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Was there something in my drink?
September 12, 2009 12:26 PM   Subscribe

Is it possible that something was put in my drink? If so, what?

I got way more drunk than I should have/typically get given how much I drank last night, and I also got violently ill from drinking for the first time ever. I remember the entire night. I drank the equivalent of 3 shots and a then a beer over the course of a few hours (not switching back and forth between beer and liquor). I ate dinner first. I drink socially on a weekly basis, so it's not like my tolerance is down.

I carried my cup with me all night, but I did use someone else's bottle of lemonade as a mixer, and was given the beer by a male friend who didn't try to pull anything weird once I was drunk.

I'm not particularly worried about this, more so just curious whether this is a possibility or my body's ability to cope with alcohol is on the wane.
posted by emilyd22222 to Food & Drink (42 answers total)
 
Is it possible the lemonade was "hard" and already had alcohol in it? Maybe that could have contributed to you being more drunk than usual.
posted by kylej at 12:32 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


You don't talk about how much you ate or how active you were yesterday, compared to your normal routine, and that may have had some effect. Some days I can 'feel' a single drink, and some days I don't notice the alcohol in my system until I've had 3 or more. There are several factors involved, including the ones I listed and the type of drinks I had. (I'm a ~100lb female, btw)
posted by sunshinesky at 12:35 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


People vomit. It sounds like although you were in a safe situation your body had other things to say about the experience.
posted by parmanparman at 12:37 PM on September 12, 2009


It's possible someone put something in your drink. It could have been anything.

There is no way anyone here can answer this. It is very likely you just drank too much. If you felt like it was really unusual for you, you should make a note of it, and maybe be extra watchful next time you're drinking around the same people.
posted by pseudonick at 12:49 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Did you exercise yesterday? Even if I'm not dehydrated eough to feel it, if I do my normal run but it's more than 5 degrees warmer than usual, the excess sweat loss means I need more water. If I don't get that water, ugh--even one beer will make me feel funny. (Note: I regularly drink four-five beers at a sitting with no or little effect.)
posted by notsnot at 12:50 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sunshinesky has a good point. Maybe you were dehydrated? I get drunk faster and have a worse hangover when I'm dehydrated, or if I haven't eaten as well that day or the day before.
posted by apricot at 12:52 PM on September 12, 2009


Are you sure you drank the equivalent of three shots? If you were using a mixer, it's easily possible that at least one of those drinks contained more than a shot. In my experience, people tend to be a lot worse at estimating that than they think.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:59 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah, there's no real way of answering this question. I mean it is possible that someone put something in your drink, this does happen. But the odds are much more in favour of you having that reaction just because. I think everyone has had the feeling of getting drunker than the usually do on a smaller amount of alcohol than usual. I know that you say that you've never gotten sick from alcohol, and you don't say how old you are, but this can be a consequence of not being eighteen any more. So yeah, the chances are no one put anything in your drink. I would imagine that the fact that you remember everything make the possibility that you were drugged even more unlikely but, like every answer that you're going to get, that's just supposition.
posted by ob at 1:00 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh and PhoBWanKenobi makes a great point. People are generally terrible at estimating amounts of alcohol poured.
posted by ob at 1:02 PM on September 12, 2009


Did the drunk "feel" any different? Like greatly heightened? Numby? Overly sleepy? Very headachy? Like someone said above, no way to tell now, but if you are familiar with the drunken feeling and there was something substantially different about it, maybe something did get in your alcohol stream.
posted by telstar at 1:03 PM on September 12, 2009


Did any of your drinks have diet soda mixed in them?
posted by gnomeloaf at 1:04 PM on September 12, 2009


I'm gonna jump in with the dehydration theory. The same thing happened to me recently, and I was stumped until I remembered that I had run 15+ miles that morning and had been dehydrated on my run. Even though I ate a lot and took a nap, there's a funny kind of drunk that happens when your body is tired and you are already dehydrated. For me, it happens slowly and then BOOM I'm wasted, and I feel sluggish and ick. I think the saying goes something like one glass of water for every 8 oz. of alcohol. Stick to that next time and (unless someone really did put something in your drink, which is sadly a possibility), you should be golden. (I'm a thin, light-weight female FWIW.)
posted by cachondeo45 at 1:09 PM on September 12, 2009


You should get tested if you remotely suspect you could have been drugged. Go to a women's clinic and get a hair and urine sample immediately--within 24 hours of consuming the alcohol if possible--and you'll get results within a week (and much sooner if the results are positive). Sure, it might have been a miscalculation or a weird fluke, but you also know your body well enough to sense when something feels so wrong that someone might have been fucking with you. If that's the case, don't listen to advice about how diet soda can get you drunk fast than regular soda.
posted by zoomorphic at 1:10 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you are concerned that your drink was drugged, you can go to a women's clinic to get tested for a few days afterwards, depending on the particular drug. If you have this suspicion, I strongly recommend that you get tested. The interaction between alcohol and date rape drugs is potentially fatal, and ignoring this is doing a disservice to both yourself and other women.

