Deterring and reducing the likelihood of drink spiking in a venue you are working in is part of your duty of care. Unlike voluntary illegal drug use, drink spiking is the involuntary consumption of what can be very dangerous and sometimes life threatening substances.
Drink spiking occurs within night club, bar or festival type venues most commonly. This is because the effects of some spiking drugs can be mistaken for alcohol intoxication, when in fact they may be much more serious.
Drink spiking can be done with unsolicited drugs such as Rohypnol (otherwise known as the “date-rape drug” or “roofies”) or GHB (Gamma Hydroxyl Butyrate). It can also be done by the server of the drinks if they are adding extra shots of alcohol without the drinker’s consent.
If a person believes their drink has been spiked, it is your duty to perform the following:
- Call an ambulance & the police
- Ask them if they know what they took and how long ago they took it. Can you work out what it might be?
- Find out if there are any suspects.
- Hold on to the glass for inspection by the police.
- Have a female guard take the person to a quiet room to keep them calm.
Be alert of male patrons leaving with female patrons who appear to be heavily intoxicated or ill. Take note of their identities, establish a relationship quickly and offer to get the woman a lift home. Also note their friends and assess the relationship if you can. If in doubt and you can’t see the female patron responding, call the police.
It should be made clear by your employer and you that drink spiking is not tolerated inside the venue. It is part of your duty to employ best practice for the safest possible environment. Advise patrons to monitor their own drinks, not to leave their drinks unattended and to be wary of drinks with strange tastes. Drink spiking should never be overlooked. It is a criminal offence which can carry punishments of 5 years imprisonment.
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