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Spiking information and support

Blurry image of people dancing in a club

Most of us will have seen the news coverage recently, bringing awareness to the issue of spiking on nights out. Find out more about spiking.

It should go without saying that the full responsibility for spiking is on the people who carry out these intolerable acts. It is never the fault of the person who has been spiked, whatever the situation, and it is not the responsibility of individuals to protect themselves.

However, we want to share some information with you that may help to keep yourself and others safe. We also want to make sure that you feel confident about what to do if you think someone has been spiked.

Steps you can take

Spiking can happen in any situation, at home or on a night out. However, there are a few things that can reduce the chances of experiencing spiking:

  • never leave your drink unattended
  • don’t accept a drink from someone you don’t know
  • avoid drinking too much by sticking to the UK low-risk drinking guidelines, and don’t mix alcohol with other substances
  • stick together with friends, and look out for each other

Looking out for each other

Signs of spiking could include lowered inhibitions, loss of balance, feeling sleepy, visual problems, confusion, nausea/vomiting or unconsciousness. If you or a friend start to feel strange or more drunk than you should be, then get help straight away.

If you think a friend has been spiked:

  • tell a bar manager, bouncer or member of staff
  • stay with them and keep talking to them
  • call an ambulance if their condition deteriorates
  • don’t let them go home on their own
  • don’t let them leave with someone you don’t know or trust
  • don’t let them drink more alcohol - this could lead to more serious problems

Spiking should always be taken very seriously. We remind all students that it is unacceptable to introduce any substance into someone else’s body without their consent, including adding alcohol to drinks.

Drink spiking is a serious crime and carries up to a 10-year prison sentence in the UK, and spiking with the intention of making someone more vulnerable to assault or rape is an even more serious offence.

What to do if you think someone has been spiked

If you think that someone has been spiked, you should, first of all, make sure that they are safe.

If you need emergency help, you can call 999 if you’re off campus or call Security on 01273 873333 if you’re on campus. If you need an ambulance, it is quickest for Security to call 999 and guide them to you.

There are several options in terms of reporting the incident:

  • tell the venue staff what has happened
  • you can report the incident to the police using their non-emergency number, 101. The police can provide urine/blood testing services if necessary.
  • you can make the University aware of what has happened by using the Report and Support tool, which allows you to make a report and access support from University services.
  • if you would prefer to access support from outside the University, you can contact Victim Support whether you reported the crime to the police or not, and no matter how long ago it happened.
  • you might prefer not to report it at all.

If you think you have been assaulted, you can find guidance on Report and Support.

See more from 1 November 2021