Other commenters saying that you probably just drank too much are perpetuating the dangerous myth that drugged drinks are rare. They are not. It happens. You would not be the first or the last. Please get tested.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:11 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


The vomiting could have been a touch of food poisoning?

Otherwise, thirding dehydration, perhaps. Did you take any over-the-counter drugs, or take something like allergy meds at a different time than usual? Sometimes alcohol affects me differently during times of stress or fatigue. And if I may assume from your profile that you're female, I'll note that for me, my hormonal cycle can affect how I process alcohol as well.
posted by desuetude at 1:14 PM on September 12, 2009


I guess my question would be better phrased along the lines of, "Are these known effects of a drug that could have been put in my drink?" Obviously no one can tell me for sure.

Many of these things are possibilities- I didn't work out, but I may have eaten slightly less overall yesterday than I typically do, and it's entirely possible that I miscalculated the amount of alcohol I drank.

Thanks for all the input so far.
posted by emilyd22222 at 1:15 PM on September 12, 2009


Optimus Chyme, it's not a "dangerous myth" that drugged drinks are rare. It's a disputed question with some powerful evidence that they indeed might be rare. Calling it a dangerous myth, on the other hand, does spread panic that isn't helpful in addressing the real problem.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 1:17 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I actually used to work as a rape victim advocate, and drugs leave the system remarkably quickly. They are very rarely tested for (in my experience), even in cases of suspected drugging, because by the time the victim gives a urine sample they're typically gone.
posted by emilyd22222 at 1:20 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is it possible that you ate something funky at dinner? Food poisoning can definitely make you vomit, and it can also make you feel more drunk.
posted by prefpara at 1:32 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


What kind of date rape drug leaves you remembering the whole night, while vomiting? Not a very good one I wager.

Surely food/alchohol poisoning.
posted by cj_ at 1:40 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I do not want to dissuade the OP from going to get tested. It can only bring either more peace of mind or the revelation of a real danger, both good things.

But I think the odds are on the more peace of mind side.

- Drugged drinks are rare, a small percentage of drinks served to women are drugged. Not rare enough to disregard as a danger unfortunately, but rare.

- There are a number of other things that could explain the OP's situation, as brought up by other posters. Collectively, one of these things being true is more likely than the drugging explanation.

- The OP reports vomiting but not the sedative or euphoric effects of date rape drugs. A drug that makes the victim violently ill and a bit drunker doesn't seem ideal for their purposes.

- No action was taken once the OP was drunk.
posted by pseudonick at 1:41 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sometimes your body just reacts poorly to booze ... don't know why ... but it has happened to me as well ... just that day red wine and I violently didn't agree ... never before, never since.

YMMV
posted by jannw at 1:44 PM on September 12, 2009


There could be a biological cause for this reaction, many people become sensitive to alcohol later in life, for numerous reasons. Your intake would be more than nough to have my SO. be violently sick, had she consumed it. If you have a similar reaction again, consult your doctor.
posted by munchbunch at 1:57 PM on September 12, 2009


Other commenters saying that you probably just drank too much are perpetuating the dangerous myth that drugged drinks are rare. They are not. It happens.

Drugged drinks are rare. Just because something happens doesn't mean it's not rare. On the one hand we have a drugged drink, on the other any number of possibilities from accidental over drinking to food-poisoning, to just one of those things. What's more likely given that we don't have any evidence, and the OP remembers everything? I don't think that anyone here has said categorically that the drugging of a drink didn't happen just that it was much less likely than a lot of other possibilities.
posted by ob at 2:56 PM on September 12, 2009


Yes, game warden, more women are raped while under the effects of alcohol alone than under the effects of alcohol and date-rape drugs. This is a statistical certainty, just as it is certain that a randomly chosen person is more likely to be white than white and male.

Still, in your link, two percent of the samples contained sedatives. That's a pretty eyebrow-raising number to me. Being aware that this is a real possibility is not "causing panic." Christ.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:58 PM on September 12, 2009


Are you taking any medications that you didn't used to take? I was taking a medicine once and got totally wasted from literally ONE SIP of alcohol that I had just to taste (I'd never had gin before). It was maybe 1/8th of a standard shot and I was drunk within 5 minutes of drinking it. I remember everything, and did not have a hangover.
posted by ishotjr at 3:04 PM on September 12, 2009


ishotjr beat me to it. I was on an antibiotic once with strict warnings that alcohol was an absolute no no. I finished the round and waited, unthinkingly, less than 24 hours before I partied and I have never been more ill.
posted by hellboundforcheddar at 3:13 PM on September 12, 2009


Drugged drinks are rarer than anomalous reactions to alcohol. Also, I think the suggestion that the lemonade you used as a mixer may have already been spiked might be a good one.

