Image copyright AP Image caption 11 reports of drink spiking have been made in the last month
Police in the Washington DC area are warning residents not to drink products “possible laced with drugs” amid fears of a new social media trend.
At least 11 reports have been made of potentially spiked drinks in the last month.
There have been no reports of any serious injuries so far.
However, experts believe the risk of serious harm to those who drink the drinks remains.
More on the ‘spiked drinks’ trend here
People posting information about the trend on social media often describe the drinks as “spiked drinks” – or “vodka tonics” or even “vodka punch”.
The drinks might be laced with drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, opiates or amphetamines.
Vodka spiked with cocaine
Image copyright Facebook Image caption Facebook users were warned to take caution when serving the drinks to friends and family
In one of the reports, an 18-year-old student said he drank a vodka tonic at a bar before going to a party.
He told the Washington Post he believes he was poisoned and vomited.
In another case, a user on a group messaging app said he received a text message from a man giving him a cocktail and adding: “Your drinks are ready.”
Another young person warned about a drink shared between two friends.
The person said: “If any of you drink this, do not drink it alone or with others. This drink is especially dangerous.”
“If you ever see this message again, please spread the word to everyone and anyone you know.”
‘Irresponsible use of drugs’
Shara Rogers, a health expert with the Alexandria Police Department in Virginia, said it was best to ask for medical help.
“If you drink something and it makes you feel dizzy, feel nauseous or your lips get chapped, then it’s probably safe to assume that it was contaminated and was spiked,” she said.
“You can basically bring a report to the police station or to the nearest hospital or hospital emergency department and seek medical treatment.”
She also stressed that despite calls to warn about the potential risks of the trend, there was “no particular indication that there are drugs out there or that any are on the market” that could cause harm.
Instead, she said, the best practice was to educate young people about “a clear message” and “abstain from dangerous drugs” where they’re available.
“In this particular time of opioid epidemic, it’s irresponsible use of drugs and irresponsible use of alcohol.”
“It’s very clear to me that most of these people at these parties don’t drink this stuff in the beginning, but the final step is there to get this alcohol into your body and that’s where the issue arises,” she added.
However, she did say that the police would be making “increased patrols of those locations where people are drinking these cocktails” in the future.
Image copyright AP Image caption A drink reportedly spiked with cocaine was seized from a black party at the University of Virginia
“The most important thing is to realise that these drinks are risky, they could be hazardous and they could kill you,” Ms Rogers said.
“So, just to be aware, most important thing is to not drink them, just make sure you go to the hospital and not drink these dangerous drinks.”
A US state warned about drink spiking in January.
Georgia’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission identified specific trends in tweeting details about parties at which the drinks were being sold.
Vodka flavored tequila, single serve pineapple juice and iced tequila were among the drinks being sold in these cases.