Welcome to November's safety and wellbeing newsletter
There has been a significant rise in cases of people's drinks being spiked or given excess alcohol without their knowledge. Experts believe that cases have doubled.
Students have boycotted venues recently to protest the issue and highlight the need for improved training and security to protect clubbers. Student Unions at City College Norwich and UEA are among some of the local organisations asking venues to do more to support the safety of their customers.
If you are going to night clubs, house parties or other venues, here's some information to help you stay safe. You don't need to stay at home to keep safe, but being aware of the potential risks and taking some simple precautions can be a big help.
The Wellbeing Team
Drink spiking can happen to anyone, regardless of gender or sexuality. It can be done for reasons from theft and sexual assault, to being a 'joke'.
It can be done with shots of alcohol to increase the potency of a drink, or with the addition of a 'date rape drug' like GHB or Rohypnol. These drugs can be odourless, colourless and tasteless. Symptoms include:
Depending on the substance used, it can take 15 to 30 minutes to take effect. If you start to feel strange or more drunk than you should be, get help straight away.
- Lowered inhibitions
- Loss of balance
- Visual problems
If you believe you have been spiked, report this to Police as soon as possible.
How to help a friend who you think has been spiked:
• Tell a bar manager, door staff, or another 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 the venue with someone you don't know or trust.
• Try and prevent them from drinking more alcohol, if possible.
What to do if you've been assaulted:
One of the effects of 'date rape drugs' can loss of memory (Amnesia). If you suspect you've been physically or sexually assaulted, speak to someone you trust. You can go to the Police, your GP, or hospital. You can call the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Center on 0808 802 9999 (12pm - 2.30pm & 7pm - 9.30pm every day) You can contact The Harbour Centre in Norwich 24/7 on 01603 276381
Tips to avoid Drink Spiking
- Never leave your drink unattended.
- Don't accept drinks from someone you don't know.
- Don't drink too much alcohol on a night out; space your drinks out by having a non-alcoholic one between each alcoholic drink.
- Some nightclubs offer drink stoppers and covers for glasses. You can also use your thumb to hold over the opening of the bottle.
- If possible, try and watch your drink being made.
- Don't leave your drink for a dance and then come back to it.
- Watch out for yourself, watch out for your friends, and have them watch out for you.
Spiking someone's drink is a serious crime
Adding some extra shots to someone's drink, or giving someone alcohol and saying it is non-alcoholic can ruin a night out, ruin friendships, and ruin your life by resulting in serious criminal charges. Getting someone drunk or drugged in order to have sex with them is a crime; they are intoxicated and cannot give their informed consent.
For more advice on staying safe while drinking, check out
Staying safe while drinking | Drinkaware
Help from College
If you have been affected by drinkspiking and feel you need to talk over a concern or problem, we can offer you one-to-one confidential advice and support by appointment. Contact us by email at email@example.com or via this link and we will get in touch with you to offer you an appointment. This is for all students.
Our website is also full of helpful info, hints, tips and strategies for looking after your wellbeing as well as contact info on other supportive agencies you may find helpful.
If you feel that you or a friend needs help to keep safe from harm, please tell us. We will always respond, and we are here to help you. Contact a member of the Safeguarding Team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call Safeguarding: for City College Norwich and Paston College call 07795 487645 and for Easton College call 07772 785346.
- Our Safeguarding Officers are Marie Pacey and Sam Warner.
- Our Designated Safeguarding Leads are Corrienne Peasgood, Jerry White, Julia Bates, Jacky Sturman and Helen Richardson-Hulme.