What to do – Immediate steps

Spiking is when someone is given alcohol or drugs without their consent. Spiking can take different forms, it could be someone adding drugs, extra alcohol to your drink or by injection. Drink spiking is the most common form of spiking and can also take place in private spaces/social events as well as in bars and nightclubs.

Being spiked is never the fault of the victim. Spiking is illegal and can put people at risk. The Police and other authorities such as health, licensing and hospitality venues all take spiking very seriously and investigate all reports.

If you, or someone you know, are a victim of spiking or have witnessed someone being spiked call the Police on 101 or 999. If you suspect someone needs medical help – call NHS 24 on 111.


If you are a victim of spiking or a witness to someone being spiked there are immediate steps you can take:

1) If you are concerned you are the victim of spiking:

  • Alert a trusted person immediately – bar staff, friend, family or security
  • Ask someone you trust to get you out of the venue as quickly as possible. Be wary of accepting help from someone you don’t know or feel uncomfortable with (including people who may have been buying you drinks)
  • Ask a friend or someone you trust to either take you home, or to hospital, if unwell
  • If you feel unsafe or threatened, please speak to a member of staff and alert them
  • Look out for ‘Ask for Angela’ posters in venues, normally found in the toilets or discreet areas, where a venue is supporting the scheme. In these venues if you ‘Ask for Angela’ the bar staff will know you need help
  • Once home ask a friend or relative to stay with you until the effects have worn off, don’t hesitate to call for medical help or any other form of assistance if needed
  • You may wish to report it to the Police as soon as you can
  • If you think you have been sexually assaulted and are unsure about reporting formally to the Police you can report to the Sexual Assault Response Co-ordination Service (SARCS)
  • You can also access your GP, local pharmacy and NHS Sexual Health Services for medical advice and health screening
  • There are national helplines and services available to you such as Rape Crisis Scotland – 08088 010302

2) If you are a witness to spiking or concerned someone has been spiked there are steps you can take to help them:

  • Tell the bar manager, security or a member of staff
  • Stay with them and keep talking to them, giving reassurance if distressed
  • Encourage them not to take any more alcohol or substances
  • Call an ambulance if they become unwell
  • Don’t let them go home on their own
  • Don’t let them leave with someone they don’t know or trust
  • Report it to the Police by calling 999 or 101