Drink spiking symptoms shared ahead of New Years Eve as police issue warning

New Year's Eve revellers have been issued with a list of drink spiking symptoms to look out for ahead of the big night on Saturday.

Independent alcohol education charity Drinkaware have compiled the warning signs on the back of the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) revealing that almost 5,000 needle and drink spiking incidents were reported in the UK during the 12 months from September 2021 to September 2022, reports the Liverpool Echo.

The Drinkaware symptoms, which can vary depending on what the drink has been spiked with, are listed as:

  • Lowered inhibitions

  • Loss of balance

  • Feeling sleepy

  • Visual problems

  • Confusion

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Unconsciousness

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Earlier this year, the Liverpool Echo reported on four friends who claimed to have been spiked after collapsing whilst on a night out in the city.

The recent figures from the NPCC show that 2,581 cases of needle spiking were reported, 2,131 cases of drink spiking were reported and 212 of other spiking through food, cigarettes etc.

Deputy Chief Constable Maggie Blyth, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Violence Against Women and Girls, said: "Behind each of these reports is a frightened victim whose night out has turned into a nightmare. I know from talking to victims of spiking how utterly terrifying it can be.

"Police forces have increased action against spiking with uniformed and covert operations in bars and clubs, working alongside venues to prevent and investigate spiking. Spiking is a complex and challenging offence to investigate.

"Drugs pass through the system quickly and there is often limited evidence to identify offenders, which means it’s not easy to get these cases to court.

"In order to have the best chance of identifying drugs and bringing offenders to justice, our message to anyone who thinks they have been spiked is to report early and be tested by the police.

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"Don’t let the fact that you might have knowingly taken illegal drugs, stop you from reporting. It’s really important that if you do think you have been spiked, and you have taken drugs, that you let the officer know so that they have the full picture.”

The NPCC's advice if you think you have been spiked is: "Call 999 or 101 to report it to the police. If you are out in a bar or club, you can report to a member of staff, who will be able to help and support you.

"If you are injured or have symptoms you are worried about after being spiked, call NHS 111. If you think you’ve been sexually assaulted, you can go to your nearest sexual assault referral centre (SARC) for specialist care and support.

"At a SARC you can receive a medical or forensic examination (whether or not you decide to report to the police). If you’ve been affected by crime and you need confidential support or information, you can also call Victim Support on 08 08 16 89 111."


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