My own experience of having been drinking socially for 30 years is that my alcohol tolerance varies a lot based on different factors like what I've had to eat, what else non-alcoholic I've had to drink, how much sleep I got the previous night or two, what medications I'm taking (including over-the-counter allergy medications, which can become a hellbrew with alcohol), and where I am in my hormonal cycles.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:36 PM on September 12, 2009


A lot of date rape drugs like benzos and GHB completely wreck your memory when mixed with alcohol. The fact that you remember the whole evening clearly would make me less worried that you'd been given a date rape drug.
posted by rhiannon at 3:45 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Still, in your link, two percent of the samples contained sedatives. That's a pretty eyebrow-raising number to me. Being aware that this is a real possibility is not "causing panic." Christ.

Uh... no, but you didn't say we should be aware that it's a real possibility. You said that the idea that drugged drinks were rare is a "dangerous myth". I said it's disputed, and criticized your use of the language of moral panic. (If we must talk about dangerous myths, I'd say shoring up the link between drugs and date rape is the bigger risk, for reasons suggested in the New Scientist link — it implies that knowing your drink's not spiked means you don't need to be so alert to the risk of date rape.)

I agree that it is a real possibility. I disagree that all the many people in this thread pointing out the far more likely situation are perpetuating a "dangerous myth".

And I've no idea what you're responding to in the first sentence of your comment. The study in the link didn't just say alcohol alone is more common than alcohol + drugs — this would, as you point out, be an odd way to spend one's time as a scientist. The finding was that alcohol alone is much more common than alcohol + drugs.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 3:46 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Date rape drugs are typically GHB or a benzodiazepine. Both cause strong sedation and typically some degree of memory loss, especially when combined with alcohol (fun, but not recommended). Neither cause nausea to my knowledge, except perhaps at doses high enough to incapacitate you.

GHB has a very short half-life, so it might not be detectable by now. Benzodiazepines last much longer in the system.
posted by dephlogisticated at 3:47 PM on September 12, 2009


Probably not. If you had been slipped a "roofie" you would not remember most of the evening. At least that's what I understand based on far, far too much TV drama input.
posted by chairface at 5:18 PM on September 12, 2009


I've observed some inexperienced/sloppy bartenders pouring drinks that are wayyyy too strong. Some bartenders do measure out the shots, but others guesstimate and can easily end up pouring drinks that are actually more like a double or triple than a single shot. If you needed to add some extra mixer to your drink, that tells me that your drinks were too strong. Three stiff cocktails and a beer in two hours would have plenty of experienced drinkers puking.
posted by pluckysparrow at 5:38 PM on September 12, 2009


I got way more drunk than I should have/typically get given how much I drank last night, and I also got violently ill from drinking for the first time ever.

I guess my question would be better phrased along the lines of, "Are these known effects of a drug that could have been put in my drink?"


Yes.
posted by flabdablet at 7:09 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Did you take any cold medicine, or recently start a new prescription? Many medicines seriously reduce your tolerance, which could explain it.
posted by insectosaurus at 7:32 PM on September 12, 2009


More anecdotal alcohol + medicine weirdness: I have to be really careful with drinking within a few hours of taking Sudafed. I thought perhaps I'd been slipped something, too, the first time I took my Sudafed uncharacteristically late in the afternoon, rather than morning. It seemed to inhibit my rate of tipsiness somewhat...until it wore off. Then pow!, everything hit me at once and all the sudden I was trashed, even though I had been drinking at a moderate pace which would not normally render me particularly drunk.
posted by desuetude at 9:11 PM on September 12, 2009


For what it's worth, I magically became less able to hold my liquor when I turned 30.

Twelve beers in college = about three in adulthood. I don't know why.
posted by rokusan at 12:15 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've known people who use GHB on themselves and have know people to accidently drink alcohol spiked with GHB. So it is possible that our drink got switched up some how, though it is hard to tell. You best bet would be to ask the people throwing the party if any one was using GHB or anything else there.
posted by afu at 2:08 AM on September 13, 2009


Were you drinking different brands or types than you're used to? You could just be reacting to a different liquor.
posted by cestmoi15 at 7:02 AM on September 13, 2009


Were you drinking different brands or types than you're used to? You could just be reacting to a different liquor.

cestmoi15, since drunkenness is not related to the type of liquor consumed, but merely the amount and strength* of alcohol consumed, the brand and type of the liquor is irrelevant.

* Strength, in terms of the dilution from other liquid & foods consumed. A shot will get you drunker than a shot mixed into a quart of lemonade.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:32 PM on September 13, 2009


Just another anecdote here.

One of the ways I found out I was pregnant both times was that I couldn't hold down any amount of alcohol, regardless of concentration or how much I'd eaten, etc. This was before I even missed a period both times. In fact, the second time it happened, I went to the store and got the test the next day, which turned out positive.

Maybe something to think about?
posted by lilywing13 at 11:48 PM on September 13, 2009


Did you, by any chance have any Aleve medication before this party? My wife had the EXACT same reaction after consuming about the same amount of alcohol. We thing the Aleve may have caused the (profuse) vomiting.
posted by Spyder's Game at 12:23 PM on September 15, 2009


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