According to a new study conducted by Suzanne C. Swan, an associate professor of psychology at the University of South Carolina, nearly eight percent of college students have experienced having their drinks spiked with drugs, with another 1.4 percent saying they had or knew someone who has spiked someone else’s drink.
“These data indicate that drugging is more than simply an urban legend,” says Swan.
Published in the Psychology of Violence journal, the study interviews 6,064 students across three different universities with men and women providing very different perspectives on the topic.
About 80 percent of date rape victims are women while men account for about one in every five victims. While females tended to view sexual assault as a driving factor behind spiking drinks, men claimed that the motivation was to have fun.
While a common consensus among college students condemns the act of drinks spiking, researchers conclude that it is essential to educate more individuals on the dangers of drink spiking with a focus on educating the assaulters of their unacceptable behavior.
According to Swan, the behavior is “coercive” and “controlling”. It not only violates the victim but takes away their control.
“Because many of those who drug others believe that the behavior is fun and minimize the risks, interventions could provide information about the dangers of overdosing,” says Swan.”They could also target the issue of consent. Just as people have a fundamental right to to consent to sexual activity, they also have the right to know and consent to the substances they ingest.”