To avoid being spiked, stop consumption of alcohol

Wednesday, May 25th, 2022 11:51 | By
Keep bars off schools, Kisii priest urges govt
Photo used for Alcohol PHOTO/Courtesy

Drink spiking is illegal, whatever the intent. This means slipping alcohol or drugs into a friend’s drink as a prank is against the law even if the drink is not consumed or the person is not harmed. People who spike drinks can be fined or jailed for offences occurring after the act. 

Public perception is that it is limited to slipping drugs into an alcoholic drink, however, drink spiking can include putting alcohol into a non-alcoholic drink (such as water, soft drink, non-alcoholic punch or fruit juice) and adding extra alcohol to an alcoholic drink. It also involved slipping prescription or illegal drugs (such as benzodiazepines, amphetamines or GHB – also called liquid ecstasy) into an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink.

Drink spiking can be linked to crimes such as sexual assault and robbery. In these situations, the offender may spike someone’s drink to lower their defences and make it easier to commit a crime against them.

Estimates suggest that a third of drink spiking incidents are associated with sexual attack.

Recently in Kenya the media has been awash with cases of alcohol spiking which takes place mainly in social entertainment areas. Shockingly, the spikers go to the extent of using concoctions that are a mixture of various prescription medications. In other words, the ones carrying out this act do not even know what they use to knock out their victims so long as they immobilise them.

Since the majority of victims have received their doses in bars or while partaking in alcohol, the safest way to avoid this is staying away from tipple altogether. Quitting drinking isn’t always easy, especially if you’ve been misusing alcohol for years. However, there are many benefits of taking the steps needed to stop alcohol use, both mental and physical.

Alcohol does no good to our waistlines, being both high in calories and something that slows down the metabolism. Many diets that work fast to help people lose weight include ditching alcohol altogether. At seven calories per gramme on average, alcohol contains almost twice the amount of calories found in carbohydrates.

Alcohol prevents the body from absorbing more vitamins and minerals. The acidity in alcohol is bad for gut health, killing cells in the stomach lining and intestines that facilitate the body’s absorption of nutrients. It can also hinder the transportation of nutrients into the bloodstream.

An American study found that alcohol contributes to sleep deprivation and aids tiredness the day after a night on the booze. Thus explaining the side of exhaustion that normally accompanies our heavy hangover.

It further breaks down the collagen in skin, which keeps our skin firm and structured. While the depletion of vitamins that slows down cell renewal, giving the skin a grey appearance.

If you think you or someone you’re with has been spiked, the best thing to do is tell the people you’re with and seek medical help straight away. Get to the nearest hospital and explain what has happened.

— The writer is Manager Corporate Communications at NACADA — [email protected]

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