Learn about the dangers of drink spiking with this overview focusing on the effects and potential motives for the practice.
Spiked Drink Meaning
Drink spiking is when a drug or alcohol is added to a drink without a persons’ knowledge. Substances are usually added to a drink by someone to cause a person to feel drowsy, confused, sedated and become unconscious. In many cases, the affected person will be unable to remember what happened to them when they were under the influence. This can be scary and distressing to the victim.
Drink spiking is illegal and severe punishments can apply to a person who performs this offense. It is also very dangerous as certain substances such as ketamine and GHB can react badly when taken in conjunction with alcohol. Death is a very real potential outcome of this terrible act.
How to Know if Your Drink Has Been Spiked
People are often unaware that their drink has been spiked until it is too late. They may begin to feel more drunk, light-headed, have difficulty focusing on things or following a conversation. The victim will become more intoxicated than they should be for the number of drinks consumed. Slurred words, loss on inhabitions, abnormal behaviour, vomiting, hallucinations and aggression could all be symptoms of drink spiking. Friends should always keep an eye on each other to make sure that they are safe and not the victim of drink spiking.
It is common for the person who has had their drink spiked to take themselves to the bathroom or outside and end up passing out. This is where it can become very dangerous. The offender may be watching what is going on and take advantage of the person being alone. They may even offer to take the person outside and help them feel better. But the sinister fact is that they want to be able to do things to them without other people seeing. Rape, sexual assault, robbery and battery can all occur with little resistance when someone is under the influence of these drugs or alcohol. They could even be convinced to go home with the offender or take more drugs.
Robbery is a common motive for drink spiking. In this case, the target may become friendly with the drink spiker, and believe they are going to a different location to continue the social interaction. Once outside of the establishment or in a different location, the victim becomes unaware of their surroundings or what is going on, and they are robbed and somtimes violently assaulted.
The term date rape is used to describe the situation where a person is sexually assaulted or raped by a person known to the victim. The offender is often a partner, a friend, a date or a workmate. The victim and the offender may be enjoying a social event together or on a date, and the offender forces himself on the victim and performs the act of violence without consent. This is made easier for the offender if they have spiked the victims drink. In many cases, the victim will be confused, scared and unsure of what has occurred when they were under the influence of the drugs. They are often not even aware that they have been raped until a while after it has occurred.
The most common reason a person may have their drink spiked is to enable the offender to sexually assault or rape the victim without their knowledge or resistance. Date rape drugs is a term used to describe the particular drugs that are used to spike a persons drink in this situation. GHB, tranquilizers and ketamine are the most commonly used drugs. These drugs can react dangerously with alcohol, particularly GHB. Date rape drugs can affect a person within a few minutes of being ingested. They are often unable to be detected in a drink and will affect the way that you behave, think and appear to others. In some cases, other people including close friends, may think you are very intoxicated and ignore the signs of drink spiking. They may think that the victim is wanting to go home with the offender.
Avoiding Drink Spiking
Drink spiking can occur anywhere at any time to anyone. However, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of it happening. Never accept drinks from strangers or leave a drink unattended. Finish the drink before going to the bathroom, or take it with you, even if on a date. Don’t drink from common drinks such as punch at a party, as they may already contain drugs. Always order one’s own drinks at a bar and watch the drink being poured. In some cases bar tenders could spike the drink. If a drink tastes strange, stop drinking it. If you begin to feel especially intoxicated, light headed, uncoordinated or have any other strange feelings, get help immediately.