By Leanne Wells, The Linc
Third year University of Lincoln student Stacy Gooch (22) claims she may have been on the receiving end of drink spiking whilst out in Lincoln a few weeks ago.
Whether it’s a night out with friends or a gathering with co-workers, there’s no denying that many of us will partake in some pre-Christmas drinking. Whilst the bars start to get busier in town, it’s important to remember that drink spiking is a heightened danger at this time of year.
Stacy Gooch consumed three drinks at a steady pace that were purchased by her boyfriend. She says she occasionally left her drink unattended in order to go to the bar or toilet.
“All of a sudden I remember feeling really drunk. I don’t really remember much after this point but, according to my boyfriend, my behaviour changed dramatically,” said Gooch. “I started acting really erratically and became really forgetful. He told me I would go to the toilet or the bar and when he asked me where I had been I couldn’t remember.”
According to health advice service NHS Direct, Stacy’s symptoms coincide with that of someone who has experienced drink spiking. These indicators include disorientation, paranoia, amnesia and periods of blackout.
Some bars on campus are aiming to prevent and learn how to deal with drink spiking by receiving specialised training. The Tower Bar educates employees regarding how to detect and handle drink spiking situations, while Library Bar manager Dominic Mcgowan regularly attends courses to help his staff combat drink spiking.
“The course involves first aid and helps you to spot the symptoms as it can look as if the customer is just drunk,” said Mcgowan, who recognises the heightened need for this training around Christmastime.“I think drink spiking is always a problem at this time of year as there are such a large proportion of people out, but I don’t think that it is on the increase. You just have to be vigilant and keep people informed on how to drink safely.”
What advice would Dominic give students on how to stay safe when drinking out on the town?
“If someone buys you a drink, make sure you go to the bar with the person. Also, buy a spikie to put in the top of the bottle which will stop people from putting something in your drink.”