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‘Spiking’ is when someone puts alcohol or drugs into another person’s drink or their body without their knowledge and/or consent.

The most common way that people are spiked is by someone adding alcohol to their non-alcoholic drink, or extra alcohol to their alcoholic one, without their knowledge and/or consent.

However, drugs (legal or illegal) can also be added to drinks or put in someone’s body in another way, such as:
  • Giving someone a drug but telling them it is a different dosage or a different drug altogether – for example, a drug that is commonly prescribed or sold as medicine.
  • Injecting it into them with a syringe.
Please know that these are just two examples of other ways that people might be spiked with drugs ­­– it is not a full list.

Someone can be spiked with any type of drug, including:

  • Illegal drugs that are commonly taken on nights out or at parties – for example, Ecstasy (also known as ‘MD’, ‘MDMA’, ‘Pills’, ‘Mandy’ or ‘Molly’), Ketamine, GBL or LSD. These are sometimes known as ‘party drugs’ or ‘club drugs’.
  • Drugs that have become known for their use by people who commit spiking in order to rape, sexually assault or sexually abuse someone – for example, Rohypnol, GHB or GBL. These are commonly known as ‘date rape drugs’. However, people often also take these drugs out of choice, including on nights out or at parties.
  • Prescription medicines, such as sedatives, tranquilisers and opiates – for example, Valium or Xanax.

The effect on the victim or survivor will depend on several factors:

  • What they were spiked with.
  • How much they were spiked with.
  • If they had already consumed alcohol or taken drugs and how much they consumed.
  • Their size and weight.
Symptoms of spiking include:
  • feeling or being sick
  • feeling ‘strange’ or drunker than expected
  • feeling confused or disorientated
  • feeling sleepy
  • blurred or slowed vision, or trouble seeing properly
  • loss of balance or coordination
  • having trouble communicating
  • having hallucinations
  • acting strangely or out of character

These symptoms might start to come into effect within 15 minutes, depending on what a person has been spiked with. Symptoms can last for several hours.



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