It might seem like all that’s needed is some common sense and your trusty pals to keep you out of trouble but when the control is taken from you, then what? It could be at a bar after work, a club late at a night or a house party but, sad to say, there are predators everywhere, ready to take advantage of situations that might seem innocent but can get out of hand real quick.
Joey Salads, that guy who does social experiments and posts them on YouTube with ominous music in the background (remember the child abduction one?), shows just how easy it is to drug someone’s drink.
Scary stuff, right? Above all else, let us preface: A victim is not responsible for a sexual assault, nor is it a victim’s job to prevent it. That being said, women can empower and equip themselves with the know-how to avoid a dire situation. Here’s what you can do — and not do — to stay as safe as possible.
DO stay at the bar
If Mr. Oh-So-Right offers to buy you a drink and he’s hard to resist, stay at the bar as the drink is ordered and served. Keep your eyes on the bartender as it’s being made and drink it there. Or if you’re away from the bar, request that a server brings the drink directly to your table.
DON’T accept any drinks from strangers
It might not seem like the gamest of games, but a little paranoia goes a long way. Go with them, keep your eye on the glass and on the bartender as it’s being poured. Then take it directly from the barkeep, go back to your pals and do your thing. It might not be super-social but it’s better than what could happen.
DO hold your drink on the top
By covering your cup with your palm, not even the slickest of pros can slip a drug in there. That way even if your attention is diverted, you and your cup are protected.
DON’T sip from someone else’s cup
You never know what’s in their drink and everyone reacts differently to drugs. Just because they can handle it doesn’t necessarily mean you can. Plus, it spreads germs. Gross.
DO keep an eye open for any tampering
If it seems like your drink isn’t where you left it, there’s a different-coloured straw, there’s more or less liquid than you recall, it has a different colour or smell or it’s bubbling or fizzing, you’ve got trouble on your hands. Dump it and grab a new one.
DON’T guzzle your drink
OK, this one might be a tad tougher because after a long, hard day, sometimes you need it. But by sipping slowly — versus taking shots or chugging back pints — it gives you more time to become aware of your symptoms if someone has messed with your drink.
DO trust your tastebuds
If your drink smells or looks strange, do not consume it. If you have had a sip and it tastes bitter or salty or just not like your drink at all, don’t panic. Simply stop drinking immediately, and tell the trusty people you are with what may have happened and to watch out for any symptoms where you’re not yourself in case whatever was in your cup hits you hard. Drowsiness, slurred speech, nausea, shallow breathing, cool and clammy or hot and flushed skin, tremors, quickened pulse, just to name a few.
DON’T always trust someone to keep an eye on your drink
Sometimes our friends get distracted (usually by a hot dude busting a solid move) so if she herself placed your drink down and wasn’t paying the strictest of attention to it, go get yourself another. But don’t get your friend one. The traitor.
DO avoid drinks from open containers
If you’re at a party, opt for your own can or bottle and avoid the punch bowl or pitcher. You never know if someone has spiked it and with what.
DON’T lose track of your drink
Never, ever, ever leave your drink unattended. If you need to dance your face off or head to the ladies’, polish it off or give it to a friend to guard with her life. And if for some reason you have to set it down, go treat yourself to a new cocktail. It’s a small price to pay.