Remember “The Hangover” movie about three guys, who woke up in Las Vegas after a party with no memory regarding the previous night’s events, their fourth friend unexplainably missing? The problem was caused by drink spiking. Do things like this happen in real life?
Scientists cast light on real situation with drink spiking
To spike a drink means to add drugs into someone’s drink without their consent.
Drink spiking may be done with the intent of stealing from the person, assaulting the victim or as a “joke”.
A group of scientists from South Carolina, USA, decided to conduct a survey in order to check if drink spiking was an actual problem among students. They analysed data of more than 6000 students from 3 universities, Science Daily reports.
The story of The Hangover movie is likely to have happened in real life with many people, the researchers discovered.
The researchers discovered:
- 462 students (7.8%) reported 539 cases where they did not know that their drinks were spiked.
- 83 respondents (1.4%) admitted that they placed drugs in drinks or know a person who did it. When asked about their motives, the students said their purpose was to have fun.
The survey also revealed the following dependence: girls became the victims of such jokes more often than guys. 21% of victims of drink spiking were males. The girls were more likely to suffer from a physical assault.
In most cases people spike drinks with the purpose of sexual assault or robbery.
It’s not the first research devoted to the problem. 2 previous studies that examined American college students found that 6-8.5% of students had their drinks spiked.
The results of the Australian researchers are even more dramatic: 25% of Australians aged 18-35 had experienced drink spiking.
Preventing drink spiking
People who are dating become more vulnerable to having their drinks spiked, as they meet a variety of people they hardly know. Going out to clubs and bars with large crowds of people is also a factor of risk.
The following basic rules can help to prevent drink spiking:
- Always keep an eye on your drink.
- If you lost the sight of it, get a new one.
- Do not accept drinks from strangers or people you don’t know well.
- Buy your own drinks and know what you are drinking.
- If you suspect that your drink has been tempered with, find a person on duty (manager, bouncer, barman, administrator, etc) and ask for help.
- If you are in an unknown environment with no friends accompanying you, it’s best to stay sober. This way you know if something is not right as soon as you feel light in your head and won’t confuse it with effects of alcohol.
Remember that drink spiking is illegal, no matter what is the intent. It’s prohibited to place drugs into another person’s beverages. People who do it without permission can be prosecuted and convicted.