Woman Shares Symptoms of Her Drink Being Spiked: 'I Wish I Knew Beforehand'

In a now-viral Twitter thread, a woman shared the "signs and symptoms" of a spiked drink.

Posting to Twitter on Tuesday, Katherine Abughazaleh wrote: "Someone drugged my drink this weekend. Here are some symptoms of a spiked drink that I wish I knew beforehand (and was never told)." The thread has amassed a total of over 373,000 likes and more than 2,000 comments thanking Abughazaleh for sharing her knowledge and speaking out about her experience.

Drink Spiking

Unfortunately, drink spiking may be more prevalent than some people think. Forty-four percent of men and 56 percent of women surveyed by Alcohol.org, an American Addiction Centers (AAC) resource, said they'd "unknowingly" had their drinks spiked at one point in their lives. Of those groups, 37 percent said they'd had drinks spiked "multiple times."

According to the survey, some of the most commonly reported symptoms include slurring of words, "feeling heavily intoxicated quickly" and sedation, among others.

Drink
In a now-viral Twitter thread, a bartender shared the "signs and symptoms" of a spiked drink. MaximFesenko/istock

"Across a majority of all of the symptoms studied, women experienced spiking side effects more heavily than men," Alcohol.org said.

For example, 50 percent of women reported feeling a "loss of balance" compared to 28 percent of men. Similarly, 56 percent of women reported feeling confused compared to 34 percent of men.

"Men more regularly experienced euphoria, excitement and aggression as side effects of ingesting a spiked substance," Alcohol.org explained.

In her thread, Abughazaleh said she experienced "complete blackout," vomiting and disorientation as a result of being drugged.

Abughazaleh's Story

Abughazaleh said her drink was spiked Saturday night while she was grabbing a drink at her local bar. "Immediately" after ingesting the drink, she blacked out, and the next thing she knew, she was "awake in [her] bed, on [her] side, with vomit down the front of [her] shirt."

"Based on the state of my apartment, I could tell there was disorientation but because of the blackout I have no idea what happened," she said. "I woke up incredibly confused in the morning because I have never totally blacked out in my life, even on my craziest nights."

Sunday morning, Abughazaleh had brain fog, "extreme sensitivity to light" and difficulty articulating her thoughts. She also had a "massive" headache, muscle weakness, nausea and a sore throat.

At first, Abughazaleh thought she was simply battling a "horrible hangover," she told Newsweek. It wasn't until she texted her best friend that she "considered another possibility."

"She basically said, 'That doesn't sound like you at all. Do you think someone slipped something in your drink?' At first, I confidently said no. Then I kept thinking about it and tried to find a different explanation. Finally, I was running myself in circles and decided to contact my doctor on Monday," Abughazaleh said.

When she ran her doctor through her symptoms, she was told they "aligned with a drug rather than simply being drunk."

"I wish I had known what the signs were before this happened, even just the aftereffects...knowing the physical symptoms the day after would have helped a lot. I might have gone to the hospital to get bloodwork. I might have gone to the police. I might have not felt that overwhelming shame and confusion," Abughazaleh told Newsweek.

"You're told how to avoid date rape drugs: never accept the jungle juice at a frat party, never leave your drink unattended...Well, I did the right things and it still happened. I didn't get up and leave my drink alone at any point. I wasn't always watching but I didn't accept a drink from someone else either...No matter how careful you are, the worst can still happen and people deserve to be able to prepare for that," she concluded.

Twitter Reacts

Abughazaleh said she was "embarrassed" to share her story but many commenters told her not to be. In fact, many thanked her for opening up about her experience and sharing her knowledge.

"It's nothing to be embarrassed about and it wasn't your fault, any time we talk about this stuff, we might help some other girls recognize it," Crash Test Meg wrote.

"Thanks for sharing. Trying to educate my girls on this before they get any older," scott bishop said.

"Thank you, Kat. You may have saved someone's life today," Dataslave commented. "Bar staff, wait staff, customers—you must help. If you see something, say something."

"Thanks for sharing. This happened to someone in my family many years ago and this info would've been helpful," Solomon Choi added.

Other Viral Threads

A woman went viral on Twitter last Monday after sharing a note she found from her father nine years after his death.

Last month, a Subway worker went viral for sharing the one sandwich order that still "haunts her nightmares."

And in June, a tweet theorizing why true crime receives backlash sparked a viral debate.