Drink spiking - a reality or urban myth?

I would like to know people’s opinions.



It does happen. Not just in America- throughout the world spiking drinks (and food) is a popular way to rob people. Although the dangers in your average bar are probably over-hyped, the articles you linked to seem to have their own bias. The second, especially, seems to have a misogynist slant to and and seems to think that women are not reliable as witnesses and that date rape is either not a big deal or not possible when the woman is drunk:

It also states that spiking a drink with additional alcohol is not a problem, it’s like an added bonus. Remember, people have a legal and moral right to control how much alcohol they are drinking, and not everyone wants to drink until they are falling-down drunk. And having sex with someone who does not or can not consent is a crime and deeply immoral.

Based on what I learned in this thread – http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=362811 – it might be a very dangerous practice. The spiker might inadvertently kill the victim. To safely administer an unconsciousness-inducing drug requires an anesthesiologist.

Mis Understood, SusanStoHelit and I shared our experiences in this recent thread. It’s not an urban myth.

Speaking for the UK crowd, if I may, it’s certainly a reality here. A couple of my friends (female university students) have been spiked, and it was very lucky they had people there who realised it and looked after them. The most recent time, my friend figured out something was wrong because she felt off her head on just an alcopop (she wasn’t drinking much that evening) - her and others got out of the club and she literally collapsed in the street. Her boyfriend phoned for an ambulance, and she was alright after about a day, but i’d hate to think what would have happened if she’d been out alone, or been drinking more heavily and so less likely to realise something was wrong.

It happens…quite a bit. I actually know some (scumbags) who go down to mexico to buy over the counter drugs that would be perscription here, and then mash them up to put in womens drinks when they are on dates. And while its never happened to me, I also know that this is a favored tactic for women in a certain line of work south of the border…you know, ‘buy me a drink, gringo’, then roll the guy when he passes out.

Its a pretty disgusting practice if you ask me…and some, er, friends of mine and I have personally beaten the crap out of at least one guy who has done this to a female from our neighborhood. In my wilder youth of course.



Alcopop. Didn’t realise it was a solely UK term - but according to the Wikipedia site, it is. Smirnoff Ice is probably the most popular form of them - an alcoholic drink in a bottle, flavoured with lemon, lime, etc. The Wiki page seems a good source on this.

It’s always happened here in this college town, but lately we’ve had a serious rash of random druggings in bars. People have gotten very sick–men and women both.

I know for a fact that it’s for real, I’ve known people who’ve done it and people who’ve had it done to them. I got drugged once myself but all I lost was my wallet and $60.

Would you believe there’s a folk song about this?


In Navy DEP Training, they talked about punishment if you come up positive for drugs. They also said “Don’t leave your drink alone in a public place, because if someone spikes it and you come up positive for drugs, we don’t care”.

This leads to me to believe that this has happened enough that’s it’s become an issue.

Just to clarify my last post…

“If someone spikes your drink and you come up positive for drugs, We don’t care. You’re out”

I’ve heard the term here in the US, but only in the context of a news report that was warning of the schemes used by the liquor companies. Alcopops like Hard Lemonade or the Ice products are their gateway product by which they get the kids young on something similar to a soda or sports drink and then they escalate.

From an Armed Forces PoV, the excuse has probably come up often enough, true or not.

That is an important point. A couple of days ago I heard the guy who runs the drink spiking advocacy program in Australia talking on radio. He gave the impression that the problem is hugely exaggerated by the media. He said that in cases presented to his group the drug used was never Rohypnol or GBH which the media generally consider to be the drugs of choice.

At the moment drink spiking has a high profile because of a Brisbane woman who died on a holiday cruise after apparently being dosed with GBH. The guy on the radio said that if GBH were being used to spike drinks thsi would be a common event as GBH and alcohol combined often result in death. He said that Rohypnol was easy to test for and hard to hide but did not turn up in suspected cases.

He also pointed out that no-one has ever complained of drink spiking without having drunk enough alcohol to significantly affect their behaviour.

Just to see those last four words in text . . . epiphany!

It does happen in Australia, but I suspect a large number of the cases are actually young women who’ve had too much to drink, go home with some guy they wouldn’t normally even look at twice, and realise in the morning that everyone will think they’re a slut or something unless… OMG Someone spiked my drink!!!.

That’s not to belittle the women who are genuine victims of drink spiking- and it does happen, more often than it should (ie, even one case is one too many), but I don’t have any statistics in front of me for how many reported cases there were here last year or anything useful like that.

Well, it is enough of a concern that the Britannia Arms in downtown San Jose has special coasters which are supposed to help identify if a drink has been spiked. You put a drop of the liquid on the coaster and if it turns a certain color, watch out. This had a bit of controvery at its inception, because some establishments worried that if they had the coasters, patrons might be under the impression that drink spiking was a big problem there, and simply drink elsewhere. But I think it is a good idea.

– Cecil Adams http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a3_279.html