city

Drink spiking


Drink spiking is when alcohol or drugs are added to your drink without your knowledge

Drink spiking is when alcohol or drugs are added to your drink without your knowledge. Fortunately, it happens rarely but if you start to feel odd, drunk or sick after only a drink(s) when you don’t feel you could be intoxicated, there is a small chance that your drink could have been spiked.

Ways to prevent drink spiking:

  • Never leave your drink unattended and keep an eye on your friends' drinks.
  • Don't accept a drink (soft or alcoholic) from anyone you don't know or entirely trust; try to stay at the bar with someone buying you a drink so you are alert.
  • Avoid punch bowls or jugs of cocktails and only consume drinks that you saw opened/poured – use an alcotop on your bottles (which are available free to all students from the Community & Wellbeing team.
  • If you think your drink looks or tastes different or that it has been tampered with, leave it and tell a trusted friend immediately.
  • If you start to feel intoxicated after less alcohol than normal, tell a trusted friend and ask them to help you or keep an eye on you.
  • If you notice a friend is intoxicated after just 1-2 drinks, keep a close eye on them.
  • Remember just because you are not drinking alcohol you can still be affected.

If you think your drink has been spiked, you should act immediately. Most drugs take effect within 15-30 minutes.

  • Notify a member of staff if you are at a commercial, campus or Students’ Union venue
  • If you are with a trusted friend, ask them to take you to a place of safety and stay with you until the possible effects of the drug have worn off.
  • If you are alone, call a friend or family member and get to a safe place until they can collect you. Never leave with a stranger.
  • If you feel unwell, ask someone you trust to take you to the nearest A&E department. Tell the medical staff that you think your drink has been spiked.
  • Report it to the police as soon as you can. They will need to take blood and urine samples as soon as possible before the drugs leave your body and this is the only way to confirm a case of spiking.
  • Report any suspected cases of drink spiking on campus or locally to wellbeing@royalholloway.ac.uk 

We are happy to discuss these issues with students and if you have any concerns, or wish to seek general advice, please contact us at wellbeing@royalholloway.ac.uk