Drink spiking can happen in any situation, at home or on a night out.
Like with much of the dialogue around violence prevention, the onus seems to be on the victim. Ensuring all venues and social spaces are safe from assault and harassment such as drink spiking is a collective responsibility.
All venues that are licensed to sell alcohol have a legal duty for public safety and the prevention of crime and disorder on their premises, and this is monitored by their local authority. These licenses to sell alcohol usually include conditions to ensure venues have appropriate security and staff training in place. Some venues give out drink stoppers for the top of your bottle to prevent someone dropping something in your drink.
As individuals there are things we all can do to help avoid being a victim of drink spiking.
- Plan your night out, including your journey there and back
- Make sure your mobile phone has plenty of charge in it before you leave home and keep your mobile safe
- Make sure the venue you are going to is licensed – venues are required to take steps to ensure the safety of their customers
- Stick together with friends, and look out for each other
- Watch your and your friends’ drinks being served
- Don’t accept a drink from someone you don’t know
- Use an anti-drink spiking device, such as a Spikey or lid cover
- Never leave your drink unattended, whether it’s alcoholic or not- keep them in your hand or in sight
- Do not accept drinks from anyone that you don’t know
- If you are unsure about your drink, don’t drink it
- Don't drink or taste anyone else's drink
- Stay aware of what’s going on around you and keep away from situations you don’t feel comfortable with
- Think very carefully about whether you should leave a pub, club, or party with someone you’ve just met
- Be aware of your alcohol intake, you can use UK low risk drinking guidelines for help with this.
While personal safety is always important and to be encouraged, if someone is assaulted or spiked, they are not to blame. It doesn’t matter where they were or how much they had to drink. It is never acceptable to spike someone’s drink or inject someone with an unknown substance. The only person to blame is the person who has done the spiking.