Spiked Substances
What Should You Know ?

Medically Reviewed By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited : AUGUST 08, 
| 4 Sources

The term "spiked substances" is often used to describe any adulterated alcoholic beverage or drug. The word "spike" originates from the verb form of spikenard, an aromatic herb with medicinal properties that was discovered by a hunter in ancient times.

In this way, the word has come to refer to something that is added surreptitiously and deceitfully. Spiked substances are most often associated with illicit drugs such as heroin and cocaine but alcohol can also be spiked without the drinker's knowledge.

What is a Spiked Substance?

A spiked substance is a drug that has been mixed with another substance to increase the effects of the original drug. This can be done either by adding more drugs, or other substances such as caffeine, which are sometimes used to mask the taste and effects of illicit drugs.

Spiked substances have become increasingly popular in recent years because they offer an opportunity for people who want to get high without having their friends know about it.

What Do Spiked Substances Do to the Body?

Many individuals find themselves wondering this very concern. Drug abuse can lead to a variety of health problems such as addiction, overdose, heart disease and depression.

Drugs and alcohol affect the brain by increasing levels of dopamine (a neurotransmitter involved in pleasure). When someone takes too much or abuses drugs or alcohol over time, their brain cells become less sensitive to dopamine which leads them to require more to feel the same effects.

This is known as a tolerance, and is a warning sign of a developing addiction.

How Do Spiked Substances Get into Your Drink?

How do spiked substances get into your drink? The most common ways are a foreign object, such as an ice cube or straw, is placed in the drink and then removed; the person pouring the drink switches out the alcoholic beverage with non-alcoholic; someone replaces your drink after you've started drinking it.

If you think that this may have happened to you, ask for help from friends and be mindful of any changes in behavior from people around you who might seem overly friendly. In other words, if they're telling jokes or trying to include themselves more than usual--then something is wrong!

Photo by Goashape

Signs of a Spiked Drink

It is important to make sure that you and your friends are not drinking spiked drinks. It can be hard to tell if you have been drugged or not, but there are some signs that can help indicate whether a drink has been tampered with. Here are some of the most common signs of a spiked drink:

  • Feeling dizzy after drinking one sip of alcohol when normally this would take more than 5 sips
  • Changes in body temperature (excessive shivering, sweating)
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Drowsiness or difficulty staying awake
  • Difficulty speaking, slurred speech
  • Changes in behavior (irrational or aggressive behaviors)

If you think that your drink has been tampered with then the best thing to do is not take another sip and tell a friend. They can help by getting you away from possible danger, figuring out how much of the spiked drink was consumed, making sure that there are no other signs of assault (e.g., bruising), etc.

Make sure to get medical attention immediately after drinking if you have any doubts about whether it is safe for consumption.

Who is Likely to Spike Your Drink and Why 

A lot of people are curious about if they can get their drink spiked. There are a number of reasons why someone might want to spike your drink, but the most popular reason is so that you will sleep with them.

If someone offers you a drink and says “trust me, it’s the good stuff” or something similar, that is usually your cue to refuse. If he then insists on putting alcohol in your drink because they “want you to have a really great time tonight,” just say no thank-you (politely).

It sounds like this person might be trying to sabotage your night with their intentions.

How to Avoid Being Drugged or Drunk-driven

People often wonder how they can get home safely after a night out. You could catch an Uber or Lyft, but it's also possible that you will be drugged and driven to your destination by someone who is drunk. With this in mind, here are some tips on how to avoid being drugged or drunk-driven:

  • If you plan on going out for the evening, always make sure that all of your friends have a designated driver before you go anywhere. This way if anything happens, at least one person has been sober enough to drive everyone else home.
  • If you feel like somebody might have given you something without asking first (such as drugs), don't take them! It doesn't matter what they say to try and convince you of, just refuse.
  • "No means no!" This one might sound obvious but it's worth stating explicitly until there is zero tolerance for this behavior everywhere we go - be vigilant against those using harmful substances

Prevention and Safety Tips for Avoiding Spiked Substances 

It's important to be safe and stay aware of your surroundings when you're out at a party or bar. This is especially true for those who are using drugs or alcohol. The best way to avoid getting spiked with something dangerous is by being cautious, knowing the signs, and having someone close by that can help in case of an emergency.

If you think that you've been drugged, it's important to get medical attention right away!

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye on what you're drinking, who's around you and how much time has passed since the last drink.
  • If someone offers to buy or share a drink with you it could be wise to refuse politely - don't take food from strangers either! If in doubt about whether something is safe then just say no thank you. It may seem rude but as they say: 'prevention is better than the cure'.
  • Watch out for signs that may indicate that someone spiked your drink (unusual behavior, feeling drowsy). Call 911 if this happens so that medical professionals can help get rid of any harmful substances in your system before things become worse!


Spiked substances are dangerous and can lead to serious consequences. This blog post has provided you with some helpful information on what spiked substances are, how they get into your drink, signs of a spiked drink, prevention tips for avoiding them in the future as well as safety tips if this has already happened to you.

It is important that we all know about these risks so we can protect ourselves from getting hurt or hurting others because of something like a spiked substance. We hope that our readers will take the time to read through it and share their thoughts with us at any point along the way! 

The Time to Quit is Now!

Combining alcohol with other substances is never a good idea! If you or someone you know mixes alcohol with drugs, the time to quit is now! Reach out to a treatment provider to get help.

Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl

Licensed Medical Health Professional 


I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More

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