Signs someone's been spiked as EastEnders introduces new 'terrifying' storyline

BBC EastEnder promo pic
-Credit: (Image: BBC/PA)

Spiking can occur to anyone, regardless of age, gender, sexuality or ethnicity. It can be carried out by anyone - from strangers and acquaintances, to family or friends.

EastEnders will highlight this growing issue later this month when Anna Knight portrayed by actor and singer Molly Rainford has her drink spiked during a night out with friends. Initially, her friends attribute Anna's behaviour to alcohol consumption, overlooking the incident.

However, they soon grow worried about Anna's wellbeing. They realise that her behaviour is disproportionate to the small amount of alcohol she has consumed.

As the plot develops, viewers will witness the life-altering consequences of drink spiking from both Anna's and her friends' perspectives. The storyline has been crafted in collaboration with Stamp Out Spiking, WithYou and field experts to ensure an accurate depiction of this grim experience, reports the Mirror.

According to the NHS, there are numerous factors that could influence how symptoms manifest after being spiked. It can be challenging to determine if you've been spiked.

However, if you feel odd or as though you've consumed more alcohol than you actually have, seek help immediately. Inform them that you suspect you've been spiked and call for an ambulance if symptoms worsen.

Signs and symptoms:

The physical symptoms of drink spiking can take effect within minutes and last for several hours, depending on the substance used. Signs could include feeling sick or dizzy, among others.

  • confusion

  • nausea or vomiting

  • hallucinations and paranoia

  • disorientation or poor coordination

  • loss of ability to communicate properly

  • memory loss

  • feeling sick or throwing up

  • lowered inhibitions

  • loss of balance

  • unconsciousness

  • problems with vision

If you believe you've been spiked, a forensic test can confirm this. Only the police can conduct this kind of test, and the results can be used as evidence if the perpetrator is found. You can report an incident without providing a sample for testing.

How can you stay safe?

Spiking is a criminal offence, and while venues should ensure safety, individuals may need to take precautions, especially in unfamiliar settings. Spiking refers to adding alcohol or drugs to someone's drink without their consent.

There are concerns about 'needle spiking', where needles or syringes containing drugs are used. Although less common than drink spiking, similar safety advice applies.

TalkToFrank suggested several measures to protect yourself from spiking:

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

  2. Ensure the venue you are visiting is licensed these establishments are required to take measures to ensure their customers' safety.

  3. When heading to a pub, club or party, avoid going alone. Friends can help keep an eye on each other.

  4. Stay aware of your surroundings and steer clear of situations that make you feel uneasy.

  5. Consider carefully before deciding to leave a pub, club or party with someone you've just met.

  6. Ensure your mobile phone is fully charged before leaving home and keep it safe yet accessible.

  7. Always purchase your own drink and watch as it's being poured. Avoid accepting drinks from strangers.

  8. Never leave your drink unattended while you dance or visit the restroom.

  9. Don't consume or taste anyone else's drink.

  10. Discard your drink if it tastes odd or different.