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Keeping safe from spiking this freshers week

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Exeter chapter.

With cases of spiking on the rise, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself and your friends on nights out this freshers’ week. Although it’s difficult to prevent, here are some things you can be aware of on nights out while still having fun with friends.

Don’t take drinks if you didn’t see them poured

Of course, it’s fresher’s week. You’re living in a new city, surrounded by new people. By all means, if someone offers to buy you a drink feel free to accept it, but as a general rule, if you didn’t see it poured, don’t take it. Be sure to head up to the bar with them and keep it in sight from when it’s served to when it’s in your hand. Never leave your drink unattended, and some venues even give away drink stoppers to put over your drink which makes it easier to control, so always be sure to check.

Learn how to spot a spiked drink

Although there is no definitive way to tell if a drink has been spiked, there are a few things you can look for. If it appears cloudy, changes colour, has specks on the ice or has a change to the taste then it’s best to avoid, if in doubt, be safe and don’t drink it if you’re unsure.

keep an eye on your friends

Quite often, spiking is difficult to recognise before it is too late, so it’s important to recognise the symptoms of drink spiking on a victim before it’s too late. The symptoms of drink spiking can include nausea, confusion, dizziness, sleepiness, visual problems, unconsciousness, and loss of balance. The symptoms can be similar to those of being drunk, so it can be difficult to distinguish between them. Therefore it’s important to notice if anyone seems different or far too drunk for the amount they’ve had.

What to do if you suspect someone has been spiked

If you suspect that someone has been spiked, be sure to tell someone, a bar manager or bouncer ideally. Make sure you stay with them, keep talking to them and don’t let them leave with anyone you don’t trust. If the symptoms keep getting worse, call an ambulance.

Don’t let worry take over, just be sure to have these things in the back of your mind. The saying is a cliché but it’s true, safety in numbers. Be sure to stick together so no one is left alone at all.

For more information on spotting the symptoms and helping someone who you suspect has been spiked, check out the drinkaware website.

Hey, I’m Anna. I’m a third year English student at the university of Exeter!