Drink Spiking: Keep Your Kids Safe From Tampered Drinks
As teens grow into adults, it’s a wonderful time for them to
discover who they are. Some teens graduate from high school and head off to a
big college campus. Others choose to stay closer to home and continue their
education at a local community college or jump directly into the workforce. No
matter what path they choose, they’re building life skills that will make them
successful in the future.
Developing social skills and networking are two of the most
valuable parts of moving into adulthood. Young adults are meeting new people
and developing new friendships. This is also a time when parents are no longer kept
in the loop about who their kids are hanging out with and what they’re doing.
Unfortunately, there are those who prey on unsuspecting teens.
Drink spiking is not something that just happens on TV. And it happens more
than teens and parents think. It’s entirely reasonable for parents to worry
about their children. But how can parents keep their kids safe from drink
How to Protect Your Child From Drink Tampering
On the one hand, it’s important that parents respect the
newfound independence of their children. On the other, it’s vital that parents
educate young adults to better protect themselves and stay safe. Here are a few
things parents and teens can do to protect themselves and their friends from
Know How to Spot the Warning Signs of Drink Tampering
The first thing to keeping your children safe from drugged
drinks is to help them know what to look for. When a teen knows how
to identify drink spiking, they’re that much more prepared to safeguard
themselves and their friends.
If you suddenly notice that your drink looks cloudy, seems like it has excessive bubble, or has changed in color, there’s a chance it may have been tampered with. Maybe you or your friend didn’t notice these warning signs until you already drank the beverage.
In that case, be on the lookout for a sudden loss of balance, drowsiness, or vision problems. If you notice any of these signs, tell someone and get your friend to a medical professional immediately.
Never Leave a Drink Unattended
Once you put your drink down, it’s no longer your drink. This
is true whether you’re at a party, a tailgate, a restaurant, or a nightclub. Any
time you leave a drink unattended is an opportunity for someone to slip something
into your drink.
It only takes a second for someone to spike your drink. The consequences
could last a lifetime.
Even if you ask a friend to watch your drink, you can never
be too careful. The kinds of people that spike drinks are sneaky. They could
drop something in a drink while passing by or when your friends aren’t paying
attention. Bring your drink with you or finish it before you leave.
Don’t Accept Beverages From Other People
The only way to be truly safe with your drink is to bring
your own. Bring individually packaged sodas that are in unopened cans or
bottles. This prevents the possibility of someone tampering with your beverage
before you get to it.
If someone offers you a beverage, it’s best not to accept
it. There’s no need to be rude. A simple, “Thanks, but no thanks” will suffice.
You can never be too careful, and it’s always best not to accept any kind of
food or drink from strangers.
Don’t Take Drinks Out of Punch Bowls
“Oh no! Someone spiked the punch!” It has become such a
stereotype that people don’t take it seriously anymore. But that doesn’t make
it any less true! Punches and other community drinks are seeing a resurgence in
popularity. This also makes them a prime opportunity for drink spiking. With
community drinks comes less certainty of what you’re actually drinking.
When dealing with a community beverage, it’s impossible to
keep an eye on the bowl the entire time. From proms to club functions and
parties, there’s no telling what may be in it. Someone could have spiked it
with a high-alcohol-content beverage. This could cause a teen to black out or
consume more alcohol than they intend.
Even worse, community punches are easy targets for drink
tampering. One big bowl makes it easy for someone to adulterate it with illegal
drugs or intoxicants that could affect everyone at a party. Tell your child to
pass on the punch at their next party and bring their own sealed sodas instead.
Test Your Drinks With This New Device
best way to avoid having your drink spiked is to not drink. However, that might
not always be realistic or might not be an option. A teen may be enjoying a
soft drink or water, and someone could still spike their beverage.
a team of innovative students at North Carolina State University has invented a solution to help keep people
safe from drink tampering. The four students developed a simple test people can
use to detect if a drink has been spiked. The discreet test kits are small
enough to be carried in a wallet or purse, and only need a few drops of a
beverage to work.
Start the Conversation About Drink Spiking
One of the best, and still most effective, ways to protect your child from drink tampering is to talk to them about it. Sitting down and having an honest, open conversation about underage drinking and its dangers can go a long way to helping them make smart decisions.
Take the time to educate your children about the dangers of drink spiking. When you do, you can sleep a bit more soundly knowing they’re informed on how to stay safe. Talk it out with your teen today and take the pledge to prevent underage drinking together.