Drink spiking is when someone knowingly puts a drug into another person's drink in an attempt for the drug to have some sort of effect on the person. It is seen often in movies and television shows, but many do not believe that it happens often in real life. In fact an old study revealed that drink spiking was just an urban myth. Now it appears the results have changed. In a new study published in the Psychology of Violence Journal revealed that drink spiking happens on college campuses a lot more often than people think.
In an interview with Broadly the creator of the study, Suzanne C Swan, explained that she was not expecting the results that she received. She asked students in one of her classes to raise their hand if they had ever been drugged at a party, and when around one-third of the class said yes she decided it was time to do some research. She conducted a survey of students from three schools: the University of South Carolina, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Cincinnati. The questions asked in the survey included how many times had the student been drugged (zero was also an answer), where the student was drugged, and what happened afterwards?
The results were pretty grim. Eight percent of the students said they had been drugged and 16.8 percent of the women surveyed said that unwanted sex occurred after. It wasn't just girls who responded to being drugged – men also had their drinks spiked. 26 percent of the men who had been drugged said it was because of a prank or that it was "to be funny." Out of those surveyed 1.4 percent admitted to drugging another person's drink and when asked why one many responded with "to put happiness in their drinks" and others responded with "for fun." Women were more likely to know someone who had drugged a person in hopes for sex that night.
Swan stated in her interview that the results from her study revealed a serious problem, and that was that many do not take drink spiking seriously. Those doing the spiking see it as more of fun and games rather than a consent issue. In order to decrease the amount of drink spiking, schools should now focus more on the perspective of the perpetrator. Along with telling students to watch their drink, schools also need to explain to students that drugging someone else's drink is a serious crime and just plain wrong.
Lead image: Flickr.com/creativecommons
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