Women in Lighting

Drink spiking. My experience. A very frightening 48 hours.

28 February 2020 // Health Stories

Drink spiking. My experience. A very frightening 48 hours.

Without knowing, I drank a laced or spiked drink at an industry event in 2019. I hope that by sharing the experience and the details of what happened to me, it will make other women aware of the symptoms and enable them to understand what to do if it happens to them. Statistically women are more vulnerable to spiking but of course, it can happen to men too.

At first the symptoms were subtle and very pleasant. I can’t think how I could have known what had happened until it was too late, let alone alert anyone at the time or have found a way to prevent it happening to me. I was in the grip of a potent mix and enjoying something that I didn’t know was in my system but then the way I felt changed.

My symptoms over the course of 48 hours were:

At the venue
Approx 23:00 – 2am

  • Happiness
  • Euphoria
  • Energised
  • Thirsty
  • Very Thirsty
  • Increased Euphoria
  • Feeling relaxed

At Home
Approx 3:00 – 5am

  • Euphoria
  • Light headed / ‘Floaty’
  • Collapsing (felt more like happily ‘melting’ onto bathroom floor)
  • Twitching – arms legs

At Home
Approx. 5:30am – 12noon

  • Sleep

The next day, 1pm onwards

  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Distorted senses
  • ‘Phantosmia’ (diagnosed by NHS)
  • Feeling faint
  • Increased confusion
  • Physical exhaustion
  • Mental exhaustion
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Relief
  • Shivering and Twitching

It was too late for a drugs test by the time I saw professionals. I received 3 separate opinions all leading to the same ‘most likely’ conclusion. I took my time to go to the doctors and the police. I was scared they would think I had lost my sanity and send me to hospital, against my will. To my relief they were supportive. Spiking simply matched the symptoms.

Victim Support helped me to open up. I have since spoken to other people that this has happened to. I’m hopeful that my experience was the only one at the venue. The police would have opened an investigation, if others reported the same.

My friends and family are normally my first port of call. I was even too embarrassed to tell them, at first. I am not usually secretive. I am usually trusting and open with my family and friends.

To make me crack a smile, at a low ebb, a good friend said: The only other sensible explanation, was that I was abducted by aliens and entered a temporary parallel universe. It made me smile again. To be very clear. That’s a JOKE.

The subject of drugs + drinks / spiking etc is very serious and very dangerous. If you think this has happened to you, tell a friend, tell the police and seek medical help.

The FRANK website is useful for detailing the effects of drugs.

Sophie Hoyal