Gardaí warn public of increased incidents of drink spiking in clubs and nightclubs
One Garda recommended avoiding drinking out of punch bowls.
Gardaí are warning the public to be vigilant as alleged incidents of drinks being spiked are increasing.
Garda James Masters spoke about the phenomenon following a spiking incident in Bantry while speaking to Patricia Messinger on C103's Cork Today Show.
"We're receiving more allegations of incidents of spiking in pubs and clubs, not only in Cork City, but recently in Bantry," Masters said.
"We're obviously asking the public to be extremely mindful of this, this is extremely serious.
"We advise the public that when they are actually having drinks, whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic, that they do a number of preventative measures.
Masters recommended drinking out of bottles and avoiding punch bowls, as culprits will find it easier to spike these containers, especially as they become more popular in clubs.
"If you feel like it's been tampered with, tell a trusted friend or a resident immediately," Masters said.
"Always try to plan your trip home and also let people know where you're going and what time you're expected home at, so that if you don't get home, people will know what's happening."
Drink spiking has been of increasing concern since restrictions have eased, with UCD Students Union issuing a warning to students over the trend.
If you believe you have been spiked while on a night out, the HSE has issued the following advice.
Tell someone you trust.
This could be a friend or relative, the manager of the establishment, security, a healthcare professional, or the Gardaí.
Keep your drink.
If you haven't finished your drink, give it to someone you trust until it can be given to Gardaí. This could be used as evidence in future.
Heading to the emergency department.
If you feel drowsy, have started vomiting, or are beginning to see hallucinations, travel to an ED immediately with a friend.
Contact the Gardaí.
If you aren't feeling any severe symptoms but believe you have been spiked, contact the Gardaí. Reporting the event as soon as possible will assist in their investigation. You will need to have your blood or urine tested to confirm the spiking as soon as possible.
Return home and rest, and ask a friend to stay with you until the drugs have left your system. This is in case your symptoms worsen over time.