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How to keep yourself safe on a night out

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It is now more important than ever to keep yourself safe while on a night out. With spiking allegations on the rise here is a few tips on how to stay safe when you are on a night out.

A study carried out by BBC Radio 5 Live Investigations in 2019 revealed that there was “more than 2,600 reports of drink-spiking incidents in England and Wales since 2015”.

Drinkaware, however, said: “because there are no official statistics, it’s difficult to know the true extent of the crime”.

While we should feel safe in bars and clubs, we cannot put our full trust in them to keep us, as individuals safe. While bars and clubs claim to have upped security measures there are still some things slipping through the net.

 There are many ways to prevent drink spiking, these include:

  • Only accept drinks from people you TRUST
  • Never leave your drink unattended
  • If you do leave your drink unattended DO NOT drink from it again.
  • Use preventatives such as the Nightcap to cover your glass or drink stoppers for bottles.
  • Get testing kits for your drinks that can detect certain drugs (these won’t always be 100 per cent and won’t pick up on all drugs. These also won’t pick up alcohol if you have been a victim of alcohol spiking.

However, no matter how careful you are you can still be spiked. When your drink has been spiked it will be hard to tell. Drinkaware’s medical advisor, Dr Sarah Jarvis said:

“if your drink has been spiked, it’s unlikely that you will see, smell or taste any difference. Most date rape drugs take effect within 15-30 minutes and symptoms usually last for several hours.”

Women have also now reported having fallen victim to the new spiking method which is when drugs are being injected into them when out instead.

If you or a friend think they have been spiked, you should:

  • Tell a bar manager, bouncer, or member of staff
  • Stay with friends
  • Call an ambulance if needed

Symptoms of spiking can include:

  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Unconsciousness

Symptoms of spiking can vary from person to person, many factors will cause these symptoms. Varying from the substances used, person’s size or weight and how much the person has already had to drink.

If you have been spiked, you should report it. Drink spiking is a serious crime. It is important to know that offenders can face a maximum of 10 years in prison if you are found spiking someone’s drink.

Drinkaware states that: “reporting suspected drink spiking to a venue and the police is one way to ensure enough steps are being taken to keep people safe.”

Anyone can be a victim of spiking. Of course, the real fear and shame in the recent spiking upraise, is that it is women who are expecting to step up and ‘stay safe’. But for now, next time you are on a night out take some of these preventative measures into consideration, if you or any of your friends don’t feel as safe.

Feature Image Credit: Claire Hannah Collins / Los Angeles Times

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