What to do if you think you've been spiked - Drink spiking and date rape drugs

If you think your drink has been spiked, take action immediately. Your priority is to protect yourself from further harm.

Tell someone you trust

As you cannot be sure how your body will react to an unknown substance, you will need to get help from someone you trust.

This could be:

  • a friend or relative
  • the manager of the place you're in
  • security staff
  • the Gardaí
  • a healthcare professional

Keep the drink

If you still have some of the spiked drink left, keep hold of it if possible. It might be used as evidence. Give it to someone you trust until it can be given to the Gardaí.

If you feel unwell

Ask a friend to take you to the Emergency Department (ED) if you have symptoms such as:

  • drowsiness
  • vomiting
  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there)

When you arrive at the ED, you or your friend should tell the medical staff that you think your drink has been spiked.

If you have no severe symptoms

If you think that your drink has been spiked but you have no severe symptoms, contact the Gardaí. Reporting the incident as soon as possible will help to catch the offender.

Contacting the Gardaí

If you need immediate medical attention, go to the ED before contacting the Gardaí. Call 999 or 112 if you need help urgently.

Contact the Gardaí as soon as you can. You will need to have your blood or urine tested to confirm that your drink has been spiked. This test will help the Gardaí to investigate the crime.

Blood or urine test

Following a drink spiking incident, blood or urine samples will need to be taken as soon as possible.

Most drugs leave the body 12 to 72 hours after being taken. So it's important that a blood or urine sample is tested as soon as possible.

For example, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) will be:

  • undetectable in your blood within 6 to 8 hours
  • undetectable in your urine within 12 to 18 hours

Going home

Arrange for someone you trust to take you home after:

  • you have been to the ED
  • the Gardaí have been contacted
  • a blood or urine sample has been taken

Once you are at home, ask that trusted person to stay with you until the drugs have fully left your system. This will probably be the following day. This is in case any symptoms get worse and you are unable to look after yourself.

Sexual assault

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you should always get medical attention.

You may need to be checked to see if you have any sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or if you're pregnant.

You do not have to report an attack to the Gardaí immediately if you do not want to. But do get medical help immediately if you have been hurt or injured. Any forensic evidence that is taken during tests can be stored. You can decide later if you want to report the attack.

If you need someone to talk to

Contact the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre 24 hour helpline on

1800 77 8888

Assault and robbery

If you have been assaulted, robbed or both, you should report this to the Gardaí as soon as possible.

They will want any information that you have about your attackers, such as:

  • if you knew them
  • what they looked like
  • the events that led to the attack
  • what happened during the attack
  • what was taken

If you have been physically assaulted, the Gardaí will need to keep a record of your injuries.


Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE

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This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.

Page last reviewed: 23 April 2020
Next review due: 23 April 2023

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