‘I had just over 2g of MDMA in my system’: Students share the times they’ve been spiked

They were both hospitalised

CW: Spiking, themes of sexual assault

To many, spiking is the kind of crime that serves as a distant horror story – a BBC investigations unit found in 2019 that there had been 2,600 reports of drink-spiking incidents in England and Wales since 2015. With the incredibly intoxicating nature of the drugs used in incidents such as these, it is particularly worrying that the assailant, more often than not, gets away with their crime and is free to walk away. But what is it actually like to be spiked?

We spoke to two students who were spiked whilst enjoying a night out with friends. Callum is a graduate who was in his first year when he was spiked with MDMA, whilst Naomi was spiked with Rohypnol. Both went on to recover fully.

“I struggled to walk and kept blacking out”

If you’ve taken MDMA before, you’ll understand the rush that you get when coming up. For 23-year-old Callum, he started to black out and lost the ability to walk properly. It was later discovered that someone had spiked his drink with so much MDMA that over two grams were present in his system when he was brought into hospital.

It all happened during a Freshers’ trip to Ministry of Sound in London: “We got inside, and I bought a vodka lemonade. The next minute I suddenly remember feeling very dizzy and nauseous. I was already fairly drunk but I knew it was different as I physically struggled to walk and kept blacking out.

Callum and his friends on their way to Ministry of Sound

“I went to the smoking area and that’s all I personally remember until waking up. The rest of the story is what my friends told me – they got a medic from the entrance (who was doing drug tests for people entering anyway) and they confirmed that I was showing signs of being spiked.

“An X-Ray showed that I’d torn my groin whilst falling”

“My friends then took me back to uni – looking back I’m not sure why I didn’t go to a hospital that night, but they must have thought that I just got high myself. I woke up with an awful headache, and when I got up to walk, I fell to the ground – this is when I realised something was wrong. An ambulance took me to A&E, where it was confirmed that I’d ingested over 2 grams of MDMA. An X-Ray also showed that I’d torn my groin whilst falling.”

Callum remains unsure about what happened to him or why anyone would attempt such a thing, especially with a non-sedative: “I suspected it was a man in his 30s nearby, but I had just bought one of my female friends a drink so it could possibly have been aimed at her, even though I gave it to her almost immediately – I can’t be 100 per cent sure.” He thankfully made a full recovery.

“We drank only two cocktails each”

Naomi is a third-year Royal Holloway student who was spiked with Rohypnol during the Easter holidays in her first year. The night started in a cocktail bar in Watford with her cousin and friend Jess: “We were sat at the bar watching this group of girls absolutely murder every song they sang, and we drank only two cocktails each.

“We’d had a few drinks at home beforehand, so decided to leave and go over to Oceana and meet my friend Jess. I felt absolutely fine for the walk from the bar to the club. Upon arriving, we all ordered another drink each upstairs.

Naomi became very unwell shortly after this photo was taken

“It was confirmed that I had been spiked with Rohypnol”

“I had maybe had one sip of that drink before I suddenly felt completely out of it. I was pretty much blackout in a cubicle persistently vomiting for 2 hours, until security helped Jess take me through the club and back down to go to Watford Hospital. Luckily Jess wasn’t drinking and had her car, and it was only around the corner.

“I was given an injection, and then a nurse gave me a blood test and it was confirmed that I had been spiked with Rohypnol. They let me stabilise and I was able to go home about 3 hours later.”

Naomi was repeatedly throwing up and losing consciousness

Naomi was then encouraged by her mother to report the incident to the police, as they were convinced the spiking had occurred in the bar before arriving at the club: “The next morning I reported it to the police – I had to have been spiked in the bar considering I hadn’t even had a full drink in the club.

“Then about a month later, I got a call back from the police saying that the barman was caught on CCTV later walking back to Oceana where we went clubbing afterwards. That bar’s now closed and apparently spiking wasn’t uncommon.” Naomi also made a complete recovery.

The stories that Callum and Naomi shared are just a scratch on the surface of the spikings that occur in the UK. A survey by Alcohol.org found that alcohol was the main substance to be spiked for both men and women – “However, 83 per cent of cases involved a woman having her alcoholic beverage spiked.”

What can actually be done to stop spiking?

There are a number of preventative measures that can be taken to lessen the risk of being spiked. These include but are not limited to:

  • Keeping your drink in your hand/in sight as much as you can
  • Not drinking from stray drinks
  • Sticking with your friends

For more resources on spiking, check out our article on precautionary steps that can be taken or check out the NHS page for spiking and date rape drugs.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• Drinking rules to live by to stop morons spiking you and ruining your night

• ‘I’m no longer accepting cash’: How drug dealers are adapting to coronavirus

• Drug dealers are enrolling in universities as a cover for selling drugs, according to the police