We want all of our students to be able to feel safe when socialising on and off campus. 

Spiking a drink is a serious crime and carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years in the UK. Our University takes such incidents very seriously and will investigate any complaints made by our students in relation to drink spiking. 

It’s really important to recognise the symptoms so that you can act quickly if you believe you have been spiked, or to help a friend who may have been a victim of this crime. 

If you report an incident to the University via Report + Support, we will be in touch to offer wellbeing support and can also help if you want to report an incident to the Police or to make a formal complaint to the University.

What is drink spiking?

A drink can be spiked with drugs or alcohol to make the person more vulnerable and can be carried out for a variety of motives, including theft or sexual assault. 

Drink spiking can happen to all types of drink, not just alcoholic drinks, and can be carried out by adding shots of alcohol to drinks, causing someone to become drunk very quickly, or by adding drugs that are designed to incapacitate. 

It’s difficult to know the extent of the crime as there are currently few statistics and often cases are not reported due to confusion or embarrassment about what has happened. 

Realising you’ve been spiked can bring up a lot of difficult feelings and this can make it harder to tell someone. However you are feeling, it is important to remember that being spiked is not your fault and support is available for you. 

If you believe this has happened to you, please follow the advice below and report the incident on Report + Support. We’ll respond within one working day, during term time, to offer support if you choose the ‘Report and Speak to an Advisor’ option. If you choose to report anonymously, this will still help us to gather important information about the extent to which this crime is happening in our local area. 


It is difficult to tell if your drink has been spiked, as the drugs used usually have no taste or colour and so are hard to detect. 

Symptoms may vary depending on what you have been spiked with and the quantity, but they could include: 
  • Feeling drunk very quickly/more than you would expect 
  • Dizziness or loss of balance 
  • Feeling unusually tired 
  • Confusion 
  • Feeling sick or vomiting 
  • Losing consciousness 
If you start to feel unwell while on a night out, then it’s important to get help quickly. 

Spiking by injection

There have also recently been a rising number of reports of spiking by injection. There is as yet little research on this and so there is no official list of symptoms, but the effects are reported to be similar but with pain or bruising at the point of injection. The advice below is also relevant if you believe this has happened to you. 

What to do if you believe this has happened to you

If you are in immediate danger or seriously unwell: 
  • If you are with friends you trust, ask them to help you and report it to a member of staff at the venue. 
  • If you are alone, ask for help from a member of venue staff. 
  • If you are in immediate physical danger call 999. 
  • If you are feeling seriously unwell, ask a trusted friend to escort you to the nearest Accident and Emergency Department (the nearest to campus is at Manchester Royal Infirmary). 
  • If you are on campus you can call the Campus Security Team on 0161 247 2222 or use the SafeZone app to request immediate help. 
If you are not in immediate danger:
  • If you are with friends you can trust, report the incident to a member of staff at the venue and ask your friends to escort you home. 
  • If you are alone, ask for help from a member of venue staff. Don’t go home alone or leave with someone you don’t know well. 
  • Call 101 as soon as possible to report the incident to the Police. Substances can leave the body within 12 hours and so it’s important to contact them early so they can test your urine or blood. 
  • Contact your GP or 111 for non-urgent medical advice. 
  • If you believe you have been sexually assaulted, you can report this to the Police on 101. St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre is open 24 hours and offers immediate crisis support. You can contact them on 0161 276 6515. 
  • Tell the University what has happened by making a report on Report + Support and we’ll respond within one working day if you choose to share your contact details. 
Helping a friend if you suspect they have been spiked

If you think this has happened to a friend and they are showing any of the symptoms above, you can: 
  • Get help from a member of staff at the venue. 
  • Stay with them and keep talking to them. 
  • Escort them home – don’t let them leave alone or leave with someone you don’t know or trust. 
  • Call an ambulance if they are seriously ill. 
You can find more information about Drink Spiking on the Drinkaware website. 

If you believe this has happened to you or a friend,  you can choose to Report and speak to an advisor or Report anonymously.

if you choose to report an incident with your details, our team will be able to arrange support from the Counselling, Mental Health and Wellbeing team. If you would like to contact them direct, please call them on 0161 247 3493 or email counselling@mmu.ac.uk.


There are two ways you can tell us what happened