• alcohol, including putting alcohol or more alcohol into a drink without a person’s consent
• a range of different prescription drugs (such as sleeping tablets)
• illegal drugs (such as cocaine, GHB or ketamine)
Drink spiking is the most common form of spiking, but other items including food and cigarettes can also be spiked. Needle spiking also became a serious concern in the latter months of 2021.
Anyone can be a victim of spiking and it is not always connected to sexual assault. Alcohol is the most common method of drink spiking.
Spiking someone’s drink is a crime. The responsibility and fault is always with the person spiking a drink. It is never your fault if your drink has been spiked.
Early police reporting will help preserve additional evidence, such as by securing drinks, downloading CCTV, or taking witness details. It is the victim’s right to receive a crime number and details of the police officer who is investigating the crime. Ask for this information if it is not offered.
Although medical help should be the priority, it is the police, not healthcare providers, who usually conduct testing for spiking incidents. Police testing is done by taking a non-invasive urine sample. Some drugs leave the body in a very short time (within 12 hours), so it is important to test as soon as possible. Other drugs remain in the body longer, so testing will still be considered up to five days after the incident (increasing to seven for some drugs).
Did you know… the most common way to spike someone’s drink is by adding alcohol to a non-alcoholic drink or adding extra to an alcoholic drink. However certain drugs can also be used - these are added to alcohol and act as a powerful sedative.
- There are excessive bubbles
- It is cloudy
- It tastes strange or different (especially if it’s unusually bitter or salty, don’t finish it)
- The colour has changed (if it’s lighter, darker or even blue, pour it out immediately)
- It looks like it has been mixed
- The ice sinks
Symptoms usually take effect within 15-30 minutes, lasting for several hours. Short term impacts can vary depending on the spiking substance. However if you, or one of your friends, has any of the following symptoms, you/they might have been spiked:
- Feeling that any drinks consumed have had more of an effect than they should have
- Feeling dizzy, faint or confused
- Passing out, nausea or vomiting
- Feeling sleepy or unwell
- Impaired vision or speech
- Memory loss
- Feeling emotional and tearful
- Changes in heart rate
- Loss of bladder control
- Feel a sharp or sudden pain (check the affected area for an injection site.