Drink Spiking

A range of info and advice concerning your health and well-being including sexual and mental health and safety.


Drink spiking occurs when a substance, such as drugs or alcohol, is added to your drink without you knowing about it. This may affect how you act or behave with other people.

Drug rape is usually committed by spiking a drink to incapacitate a person and take advantage of the effect the drug has on them.

DRINK SPIKING IS ILLEGAL whether or not an attack or an assault has been carried out. It can result of a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison.

There are currently many drug rape drugs including GBH and Rohypnol. They tend to be clear, odourless and tasteless liquids, tablets, capsules and powders. The effects depend on dosage, but you may feel intoxicated, drowsy, nauseous and even fall unconscious. This may happen very quickly (within 30 minutes) and can last for up to six to eight hours.

If your drink has been spiked, it is unlikely that you will be able to see, taste or smell the new substance.

How can I tell if I have been spiked?

Because it is hard to detect in taste or smell, the first signs that you may have been spiked is a changes in how you feel. These include:

  • Feeling nauseous
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of balance
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness
  • Visual problems
  • Lower inhibitions.

These are the effects that you might expect if you were drinking or taking drugs as part of your night, so it could be that you are feeling much more of the above,  based on how much you knew you had consumed. Or if you did not normally feel one of these effects and then you were suddenly experiencing one, which would be unusual.

If you feel comfortable/are able to report this as soon as possible this could be beneficial as when testing to see what you may have been spiked with it is worth noting that most drugs leave the body within 72 hours, but some can be gone in 12

What is Exeter doing to prevent this?

We need to know the scale of the problem and would encourage you to report any incidence of drink spiking to the police, the club or pub and the University.

Residence life have been raising awareness via Facebook drink spiking awareness

The Guild officers are working on a wider awareness about night safety and student wellbeing. They are keen to hear your views and experiences if you would be happy to share these.

Where can I find more information?

For more information about drink spiking, the symptoms of drink spiking, what to do if your drink has been spiked and how to prevent your drink being spiked. Please see the following webpages

drinkaware-drink spiking and date rape drugs

Devon and Cornwall Police- Drink spiking


If you think you have been a victim of drink spiking, you could contact the following services

Devon and Cornwall Police

Exeter University wellbeing

Guild Advice service


The following steps may help prevent someone from drink spiking:

  • Don’t spike any bodies drink.
  • Never leave your drink unattended.
  • Never accept a drink from anyone you don't know or trust
  • Keep an eye on your friends' drinks.
  • Consider sticking to bottled drinks and holding your thumb over the opening between sips.
  • Keep your drink in your hand instead of on a surface.
  • Don't share or exchange drinks, or drink leftover drinks.
  • It's important to remember that if you've already been drinking, it may make you less aware of any danger.
  • Before going out, let someone know where you're going and what time you expect to be home.
  • Make plans for your journey home with friends & don't leave without each other


Based on an article by Leeds University Union

Accessibility Tools

University of Exeter Students' Guild is a Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered Charity Number: 1136468 Company Number: 07217324; registered in England and Wales Registered office: Devonshire House, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4PZ