From the party veterans, to those with less experience going out, it’s easy to take your safety for granted since university feels like such a safe place.
Unfortunately, by being less cautious, it might leave you prone to getting spiked on your night out. Everyone needs to take personal ownership of their welfare, however we have also taken steps to prevent spiking in our venues during late-night events. Spikeys are now available for free at any of our bars, which functions to cover bottled drinks. There are simple habits you can get into to avoid spiking of any form to happen to you and your friends to help keep you safe. Here are our top tips:
If you order a bottled drink from the bar, make sure you always put your thumb over the top. This is especially helpful if you’re at the dance floor where the busy crowds are and people might knock into you. If you have a glass or cup, holding it with your palm over the top instead of against the side of the drink can make it harder for anyone to slip anything in.
Whether you’re going out as a dynamic duo or you’ve got your whole squad with you, make sure you look after each other. It’s better to go to the bar together than to go alone. This ensures that if anything happens, your friends can be there to make sure you get the necessary help. Remember, you can always ask any of our staff team for help if you suspect you have been spiked.
If you have left your drink unattended, always check it to make sure it hasn’t been tampered with. You can check it for simple things such as:
If you are concerned that your drink has been tampered with, speak to a member of security within the venue and they will help you out.
Make sure you cease drinking if it tastes off or unusual. It’s better to immediately presume that the situation has become unsafe than to continue drinking and further endangering yourself. A night at the hospital is not worth the price of a new drink. If you or your friend do start to feel unusual, such as the loss of awareness for space and time, then connect with a friend and speak with a member of security. They will help you take the necessary steps to ensure you or your friend's safety.
We understand that it’s hard to turn down a free drink of any form. But if you cannot keep an eye on the serving of your drink or you have any misgivings about the person offering it to you, it’s best to politely decline. If you do decide to accept the drink, ensure that you stay at the bar as the drink is being ordered and served.
Although we’ve emphasised this many times, make sure you never leave your drink unattended. If you do need to, give it to a friend to guard or finish it before running off to the dancing floor or visiting the bathroom. If you have left your drink alone and you’re unsure whether it’s safe to drink, just leave it and buy a new one.
If you think either you or a friend has been spiked contact the Health Centre or NHS Advice (111) immediately. Alternatively the nearest A&E department is St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey.
That summarizes all of our top tips to protect yourself from getting spiked. If you have any other suggestions that you feel is effective in doing so, don't hesitate to message us on our Facebook, Twitter or via email.
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The Students’ Union, Royal Holloway
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