What to do if your friend gets spiked, as 73% of young Brits admit they wouldn't know

Drink being spiked with pill. (Getty Images)
There are simple steps to do if you think your friend has been spiked. (Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Some 40% of 18-25 year old men and women believe they have been spiked, according to new research.

But while 65% of this age group have noticed an alarming increase in spikings since the pandemic, 73% also don't know what to do if this dangerous situation occurs.

That's why Malibu, along with comedian Munya Chawawa (known for tackling serious issues in a not-so serious way) and spiking victim Amber Davies have launched five simple steps – B.A.B.E.S – to remember in a spiking situation and help you look out for your mates on nights out.

"I have seen first-hand that when faced with a spiking situation, people are often unsure what to do or where to begin. Reflecting on my own experience, it would have been so reassuring for me and my friends to have had access to B.A.B.E.S, so we have created these practical and memorable steps, that means everyone can look out for their besties." says ex actor and ex-Love Islander Davies.

"I'm a big advocate for using comedy and light-hearted content to instigate meaningful change," says Chawawa," adding he hopes the project will "give us all the nudge to look after our friends and those around us on a night out".

Some 71% of victims also report feeling vulnerable on nights out when spiking occured and didn't know where to turn for help. So, to help change this, if spiking does unfortunately happen to one of your friends (or you suspect it may have happened to someone else), here's what to remember.

What do if your friend gets spiked

  • Buddy Up – Stay with your friend

  • Alert Staff – Speak to bar or door staff for assistance

  • Be Chatty – Keep your friend talking

  • Emergency Call – Call 999

  • Switch to Water – Sip water, not alcohol

CEO of Drink Aware Karen Tyrell also reminds us: "Drink spiking is a serious crime that can happen to anyone at any time. It’s important to be able to recognise the signs and know how to help someone you suspect has been a victim."

B.A.B.E.S was also developed in collaboration with Good Night Out, the global campaign for safer nightlife, who have been supporting venues worldwide for ten years.

How to stay safe from spiking

While this responsibility should never be down to the individual, as everyone should be able to enjoy a night out without worrying about their safety, there are some tips to be aware of when it comes to spiking.

"Spiking should never happen, sadly it does, to keep yourself safe when you are out by making sure someone always knows where you are heading, that you always keep your eye on your own drink, stay with friends, don't accept drinks or other substances from strangers and if something feels wrong, get to safety, to your friends, venue staff, or security and stay with them until you have a safe way home," says Dawn Dines, CEO of Stamp Out Spiking.

The charity is working with Malibu to train 2000 festival, bar, club, convenience staff and consumers to know what to do in a spiking situation.

How to cope after being spiked

two female friends hugging
Don't go through it alone. (Getty Images) (bymuratdeniz via Getty Images)

If you have experienced spiking, it can understandably affect your mental health. But you are not alone.

"For the victim, being spiked can have a massive impact on their life, leaving them feeling scared, anxious, powerless and confused as they try to work out what has happened to them," says Dines.

"These feelings can last long after the drugs used to spike you have left your system.

"The best advice is, don't keep in a secret, get to a place and people where you can feel safe. Tell a trusted friend or family member and give yourself time for your body and mind to recover.

"It may be embarrassing or upsetting to talk about what has happened to you and it may take time but don't go through this alone".

And remember, it isn't your fault.

Where to get help if you have been spiked

Being spiked can be an awful thing to experience, but help is out there.

Signposting resources, Dines says, "Depending on the circumstances you may be offered support via the police or healthcare service and victims can also reach out to Stamp out Spiking, Victim Support (08 08 16 89 111), The Samaritans or a Rape Crisis Centre for advice and someone to talk to. There may also be local specialist support services that can listen and support.

"If you feel you have been sexually assaulted please speak to the hospital, GP or SARC sexual assault referral centre."

If you are in urgent danger call 999.

Malibu is also donating £20,000 to Stamp Out Spiking to help it continue tackling spiking through research, education, and policy change.

Watch: Girls Night In: Nightclub boycott to highlight drinkspiking