SCOTS have been urged to be vigilant to the dangers of drink spiking over the festive period.

Jackie Dunbar, SNP MSP for Aberdeen Donside, has urged those socialising over Christmas and New Year to look out for the signs of spiking.

Safer Scotland, a part of the Scottish Government, lists symptoms of spiking as: Rapid changes in levels of intoxication, drowsiness, confusion, vomiting, loss of consciousness or being disorientated.

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Dunbar said: “We can all make the most of the festive period while also minimising the risk of drink spiking by taking simple measures to keep safe and look out for one another.

“People can keep themselves safe by never leaving their drink unattended, sticking together with friends, and having a plan to get home safely.

“In Scotland, venue staff are also fully trained to ensure people have as much fun as possible while remaining safe and well.

“Being spiked is never the fault of the victim, and if you are concerned a spiking incident has occurred you should immediately advise venue staff wherever you are, and call the police.”

This comes as the UK Home Secretary James Cleverly joked about spiking his wife’s drink with a date rape drug just hours after the Home Office announced plans to crack down on spiking.

The most recent data from Police Scotland shows that between October 1, 2021 and February 16, 2022, there were 394 recorded crimes of drink spiking. A total of 385 were classified as “drugging”, whilst 9 were classified as “administering a substance for a sexual purpose”.

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A report from the Scottish Police Authority states that spiking is most likely an under-reported crime. The report states that most people reporting incidents of spiking – whether in drinks or by injection – are women aged between 17 to 27 years old, and that most incidents occur at the weekend.

If you believe you have been spiked, inform the venue you are at and call the police, or ring 999 in an emergency.

To stay safe from spiking, Safer Scot recommends:

  • Never leave your drink unattended
  • Never accept a drink from someone you do not know
  • Do not drink or taste someone else’s drink
  • Stop drinking your drink if it tastes strange or different
  • Avoid drinking or taking substances which impact upon your safety and wellbeing
  • Always stick together with friends and look out for each other

Rape Crisis Scotland is available every day between 5pm to midnight on 08088 01 03 02 for those who believe they may have been sexually assaulted.