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Warning Signs a Drink was Spiked

When we are told to be careful with our drinks, people envision parties and bars, but the sad truth is that a drink can be tampered with in any location. Because of this mindset that has been drilled into us, that date rape drugs are dropped into drinks only at parties, you might not always be looking for the warning signs. What if you lose track of your drink for just a moment? What if you take your eyes off it for a second in a crowded area? The safest thing to do is to opt for a new one if you suspect something happened to your drink. So let's talk about some warning signs that your drink has been tampered with. 

A common misconception is that if your drink has been spiked the ice will sink to the bottom of the cup. This has been debunked, as a drink that has been spiked will still have floating ice. So what should you be on the lookout for? There are visual clues that your drink might have been tampered with; it has changed in color, the amount of carbonation- bubbling excessively, flecks or small crystals, or a foggy appearance. If the taste of your drink has changed, trust your taste buds! Most commonly your drink will taste saltier or more bitter if it has been spiked. 

There are a few inventions that have come about over the years that are aimed at protecting people from spiked drinks. The Nightcap is a scrunchie that contains a cloth lid for your drink inside it. It has a hole for a straw in the top, making it much harder for anyone to access your drink. The SipChip is a portable drug test with a 99.3% accuracy in detecting date rape drugs in about 30 seconds. Investing in something like this could ease anxieties about your drinks and possibly keep you safe in a worst case scenario. 

What do you do if you or someone you know ingests a spiked drink? First and foremost, never let someone who thinks they have consumed a drugged drink go home by themselves or with anyone else. If you are at a bar or other public setting, let a bartender, bouncer, or other venue host know what has happened. Seek medical help if someone experiences side effects such as dizziness, blurred vision, or loses consciousness. 

So to recap, avoid drinks that:

  • Have been left unattended 
  • Come from strangers 
  • Are bubbling excessively 
  • Change in color 
  • Have a foggy appearance 
  • Have flakes or crystals in them
  • Taste salty or bitter
Grayson Jarrell is a sophomore at Furman University majoring in Studio Art. She spends her free time painting, reading, writing, and riding a skateboard.
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