In today’s reminder that the world is a terrifying place, just watch this important video to see how easily your drink can be spiked without you having a clue.
Mell Hall, from Toronto, Canada, shared a video of herself subtly dropping corn kernels into a wine glass, in an effort to raise awarness of just how easy it is for someone to slip something into your drink – even if you never leave it unattended.
She wants to encourage people to exercise caution and urges everyone to hold a coaster above their glass whenever they’re not taking a sip.
When Mell first proposed the coaster trick in a video posted to her TikTok page, she received a comment saying the technique was ‘unneccessary’.
This made her realise she needed to show the reality of how someone can spike your drink without you noticing, and did so in another video.
In just a few moves, she had dropped five corn kernels – representing drugs – into a wine glass.
Viewers were blown away, with the video receiving more than 1.6million views and hundreds of comments blown away by the demonstration.
One person commented: ‘I had to watch it twice because I DIDN’T NOTICE THE FIRST TIME.’
Another said: ‘Jesus I didn’t even notice you dropping things in the first time I watched the video which is EXACTLY THE POINT IVAN’
‘That’s actually so terrifying,’ added another. ‘I had no idea what you were doing until you held up the glass kernels. It’s really that easy. Wow.’
Speaking about the video, Mell said: ‘I made it in response to a comment on another one of my videos.
‘I had been talking about how coasters are a simple and effective way to protect your drink.
‘There had been some comments from people who felt this was paranoid or unnecessary. The comment I decided to respond to was about whether or not a drink being spiked while you’re holding it is actually noticeable.
‘I decided the best way to respond and explain the risk was with a video.
‘I thought a visual would be more impactful. So, I searched my kitchen for something pill-sized, which were popcorn kernels, and I got to work. It was a spontaneous thing.
‘It was eye-opening! I hadn’t expected it to be so easy. I knew that people could drop something in quickly and discreetly, but I thought it would take a lot more practice to do it myself.’
Mell encouraged people to be vigilant and cover their glasses with a drink cover or napkin to ensure they stay safe, and also to have trusted friends around you.
Signs that someone’s drink has been spiked
The effects of drink spiking vary depending on what you’ve been spiked with, but often someone who has been spiked will seem much drunker than they should be after a few drinks. Symptoms can include:
- Lowered inhibitions
- Loss of balance
- Visual problems
- Losing consciousness
She said: ‘My intention when I made this video wasn’t to scare people into never going out. I know from the comments that fear is a lot of peoples’ first reaction to seeing this.
‘I would have been happy if just one person would have walked away from watching this video and decided to be more vigilant and build safer habits for themselves.
‘To my surprise, it looks like millions of people are going to re-evaluate how they protect themselves and those around them!
‘People have been so generous in the comments and have jumped in to give personal anecdotes and share how they keep themselves safer when they go out.
‘We’ve talked about covering your drink with your hand, covering it with a coaster, using a silicone or fabric drink cover, poking your straw through a napkin and securing the napkin to the glass with your hair elastic, nail polishes that change colour when they come into contact with a drug, drink testing kits, drug-detecting bracelets, ordering a bottle instead of a glass so that it’s a smaller target, and plenty more.
‘People have also talked about how it’s important to watch your bartender make your drink and to buy a new one if ever you put yours down or feel unsure.
‘With all of that said, I think allies are most important. The reality is that, if someone does manage to spike your drink, your awareness has been taken away from you.
‘You’re now relying on the people around you to recognize that something is wrong and to help. That’s why we must be looking out for others as much as ourselves.
‘So, if your friend is acting weird or if you see something suspicious across the bar, check in with them. Allies save lives.’
What to do if you think a friend has been spiked:
- Tell a bar manager, bouncer or member of staff
- Stay with them and keep talking to them
- Call an ambulance if their condition deteriorates
- Don’t let them go home on their own
- Don’t let them leave the venue with someone you don’t know or trust
- If possible, try and prevent them drinking more alcohol as this could lead to more serious problems
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