Police and nightclub authorities in the UK are cracking down on drinks being spiked by introducing a number of new tactics.
Random bag searches, safety patrols and testing of unattended drinks are to be introduced at University of St Andrews student venues after a surge in concern about drink spiking, with reported incidents in four university cities across Scotland, per the Guardian.
And with the return of nightclubs in Ireland this Bank Holiday weekend, there are concerns of potential incidents across the country.
The Gardai and the HSE have many tips and tricks for what you can do in the immediate aftermath and later on.
If you think your drink has been spiked, take action immediately. Your priority is to protect yourself from further harm.
Here’s what the advice from the professional experts are.
Tell somebody you can trust
The HSE say: “As you cannot be sure how your body will react to an unknown substance, you will need to get help from someone you trust.
“This could be:
- a friend or relative
- the manager of the place you’re in
- security staff
- the Gardaí
- a healthcare professional
Keep a hold of the drink
“If you still have some of the spiked drink left, keep hold of it if possible. It might be used as evidence. Give it to someone you trust until it can be given to the Gardaí.
Seek help if you feel unwell
Ask a friend to take you to the Emergency Department (ED) if you have symptoms such as:
- hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there)
When you arrive at the ED, you or your friend should tell the medical staff that you think your drink has been spiked.
If you haven’t got any symptoms, inform the Gardai that you believe your drink has been spiked.
Blood or urine test
Contact the Gardaí as soon as you can. You will need to have your blood or urine tested to confirm that your drink has been spiked. This test will help the Gardaí to investigate the crime.
Following a drink spiking incident, blood or urine samples will need to be taken as soon as possible.
Most drugs leave the body 12 to 72 hours after being taken. So it’s important that a blood or urine sample is tested as soon as possible.
For example, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) will be:
- undetectable in your blood within 6 to 8 hours
- undetectable in your urine within 12 to 18 hours
Arrange for someone you trust to take you home after:
- you have been to the ED
- the Gardaí have been c