Signs someone has been spiked as EastEnders reveals new storyline

BBC EastEnders will embark upon a new storyline this summer about young character Anna Knight being spiked on a night out (Image: BBC)
-Credit: (Image: BBC)

TV hit EastEnders has announced a new storyline featuring spiked drinks which is set to return a troubling issue to the spotlight.

The BBC drama will see young character Anna Knight at the heart of a new storyline highlighting spiking and it has worked with a range of experts to accurately reflect what happens when alcohol or a drug is slipped into someone's drink. It is set to help highlight how drink spiking can happen anywhere.

As The Mirror reports, it can also happen to anyone, whatever their age, gender, sexuality or ethnicity and can be carried out by strangers or people they know. In EastEnders, Anna Knight - who is played by actor and singer Molly Rainford - is to have her drink spiked on a night out with friends.

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At first, the problem will go unnoticed by her pals who think her behaviour is down to alcohol but they then become concerned when they realise her actions are out of keeping with the small amount she has drunk. And, as the situation plays out, viewers will be able to see the life-changing impact of drink spiking from the perspective of Anna and also her friends.

EastEnders has developed the storyline with the bodies Stamp Out Spiking, WithYou and experts in the field to ensure it depicts an accurate version of the dark experience. And there is plenty of helpful advice around for those concerned about spiking.

According to the NHS, there are many variables as to how symptoms could surface in your body after getting spiked. It can be difficult to know if someone has spiked your drink but if you feel strange, or as if you have more alcohol to drink than you actually consumed, then help should be sought straight away.

You should explain that you believe someone has spiked you and call for an ambulance if the symptoms become worse. Here are some signs to look out for:

Signs and symptoms of spiking

The physical symptoms of spiking can take hold of a person within minutes of being targeted and can last for several hours depending upon what has been used to spike the drink. Signs of spiking could include:

  • Confusion

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Hallucinations and paranoia

  • Disorientation or poor coordination

  • Loss of ability to communicate properly

  • Memory loss

  • Lowered inhibitions

  • Loss of balance

  • Unconsciousness

  • Problems with vision

As well physical effects, such as feeling sick or dizzy, you might experience a range of emotions. These are normal responses to a stressful experience.

What happens if I report being spiked?

A forensic test can establish whether someone may have spiked you and only the police can conduct this forensic test. Its result then could be used in evidence if the person responsible is later found and identified.

You can report spiking without providing a sample for forensic testing.

How can I stay safe?

Spiking is a criminal offence and, whilst all venues should be taking steps to ensure that they are safe places to be, you may still need to protect yourself, particularly if you feel at risk or are in a place that is unfamiliar. While spiking most commonly involves putting alcohol or drugs into someone's drink, without their knowledge or permission, there is also some concern at the possibility of spiking by needles or syringes containing drugs.

Although this is much less likely than drink spiking, much of the advice for staying safe regarding drinks can also protect you from the possibility of needle spiking too. Here are some things you can do to protect yourself from the risk of spiking, according to the site TalkToFrank:

  • Plan your night out, including your journey there and back.

  • Make sure the venue you are going to is licensed. Venues are required to take steps to ensure the safety of their customers.

  • When going to a pub, club or party, avoid attending alone. Friends can look out for one another.

  • Be aware of what is going on around you and keep away from situations you don’t feel comfortable with.

  • Think very carefully about whether you should leave a pub, club or party with someone you have just met.

  • Make sure your mobile phone has plenty of charge in it before you leave home and keep your mobile safe and accessible.

  • Always buy your own drink and watch it being poured.

  • Do not accept drinks from strangers.

  • Never leave your drink unattended while you dance or go to the toilet.

  • Don't drink or taste anyone else's drink.

  • Throw your drink away if you think it tastes strange or different.