Drinking can seriously increase your vulnerability so it's important to be aware of what's going on around you. Just following these few tips on a night out can make a huge
difference to your well-being and ensure you have a good night.
Before a night out check that you have:
- A fully charged mobile phone
- Personal safety alarm.
The peak time for theft of mobiles belonging to people over 18s is between 10pm and 6am i.e. when you're out having fun and potentially drinking. Stay alert and if your mobile phone is
stolen call 08701 123 123 for help immobilising it.
Use cash machines wisely, in groups and in the day if possible. Put your card and cash away as quickly as possible and be aware of who's around you. Never write down your PIN.
Click here to take part in an alcohol quiz
Think while you drink
- Know your drink tolerance level and that of your friends. Don't leave your friends when they need you or you need them the most.
- Avoid confrontation. Its better - and safer - to walk away if you're being hassled or provoked.
- The more drunk you are the more susceptible you are to potential attackers. Get a taxi, catch the women's minibus, walk home in groups - whatever you do don't walk home alone.
- Don't go out on an empty stomach, you can guarantee on having a hefty hangover the next day if you do. On that note - drinking alternate alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic beverages can save
on pain the day after.
- If you are attacked, call 999 immediately. By attending the scene quickly, the police are more likely to catch your attackers, and possibly stop them from hurting others.
During the last few decades, there has been a rise in the number of drug rapes and drug related attacks, mainly taking place in pubs and clubs where the opportunity to spike drinks is readily available.
The two drugs most commonly used in drink spiking are:
- Rohypnol: this is a prescription only drug which renders the victim virtually paralysed within half an hour and leads to amnesia. It is odourless and colourless and therefore extremely
difficult to detect, although it sometimes leaves a residue in the drink.
- GHB: this has now been given a class C status and been made illegal. It is most often found in liquid form, colourless and odourless, and causes dizziness, confusion and memory loss.
Here are a few tips to make sure you stay safe:
- Spikies (which stop your drink getting spiked) are free behind all Union bars and are also available from the Welfare Officer.
- Think before you accept a drink from anyone - make sure you see it either poured or opened.
- Never leave a drink unattended. If you go to the toilet take your drink with you.
- If you return to a drink that has been moved, looks different, appears to have been topped up or tastes strange, abandon it. Don't take a risk, just buy another drink!
- Do not share or exchange drinks.
- Watch for signs that your drink may have been spiked - feeling light headed , excessively drunk, ill after only a few drinks. Let someone know and get to a place of safety.
- Be aware that drink spiking can occur for a number of reasons - in order to commit a mugging, a rape or other crime against an individual.
- Drinks do not have to be alcoholic to be spiked (tea, coffee, soft drinks can all be spiked).
- Avoid going to a pub or club alone. Look after your friends and they'll look after you.
Should you find yourself a victim of drink spiking, consider taking your case to the police. If the drink spiking turns into something worse such as theft or, even more frightening, rape or sexual assault,
again please alert the police.