Spiking: guidance on how to get support
Over the past few weeks, there has been a growing, national conversation about spiking. No one should experience this, but if it does happen to you, please know that there is help and support available. We have prepared this guidance as a central point of reference for what to do if it does happen to you or someone you are out with.
What to do immediately
Drinks can be spiked with drugs or alcohol. There have also been reports of a growing trend of spiking by injection. The effects can be unpredictable but are likely to be more serious if someone has also consumed alcohol, or other drugs.
If you or a friend start to feel strange or more drunk than you should be, get help straight away.
Alcohol education charity Drinkaware has some advice on what to do if you think a friend has been spiked:
- Tell a bar manager, bouncer or member of staff
- Stay with them and keep talking to them
- Call an ambulance if their condition deteriorates
- Don’t let them go home on their own
- Don’t let them leave with someone you don’t know or trust
- Don’t let them drink more alcohol – this could lead to more serious problems
What to do in the following days
Spiking is a serious crime. It is an even more serious offence if the person also has motives to commit further crime, after making someone vulnerable.
If you can, please report any suspected spiking incident to the venue and to the police. This is one way to ensure enough steps are being taken to keep people safe. If an incident occurred at a night that was promoted by the BSU, please also report it to them so that they can investigate.
You can disclose an incident that happened to you or to a friend, to us by completing our online disclosure form. You can make a disclosure with your name or anonymously. If you provide your details, the Disclosure team will get in touch to offer you appropriate wellbeing support.
Alternatively, you can speak to a trusted member of staff such as your Student Support and Guidance Tutor (SSGT) or your Personal Academic Tutor. They can help you complete the online disclosure form or contact the Disclosure Response Team on your behalf, if that’s what you want.
You can also access our university counselling service, for a safe space to talk with a trained practitioner.
No one should experience being spiked and should be able to enjoy themselves on a night out without worrying about their safety. Sadly, recent reports show that it can happen in any situation, at home or on a night out. It is important that everyone is equipped with the knowledge of how to protect themselves and look out for their friends.
There are a few things you can do to protect yourself:
- Never leave your drink unattended, whether it’s alcoholic or not
- Don’t accept a drink from someone you don’t know
- Be aware of your personal limits when drinking
- Stick together with friends, and look out for each other
Brighton Students’ Union (BSU)
Events promoted with the official BSU logo mean that the night has been designed for you at venues that have agreed to a high level of customer service and care. BSU works closely with venues to ensure that they:
- Maintain a safe space for all, with appropriately trained staff
- Have a zero tolerance for discrimination
- Take immediate action to reports of spiking or harassment
- Commit to communicate any issues to BSU to investigate
All affiliated events also benefit from onsite presence of BSU staff, who are available to offer support, should an incident occur. Due to the national conversation about spiking, BSU are also taking some additional steps to help ensure nights out are a safe space for everyone. You can stay up to date by following them on Twitter.