Excessive drinking can easily lead to violence and other situations that can be difficult to control. It's been estimated that almost half of all violent crimes are committed while the offender is under the influence of alcohol.

Drugs have side-effects which include hallucinations, mental and emotional disorders, infections, sores, blood poisoning, and other illnesses. They can be fatal. Find more information here.

Alcohol

How can I protect myself?

If you're going on a night out, take a few simple measures before you leave home to help ensure you have a great night out get home safely:

  • Pre-book a taxi home
  • Find out the times of the last train and bus
  • Never walk home alone
  • Carry a personal attack alarm
  • Walk in a well-lit area
  • Be discreet with your money
  • Never leave your drink unattended
  • Avoid any confrontations and walk away.

Where can I get help or further information?

If you are a victim or a witness to an incident involving violence, call the police immediately on 999.

Drink spiking

Every year in the UK, hundreds of people are thought to be victims of drink spiking, where drugs or alcohol are added to someone’s drink without them knowing. In some cases these so called ‘date rape drugs’ may be used to spike a drink before a sexual assault.

Alcohol is the most common substance used to spike drinks and many incidents go unreported due to embarrassment or memory loss.

How can I protect myself?

It’s unlikely you will see, smell or taste any difference from a drink that has been spiked. If you start to feel strange or more drunk than you should be, get help immediately. The following steps may also help prevent drink spiking:

  • Try to avoid drinking too much alcohol especially in unfamiliar situations - you could lose control, make risky decisions and become less aware of danger.
  • never leave your drink unattended and keep an eye on your friends' drinks.
  • don't accept a drink from someone you don't know.
  • consider sticking to bottled drinks and avoiding punch bowls or jugs of cocktails.
  • don't give out your address to someone you've just met.
  • if you think your drink has been tampered with, don't drink it – tell a trusted friend or relative immediately.
  • before going out, let someone know where you're going and what time you expect to be home.
  • make plans for your journey home.
  • avoid taking expensive equipment with you or anything that could be a target for thieves.
  • if you are travelling abroad, be aware of the local area and where you can find help.
  • Some bars provide plastic stopper devices, such as lids to put on bottles, which can reduce the risk of your drink being spiked. However, these stoppers won't stop you consuming a drink that has been spiked with additional alcohol.

Where can I get help or further information?

If you think your drink has been spiked, tell someone you completely trust, such as a close friend, a relative, a medical professional or the police. If you aren't with anyone, call someone you trust and get to a safe place.

If you feel unwell, someone you trust should take you to your nearest Accident and Emergency department. Tell the medical staff that you think your drink has been spiked.

If you need urgent help, call 999.

Report it to the police as soon as you can. They will need to take blood and urine samples. Most drugs leave the body within 72 hours of being taken (the date rape drug GHB leaves the body within 12 hours), so it's important to be tested as soon as possible.

Further information

Women’s Aid

Rape Crisis (England and Wales)

National Free Helpline for men/women/family members. Open everyday from 12.00pm - 2.30pm, and 7.00pm - 9.30pm on: 0808 802 9999.

Rape Support (Cheshire and Merseyside)

National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247

Find support in my area

In an emergency call

999

In a non emergency call

101

Call Crimestoppers on

0800 555 111

Contact Stop Hate UK

0800 138 1625

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