Caffeine, alcohol makes dangerous mixture

Four Loko is an alcoholic energy drink. The 23.5-ounce can has 12 percent alcohol which is equivalent to five or six beers.

Socializing as a college student can be a great way to relax and meet others. However, it can sometimes be difficult to navigate the college-party atmosphere safely. 11% of women and 6% of men have fallen victim to drink spiking, and this number continues to grow each year.

Because of their lack of odor and color, date rape drugs often go unnoticed by their victims. Products such as reusable drink covers and drug detection tablets can help to provide an extra level of protection against these harmful substances.

This level of protection is not always flawless, nor is it openly available to everyone, so it is also important to keep track of potential warning signs in order to ensure the safety of yourself and others.

Dizziness

When drinking alcohol, it can be difficult to differentiate between normal and irregular dizziness. If you suddenly feel extremely dizzy or lightheaded after drinking, notify a friend and try to leave the social event if possible. If symptoms progress, do not hesitate to go to the hospital to receive medical attention.

Feeling more drunk than usual

If you are drinking and you feel unusually heightened effects such as slurred speech, sweating or blurred vision, it is important to tell someone you trust immediately.

Many spikers find this the easiest way to get away with spiking a drink because the symptoms are almost parallel to alcohol intake symptoms. By the time an individual notices, it is often too late to take action, so it is a good idea to keep these red flags on your radar.

Hallucinations

After being spiked, many individuals have reported seeing or feeling things that are not actually there.

Hallucinations are uncharacteristic of alcohol consumption, so if you find yourself hallucinating after only drinking alcohol, this is a strong sign that your drink has been spiked, and you should seek professional help immediately.

Confusion

If you feel confused or are unable to remember anything after a night of light to moderate drinking, this may be a sign that your drink was spiked.

Although many individuals experience blackouts or memory lapses while drinking alcohol in large quantities, this level of forgetfulness should not occur if you are drinking in moderation. If you believe that you have been drugged and do not find out until after the fact, medical professionals can check for trace amounts of the drug or perform forensic examinations.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, with or without the use of date rape drugs, there are resources that can help. The University of Tennessee Office of Title IX can be reached at 865-974-9600 or titleix@utk.edu, and the National Sexual Assault Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-656-4673.

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