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Woman whose drink was spiked shares symptoms that people should look out for: 'I wish I knew beforehand'

The hugest red flag, Abughazaleh said, was the sudden loss of 'hours of memory after a couple of drinks.'

Woman whose drink was spiked shares symptoms that people should look out for: 'I wish I knew beforehand'
Cover Image Source: Getty Images/RamitBatra.com

A woman shared the signs and symptoms of a spiked drink in a now-viral Twitter thread. On Tuesday, Katherine Abughazaleh (@abughazalehkat) posted on Twitter: "Someone drugged my drink this weekend. Here are some symptoms of a spiked drink that I wish I knew beforehand (and was never told)." Twitter users are praising Abughazaleh for sharing these tips and expressing solidarity for speaking out about her experience.



 

 

Abughazaleh shared in her thread that being drugged caused her to have a "complete blackout," throw up and become disoriented. She said this happened while she was getting a drink at her neighborhood bar on Saturday night. 

She lost consciousness "immediately" after consuming the beverage, and the next thing she knew, she was "awake in her bed, on her side, with vomit down the front of her shirt."  She then added that she had no recollection of anything. "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."



 

 

Abughazaleh shared her symptoms from the next day, saying she "struggled to articulate her thoughts" and had "extreme sensitivity to light." She also experienced nausea, a sore throat, a "massive" headache and muscle weakness. Abughazaleh shared that at first, she believed she was only suffering from a "horrible hangover." Her doctor told her that when she described her symptoms, they "aligned with a drug rather than simply being drunk." She said she didn't feel "normalish until Sunday night." She slept for 12 hours on Sunday night.



 

 

She tweeted that she feels embarrassed for "not being careful" and that she feels over-dramatic for sharing this. "I know how to be safe with my drinks. And yet this still happened and I still feel like it’s my fault for not being careful," she wrote. "I feel over-dramatic and embarrassed by sharing this, like I’m crying out for attention."



 

 

Many Twitter users supported her, saying it is okay to express vulnerabilities, and it is wonderful that she shared this knowledge. Many users also shared their own personal experiences with being drugged, saying it is far more common than people think.



 

 



 

 

Drink spiking is actually much more common than some people realize. In a survey conducted by Alcohol.org, 44% of men and 56% of women admitted to having their drinks spiked "unknowingly" at some point in their lives. And 37% of those groups reported having their drinks spiked "multiple times." The survey found that slurring of speech, "feeling heavily intoxicated quickly" and sedation are some of the most frequently reported signs.



 

 

According to Alcohol.org, women were more likely than men to experience side effects that spiked across the majority of all symptoms examined.

Three Florida high school students have created straws that can help identify date rape drugs and protect young women. Victoria Roca, Susana Cappello and Carolina Baigorri came up with a straw to detect the drug after realizing that date rape drugs were a serious problem and wanting to take action. They developed the concept while taking an entrepreneurship course at Miami's Gulliver Preparatory School.



 

 

"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.



 

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