A third of women know someone who has been a victim of drink spiking, figures show.
A third of women have either been spiked themselves or know someone who has, according to figures released by YouGov.
Some two in five (40%) of those aged between 18 and 24 know someone who has been spiked, including themselves, the highest of any age group.
However, it is those aged between 24 and 49 who are the most likely to say they personally have been spiked (14%).
Spiking usually refers to when drugs or alcohol are mixed into someone’s drink without their knowledge or consent with the intent to incapacitate them or make them more vulnerable.
However, there have also been some reports of people being injected by needle in packed bars and nightclubs.
Nikki Fairbrass, who had her drink spiked on a night-out with friends said: “I know many people including myself who have had their drink spiked, so these figures do not shock me one bit.
“It’s rife and something serious needs to be done to stop this.
“There is limited help available from night-time businesses.
“It’s scary as you are unaware of what’s happening, and you are putting yourself and your safety in danger.
“It’s definitely made me think twice about going out.”
The YouGov data shows that only 42% of women would be confident they would taken seriously by the police and 41% wouldn’t.
Men feel broadly the same: 43% are confident they would be taken seriously by police, while 38% are not.
Approaching half of both women (49%) and men (46%) are either not very or not at all confident a venue would take them seriously should they complain about being spiked there.
Additionally, only 27% of women and 30% of men think a venue would take them seriously if there were spiked.
A spokesman from Drinkaware, a charity which aims to reduce alcohol-related harm said: “Drink spiking is a heinous act and a serious crime. Although most reported victims of drink spiking are women, men are targeted too. If your drink has been spiked it’s unlikely that it will look, smell, or taste any different but the consequences can be very serious.
“Drinks can be spiked with more alcohol or with drugs, including date-rape drugs, with most taking effect within 15 to 30 minutes and symptoms usually lasting for several hours.
“Depending on what your drink has been spiked with, your symptoms could include lowered inhibitions, loss of balance, visual problems, confusion, nausea and vomiting or even unconsciousness.
“Symptoms will depend on many factors including the substance or mix of substances used, the dose, your size and weight, and how much alcohol you have consumed.
“If you or somebody you know start to feel strange or more drunk than expected, or you suspect that your drink has been spiked, get help straight away and seek medical assistance if the condition worsens.
“Spiking a drink with alcohol or drugs is illegal and incidents must also be reported to the police.
“To help avoid your drink being spiked, never accept a drink from someone you don’t know or trust, and never leave your drink unattended.
“Avoiding drinking too much alcohol can also help you stay alert to anything suspicious and be able to look out for yourself and your friends.”