What is Drink Spiking?
Drink spiking is the act of adding drugs or alcohol to someone’s beverage (often alcoholic) without their permission. Most cases of drink spiking occur with the intention of sexual assault or robbery. Other reasons include kidnapping, anger toward the chosen victim or entertainment. Young women are the most common targets of this illegal crime, although approximately 11% of men are victims as well. Most cases of drink spiking occur in night clubs, bars and parties. Dizziness, blackouts, poor coordination and decreased inhibitions are just a few of the effects of drink spiking.
When someone’s drink is spiked due to alcohol or drugs, they often do not realize it until it is far too late and they are either unconscious or unable to communicate properly. Unfortunately, in many cases of drink spiking the victim does not even realize anything is wrong until the event has passed and they wake up uncomfortable and with memory loss. Most people who have their drinks spiked eventually blackout, which typically occurs in a few hours. A blackout can last up to 12 hours and is followed by memory loss.
What Drugs are used for Drink Spiking?
Types of drugs and alcohol involved in drink spiking include:
- Alcohol – Alcohol is perhaps the most popular drug used to spike drinks. People use alcohol in drink spiking either by adding it to a non-alcoholic beverage or by adding extra shots to an already alcoholic beverage. In some drink combinations, you may not even be able to taste added alcohol.
- GHB – This drug has effects similar to that of ecstasy and most often comes in the form of a liquid or powder. Its effects take place in 10 to 20 minutes. This drug can be very dangerous but becomes even more dangerous when added to alcohol. Effects of GHB include inability to speak properly, poor motor coordination, sleepiness, amnesia, hallucinations and short-term comas. GHB is odorless and colorless, although it may have a slightly salty or bitter taste to it.
- Ketamine – Ketamine is meant to be used among veterinarians as an anaesthetic for animals. It most often comes in liquid form and it typically injected. Use of this drug creates an out of body experience which becomes more extreme the more you take of the drug. The name of this effect is a “K-hole”. Boredom, nausea, confusion, amnesia and vision problems are other effects of ketamine. This depressant’s effects take place in about 5 to 20 minutes.
- Rohypnol – This drug is a popular drug of choice for drink spiking and most often comes in pill form This depressant is similar to the drug valium, but much more potent. Effects of this drug include slurred speech, inability to concentrate, poor coordination, dizzy feelings, lack of inhibition, nausea and amnesia. It takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes to feel the effects of this drug. In more recent years, a blue dye has been added to this drug as a way of preventing drink spiking. This dye however cannot be seen in dark colored beverages or bottles.
Additional categories (which may include drugs already mentioned) and types of drugs include:
- Muscle relaxants
What are the Effects of Drink Spiking?
The effects of drink spiking differ for each person. Reactions differ based on a person’s age, sex, size and on what type of drug or alcoholic beverage was given. Common effects include:
- Decreased inhibitions
- Inability to protect ones’ self
- Memory loss
- Nausea, vomiting
- Muscle spasms
- Poor coordination
- Euphoric feelings
- Respiratory complications
- Slurring of speech
Some people who have been affected by drink spiking feel as if they have had more alcohol than they actually did or sense that they have had sex but do not remember it. Other people wake up feeling almost hung over and have no memory of certain periods of time. Severe cases can lead to anxiety and potential trauma treatment.