What to watch for to help end drink-spiking on P.E.I.

·1 min read
Stopping the use of date rape drugs is everyone's responsibility, says Eileen Conboy. (Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock - image credit)
Stopping the use of date rape drugs is everyone's responsibility, says Eileen Conboy. (Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock - image credit)

Ending drink-spiking will take the whole community, says UPEI's sexual violence prevention and response officer.

"It is our business," said Eileen Conboy.

"Why not ask questions? Check in with people. Just be curious."

The general feeling that what's going on at the next table at the bar is not your business is a cultural norm that needs to change, said Conboy. She has some tips of things to watch for that could indicate that a person is in a dangerous situation.

One thing to watch for, she said, is an imbalance in the sobriety of two people. If one seems extremely intoxicated, while the other seems in control, it could be the sign of something wrong.

"An extreme slurring of words or, you know, not making eye contact," said Conboy.

Laura Chapin/CBC
Laura Chapin/CBC

"Maybe they are, you know, being kind of coerced by another person who seems to have a bit more capacity."

It is especially important for friends to keep tabs on one another, she said. It should not be the sole responsibility of the victim to protect themselves.

Being aware of the problem at all times, not just when out at the bars or a party, can also come into play. If you hear friends or acquaintances expressing harmful views or attitudes, challenge them on it.

Conboy said it is also important to remember a drink doesn't have to be spiked for a person to become incapacitated.

"Our number one drug used in sexualized violence is actually alcohol," she said.

Charlottetown police are currently investigating after reports from two women saying their drinks were spiked last month.

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