What is drink spiking?

"Spiking" refers to the practice of administering a substance to a person without their knowledge or consent. "Drink spiking" involves adding alcohol or drugs to a person’s drink with the intention of intoxicating them. 

Between September 2021 and September 2022 nearly 5,000 cases of spiking incidents had been reported to forces across England and Wales.

Below, we have provided some advice on how to keep you and your friends safe on a night out and what to do if you believe you or someone else has been spiked. 



  1. Keep safe by staying together when you're out with friends

  2. Pace yourself. Keep an eye on how much you and your friends are drinking

  3. Many bars and nightclubs (and many universities) offer bottle ‘bungs’ like a cork which can prevent drinks being spiked – ask for one

  4. Don’t accept drinks from strangers, especially after you have had a few drinks

  5. If you think you or a friend has been spiked, make sure to alert bar or event staff and the police, including reporting any suspicious behaviour. If you or your friend feel unwell or you have concerns, call 999 and get medical help, especially if there is a loss of consciousness, breathing difficulties, or abnormal or impaired sight

  6. If you have used recreational drugs or drunk a lot of alcohol, it’s important to tell your friends what you have taken and when and get medical help from event staff if you need it

  7. Plan your route home—book taxis or download a rideshare app if trains or buses are not running

  8. Most of all, look out for each other so you can end the night safely

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