible. It might be used as evidence. Give it to someone you trust until it can be given to the police.
- The police are aware that memory can be affected by some of the drugs used to spike drinks, but they’ll need as much detail as possible to investigate the incident. That might involve asking the person whose drink was spiked to try and remember some of the below details:
- Do you know who spiked your drink?
- If you don’t know who spiked your drink, do you remember what they looked like, or any other details about them?
- What happened throughout the evening, and after your drink was spiked?
- Was anything taken from you?
- Were you physically attacked?