Drink Spiking: What you need to know

Birmingham is a city that almost never sleeps. Its vibrant and active nightlife allows students to enjoy themselves and socialise, whether that be in clubs, house parties, bars and restaurants. We want our UoB students to explore this dynamic city and have a good time but it’s always important that you and your friends take extra care on a night out.

Drink spiking is becoming more common and can affect both men and women. Here’s what you need to know about drink spiking, what symptoms to keep an eye out for, how to minimise risk and who to contact for help and support.

Students drinking 2

What is drink spiking?

Drink spiking means to put alcohol or drugs into someone's drink without their knowledge or permission. It is against the law, can occur anywhere and can lead to serious harm.

Symptoms of having your drink spiked

Different people have different experiences of how they felt when they had their drink spiked. Although you may not experience all symptoms, here are some you should look out for:

  • Feeling drowsy/dizzy
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slowed movements and control of limbs
  • Breathing problems
  • Loss of unconsciousness
  • Memory loss
  • Slurred vision and speech
  • Severe/unusual hangover
  • Not being able to think straight.

Birmingham at night

Tips to prevent risk of drink spiking

It is important to keep yourself and the people around you safe. Taking these precautions could help prevent crime:

  • Buy your own drinks and watch the bartender prepare your drink
  • Stay with friends/trusted companions
  • Don’t accept drinks from someone you don’t know or if you’re offered a drink by someone you don’t know well, go to the bar with them
  • Don’t leave your drink unattended and keep an eye on your friends' drinks
  • If you think your drink doesn’t taste right, don’t drink it. Immediately tell the manager/host.

What to do and where to go to for help and support

If you suspect you or someone else has had their drink spiked make sure you tell someone you trust such as a close friend, medical professional, venue staff or host. If you aren't with anyone, call someone you trust and get to a safe place. Ask to borrow someone’s phone if you can’t find yours. Only go home with someone you totally trust.

If you start to feel very sleepy, sick or have hallucinations, you should call an ambulance or head to the nearest A&E department immediately. Tell the medical staff that you think your drink has been spiked. You can also dial 111 if you need medical help or advice that isn't an emergency.

It’s important to report it to Security Services (0121 414 4444) and to the West Midlands Police (999 or 101) as soon as possible.

We are here to give you the support and advice you need - and to help you make an informed decision about what to do next.

Have fun, stay safe and always remember that if anything does happen, you are not alone. We are always here for you.


Professional Services