Many people will drink while at university, some will use drugs. Whether people do or don’t drink or whether they decide to use drugs is entirely their choice. ASK is more concerned that if you do drink and take drugs that you so safely, and are making educated and informed decisions about doing so.
Drinking is seen as very acceptable in Scottish culture, many might say too acceptable, but the fact of the matter is that alcohol is easily accessible and excessive drinking is quite commonly seen as the norm. Drinking to excess does however have risks to your physical and mental health not to mention your ability to study and get the degree you came here for. If you think your drinking is getting out of hand or are concerned about a friend or flatmate you can get information and advice from ASK or external organisations like Alcoholics Anonymous, NHS and any others you find online that are helpful to you.
Most people know that there are a lot of different types of drugs out there and there are lots of different risks that go with them, whether it is to your health or your bank balance. It is ultimately your decision if you decide to take drugs but make sure you have all the information beforehand and take care to keep yourself safe. For more information there are a variety of organisations that can give you up to date and accurate information including 'Talk to Frank' and hundreds of other organisations you can find online.
What is drink spiking?
Drink spiking occurs when a substance, such as drugs or alcohol, is added to your drink without you knowing about it.
Drink spiking doesn’t only happen to women and it may happen for many reasons such as to carry out a theft, to carry out a sexual assault, for amusement or to be malicious!
It may affect how you behave and how you feel
- You may feel drowsy or confused.
- You may feel like you are more drunk that you should be for the amount of alcohol you have consumed.
- After the effects have work off you may also not be able to remember what has happened to you.
What to do if you think you have been spiked
- Tell someone you trust – a friend, the bar manager or a Steward/ bouncer
- If you feel unwell then someone you trust should take you to A&E and tell the medical staff that you may have been spiked
- Report it to the Police as soon as you can – they will need to take blood/urine samples. Most drugs leave the body within 72 hours (GHB leaves within 12 hours) so it’s really important to report it quickly
You may not be able to taste or smell when your drink has been spiked so follow our tips for what to do to make sure you avoid being spiked and make sure that you stay safe on a night out.
- Never leave your drink unattended
- Try to stick to Bottled drinks – USSA will provide bottle stoppers which help stop drink spiking. It’s also more difficult to spike a bottle
- Don’t share or exchange drinks
- Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know
- Always let someone know where you are going to be and when you should expect to get home – especially if you are going out with a person or group that you don’t know very well
- Don’t give out too much personal information to people you don’t know very well
- Keep an eye on your friends drinks
- Stay away from situations that you don’t feel comfortable in
What USSA is doing
- We have Spikey’s (bottle stoppers) at the bars
- We have some test strips which can help in telling if your drink has been spiked
- We have 100 free lip glosses which also contain a test strip
- Look out for our posters around campus to raise awareness
It’s important to know that drink spiking is a criminal offence even if no assault or attack has been carried out. Maximum punishment of 10 years in prison if found guilty!