'I was violently throwing up': Is drink spiking on the rise in city?
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Clubbing is back with a bang in Norwich — but so is the vile act of drink spiking.
One 23-year-old University of East Anglia student spiked on a Friday night a fortnight ago said four of her friends had suffered the same fate since returning to the dancefloor.
Originally from Leicester, she said she normally felt "super safe" in Norwich.
She added: "It was a shock the morning after to realise I'd been drugged.
"I know my limits and what I can handle, and the way I reacted was completely abnormal.
"Besides, I'm six foot. It takes a lot for me to be unsteady on my feet."
The student confessed she could not see, walk or even stand up within a short period of time — with friends "luckily" being able to get her home safely.
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"I was violently throwing up. It was horrible", she said.
"I know exactly where it happened but I don't see any point in reporting it to the police, or to the venue.
"Whenever my friends have reported it in the past the club was pretty nonchalant — and just promised it won't happen again.
"I don't know why so many of us are getting spiked now when we never have been in the past.
"All the awful people out there who enjoy doing this obviously haven't been able to get their fix for 18 months are making up for lost time."
And several others have come forward to the Evening News - with strikingly similar stories.
Ward councillor Ben Price said everyone should be able to go out and have a good evening without being targeted and coerced — especially young women.
But he said people had to be wary and report any suspicious behaviour to the police.
"Whoever is caught in the act should feel the full force of the law come down on them, because you are ultimately putting that person's life at risk.
"Norwich is not immune to this problem."
Beth Williams, SOS Bus development manager, said spiking had and always will be a problem for male and female party-goers — and that it was a sad fact of life people were responsible for themselves on a night out.
She said: "But we help absolutely everyone, regardless of whether they're knowingly intoxicated or not."
Drinkaware advice: What to do if you think you've been spiked
Look out for symptoms
- Lowered inhibitions
- Loss of balance
- Visual problems
Take preventative measures
- Never leave your drink unattended and never accept a drink from someone you don’t trust
- Stay with friends, know how you’re getting home and make sure phones are charged
- If you’re bar staff, watch out for customers' safety – you’re their eyes and ears
How to help a friend
- Tell a bar manager, bouncer or member of staff, and call police if the condition gets worse
- Stay with them
- Don’t let them leave the venue with someone you don’t trust
- If possible, try and prevent them drinking more alcohol