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Student Blog

Protect your drink from being spiked

mojitoIt’s a transition when you move to a big city from a smaller city where you know everyone. You’ve previously taken for granted that you don’t need to be particularly cautious about covering your drinks, because there are so many people who will look out for you.

It’s not necessarily naïvety because you know that it happens, the biggest transition is to go from thinking ‘yeah but it’ll never happen to me’, to either you or one of your friends not having a clue what happened the night before because someone has dropped something in one of your drinks.

This happened to a friend of mine in the Northern Quarter in Manchester when it was just her and I on a night out. The worst part for me was realising I had just thought she was drunk, I’d even got annoyed at her for being in such a state because she's no light-weight, but it didn’t occur to me that anything un-toward had happened. In hind sight I should have noticed that although we had drunk exactly the same amount all night, she was hammered and I was merely squiffy, but hind sight is wonderful thing.

I have a theory for how this unfortunate incident occurred, and it’s not an especially tricky one to deduce but proves that what we are told about people spiking drinks is very much true. The only time that our drinks were unattended was when my friend had gone to the bar, ordered the drinks and while our cocktails were being made she had got chatting to a friend of hers who was in a large group of people.

During this 10 or so minute period our drinks were finished and sat at the bar unattended for several minutes, plenty of time for someone in the throng of a large group to slip something into one of the drinks unnoticed. It was after we left this first bar that the effect of something else being ingested became apparent, and is the point from which my friend can’t remember anything else about the night.

Only the next morning when she started asking me questions about the second bar, and how we got there and where we went, did we realise something was wrong. Normally after a night out it’s the small details that get lost, like who said what to who and which person you text or called who you really shouldn’t have. Usually even a small prompt will bring all the embarrassment flooding back in one horrific swoop as you remember. The scary part about this was that she had no recollection of the night whatsoever after the first bar, she doesn’t even remember leaving it. We were lucky though, it could have been both our drinks that were spiked.

Top tips for preventing drinks being spiked

There are simple habits you can get into to avoid this happening to you and your friends to help keep you safe. Here are our top tips:

    1. Stick together

      When there are only two of you out, keep an eye on the other when you split to go to the bar, or better yet go to the bar together; this isn’t only relevant for two girls going out together but couples too, if someone wants to spike your drink they’re not going to look at who you’re with if you’re on your own at the bar.

    2. Cover your drink

      When you’re in a club get a bottle not a glass or cup so that you can put your thumb over the top, this is good for festivals when you’re rammed into a tent and knocking into people, if your drinks covered then you’re that much safer.

    3. Stay with your drink at all times

      Avoid leaving your drink with a stranger, the temptation is always there when you’re waiting to meet people to ask someone to watch your drink, or you really want to go for a cigarette and you can’t take your drink outside. It’s much safer to finish your drink and go outside, rather than leave it with someone you don’t know.

    4. Keep your eye on your drink

      Finally the most important rule: never leave you drink unattended. Even if you’re stood next to it but turning around to speak to someone, that counts and is enough time for someone to spike your drink. Pick up your drink and hold it, it’s harder for someone to get to it that way.

    5. Don't 'mine-sweep'!

      Whether on purpose or accident, always be aware of your own drink and never be tempted to take an unattended drink in a club! You may end up being a victim of drink spiking through a date-rape drug like Rohypnol.

So go out and have fun, but never take yours and your friends safety for granted.

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