Learn from others and never let your beverage out of your sight. A close relative of mine has been a member of Alcoholics Anonymous for many years now and has had the opportunity numerous times to sponsor and help many people during their recovery. He seemed down when I talked to him not long ago and I asked him what was wrong.
He said one of the members he has been sponsoring for more than four years was only one month away from maintaining 5 years of sobriety. I immediately thought how sad, five years of abstinence is a long time and unfortunately this person must have relapsed.
I was shocked and deeply saddened when he continued with the conversation. While attending a family function one of the guests thought it would be funny to spike the person's soda that was left unattended. Without knowing their beverage had been tampered with, this person took a drink and was completely horrified when they realized what had just happened. Thinking they accidentally picked up the wrong drink, I can only imagine how upset they were with them self because AA members know how easily this can happen.
Unbelievably the person who had tampered with the soda immediately admitted to what he had done because he thought it would be funny, not realizing how serious and crushing this was going to be to the recovering alcoholic. Even though this person didn't intentionally drink alcohol, this compromised their abstinence and because they were so devastated, this led to another drink. This person didn't give up though, this amazing person returned to their AA meetings highly determined to move on.
I'm sure similar situations have happened to others recovering from alcohol or drug addiction. People who have never had a problem with drugs or alcohol don't understand addiction and definitely don't realize what abstinence means to a recovering alcoholic or drug addict. They also don't realize what it takes on a daily basis to remain clean and sober for most people either.
Staying clean and sober for any length of time isn't always easy and whether your path of recovery is Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, another program of recovery or you did it on your own, a year of sobriety is a tremendous achievement. A year of continuous sobriety in 12 Step recovery programs is a huge accomplishment. This is considered a sobriety anniversary or sobriety birthday and a token of some kind, is often given as a symbol of the individuals tremendous success.
WE ALL HAVE TO BE CAREFUL!!!!
In the world we live in today it doesn't matter if you're recovering from substance abuse and addiction or not, we all have to be careful and never leave our beverage out of our sight if we're out. Alcohol isn't the only substance used to spike a person's drink and the intent isn't just because someone is trying to get a reaction out of the victim because they think, 'its 'funny'. Many people have had their drinks spiked with prescription drugs and illegal street drugs with the intent of sexual assault or robbery.
Avoid Being A Victim
- This doesn't just happen to women, men have also been victims.
- This happens to people of all ages so don't just assume appearance or age has anything to do with being a victim.
- This can happen on a blind date or with someone you don't know very well, it doesn't just take place at bars, nightclubs or parties.
- No matter what kind of drink you have, never let it out of your sight. People have had their drinks spiked when using the restroom or while dancing.
- Watch how much alcohol you consume, a victim is less likely to be careful after they have had a few drinks.
- Just because a stranger is charming, well groomed and good looking doesn't mean they're not capable of spiking a person's drink with the intentions of drug assisted sexual assault.
- Never accept drinks from strangers.
- Never swap or share drinks with someone you don't know or completely trust.
- Buy your own drinks.
- Watch your drink being prepared by the bartender.
- Avoid going out to bars, clubs or even parties alone.
Most of the time the drug used to spike a person's drink is impossible to detect because there's no change in taste, smell or appearance. Depending on a person's weight, their body shape, age, the substance that was used to spike a drink, how much was used and the level of alcohol a person may have already consumed makes a difference in the symptoms that can be experienced.
Symptoms Associated With Spiked Drinks
- Feeling oddly dizzy, drowsy, light-headed, faint, nauseous, or vomiting
- Feeling tipsy or drunk when you've not had any alcohol or only had a small amount to drink
- Feeling hung over when you had little or no alcohol to drink
- Loss of inhibitions
- Speech becomes slurred
- Vision problems
- Feeling disorientated (confused)
- Passing out
- Memory loss
Stay Safe: This doesn't mean that we have to become paranoid and stop going out and enjoying ourselves, it means we have to be careful, cautious and aware. Remember this happens to people in all age groups and we have to make sure our adolescents and teens are just as informed, careful and aware.