‘Tom’ – who asked not to reveal his real name – said last Wednesday was an otherwise normal night out in Sheffield city centre.
Then came the moment he stepped into a bar’s toilets, and things fell away.
The next thing he remembers is waking up outdoors on a Rotherham street at 4am, two hours later, with his boyfriend calling his name. He had been missing for hours and had no memory of where he had been.
“The best way I can describe it is someone has cut about two hours of my life out,” said Tom. “It’s like jumping back and forth through a TV programme. I couldn’t remember anything.”
But Tom soon learned his partner had also lost several hours that night.
It was only then they had to face the realisation that they had both had their drinks spiked.
Now, Tom wants to share his experiences as a warning for others to be vigilant.
Tom says his work as a student paramedic has always guided him to never go overboard on nights out, and says his evening in Sheffield’s bars had been normal up to that point.
He said: “We had a good night. We went to Yates, Wetherspoons, there was a new bar on Carver Street we went to.
“Then at some point I went into the toilets. I remember coming out. And that’s it.
“I woke up on the ground on Meadow Bank Road in Rotherham. I don’t know how I got there.
“What brought me around was my partner shouting my name. It had happened to him too and we had got separated. Only he had managed to find his way home. He said he didn’t know how he ended up there, only that when he got his memory back he realised I was missing.”
He added: “He and my mum went out looking for me. They found me unconscious on that road. I think I only came around because he was running over to me.
“We must have both been spiked. It’s the only explanation we have.”
Since last Wednesday, Tom has called the police but was told this week the force would be taking no further action.
He said: “It’s just scary. You hear about it happening to others and sadly you only hear about it happening to girls too, but it can happen to anyone.
“It’s just made me want to be more cautious on nights out. I feel like I’m only just getting over it, like I’ve been slightly drunk for days. It’s been emotionally draining for me and my partner.
“I just want others to know they should be careful about where they leave their drinks and look after their friends on nights out.
“I can’t stop it happening again but maybe someone will think twice when they’re out.”
Symptoms of drink spiking include lowered inhibitions, confusion, loss of balance and unconsciousness.
If you think you or a friend’s drink has been spiked, tell a bar manager or member of staff and stay with friends. Call an ambulance if the person’s condition deteriorates.