Socialising is an important part of student life, and everyone should be able to enjoy going out with friends and feel safe doing so.
Unfortunately, this crime does take place and drinks spiked with drugs or alcohol can make a person vulnerable. Make sure you recognise the symptoms of drink spiking so that you can act quickly to help a victim of this crime, or follow the steps below if you have been a spiked. 

If you or someone you know has had their drink spiked:

  1. Are you in immediate danger? If so, please call: Community Safety Team (On Campus): 02476522222,Emergency Services (Off Campus): 999
  2. Locate venue staff and let them know that you believe that your drink has been spiked. 
  3. Get a trusted friend or family member to come to where you are if possible. Walking or travelling alone if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below may be dangerous. 
  4. Do not accept help from strangers, unless they are official employees of a venue.
  5. Do not go on public transport, get in a taxi or walk home alone. If you are on campus, ring the Community Safety Team to help accompany you safely home. If you are in Leamington Spa, please make use of the Street Marshalls who can help accompany you home. They wear a red jacket approved by the Chief Constable, which is different to Police and PSCO uniforms. It features the CSAS badge and Partners’ logos. Each pair of street marshals carries one radio and one badge-cam between them. 
  6. Do not over drink water in a bid to 'flush' the substance away. Sometimes too much water can be equally as dangerous. 
  7. If you would like to report this to the police, it is important that you call 101 as soon as possible. This is the non-emergency number for the police. Substances can leave the body in as little as 12 hours.
  8. Ring either your GP or 111 for non-emergency medical advice. 
  9. Let the University know what has happened to you through the 'Speak to an Advisor' form on Report and Support. To speak to a Liaison Officer- no formal report will be automatically triggered. 

What is drink spiking? 

A person’s drink can be spiked to make them more vulnerable for a variety of reasons, including theft, sexual assault etc.

Because there are no official statistics it’s difficult to know the true extent of the crime. Often people don’t report drink spiking because they don’t remember details of the night or they feel embarrassed.

It can be a scary experience and it’s important to be able to recognise the signs your drink has been spiked or how to help someone you suspect has been a victim. 

What are date rape drugs and how can drinks be spiked with alcohol?

According to the NHS, alcohol is used more commonly than drugs to spike drinks. Shots of alcohol can be added to drinks to make them stronger. This causes someone to get drunk much quicker than expected.

Rohypnol (or Roofie) and Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) are the most commonly known ‘date-rape’ drugs. Both drugs can be used to commit physical and sexual assaults as they can sedate or incapacitate a victim, making them more vulnerable to attack.

Both are forms of drink spiking. Both are illegal.
 Spiking someone’s drink carries a maximum 10 year prison sentence! 

Recreational drugs like Ecstasy, Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), Ketamine and other ‘party-drugs’ are sometimes used to spike alcoholic drinks. Mixing alcohol and stimulants can be very dangerous and can cause serious problems, ranging from nausea to heart failure.  

What are the symptoms of drink spiking? 

The effects of drink spiking vary depending on what you’ve been spiked with. Your symptoms could include 
  • feeling drunk, woozy or drowsy
  • feeling “out of it” or drunker than expected
  • mental confusion
  • speech difficulties (such as slurring)
  • memory loss
  • loss of inhibitions
  • nausea and vomiting
  • breathing problems
  • muscle spasms or seizures
  • loss of consciousness
  • an unusually long hangover
  • a severe hangover when you had little or no alcohol to drink.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, Drinkaware medical advisor says, "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. If you start to feel strange or more drunk than you should be, then get help straight away."

Warwickshire Police Advice


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