There have been many alarming reports of drink spiking since clubs and pubs reopened across the UK. According to National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) statistics, 250 reports of drink spiking were reported in England and Wales, between September and November. The subject has been covered in both national media and widely across social media, with mostly young women and students reporting that they have been targeted.
So, how can we stay safe? Here’s my 5 tips to reduce your risk of drink spiking.
- Always buy your own drink and where possible watch as it is poured.
- Never leave your drink unattended while dancing or going to the toilet.
- Do not accept drinks from people you do not know.
- Immediately dispose of a drink if it tastes or smells odd.
- Avoid drinking or tasting anyone else’s drink.
With that in mind, if you suspect a friend has been spiked, here are the symptoms you should look out for:
- Lowered inhibitions
- Loss of balance
- Trouble with vision
If you notice any of these symptoms, here’s how you can seek help immediately:
- Tell a bar 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 the venue with someone you don’t know or trust.
- Try and prevent them drinking more alcohol as this could lead to more serious problems.
The police also has 218 reports of needle assaults and injections since September. If you’ve been injected, or find yourself with a needle injury, follow this advice from the NHS:
- Encourage the wound to bleed, ideally by holding it under running water.
- Wash the wound using running water and plenty of soap.
- Do not scrub the wound while you’re washing it.
- Do not suck the wound.
- Dry the wound and cover it with a waterproof plaster or dressing.
- Seek urgent medical advice as you may need treatment to reduce the risk of getting an infection.
Otherwise call your GP, NHS 111 or go to the nearest Accident and Emergency (A&E) department.
Find out what the Roehampton Students’ Union are doing to improve the safety of our community.