Ben Fogle has warned of the dangers of having a drink spiked – revealing he tried to kill himself when he fell victim on a night out.
The 47-year-old adventurer has shared his experience to raise awareness and combat a stigma that is attached to spiked drink victims.
He also explained that a Twitter ‘pile on’ and unkind remarks in the press made him feel further victimised by his experience.
Taking to Instagram on Friday, Ben shared details of his harrowing ordeal that started on night while out drinking in a rural pub – but which went on for weeks after.
He wrote: “Several years ago, in 2013 to be precise, my drink was spiked with an unknown substance that resulted in a psychotic episode that saw me hospitalised.
“It was one of the scariest experiences of my life but the response was even more disappointing.
“The hospital lost my samples, someone leaked it to the press, there was a full Twitter pile on from vile trolls and the press generally sneered and doubted the story.”
Ben continued: “The impact of drink spiking cannot be underestimated. The unknown drug caused a psychotic episode during which I tried to kill my self.
“I spent weeks undergoing psychological and medical testing to ensure it wasn’t self induced by illness.
“Multiple doctors concluded that it was indeed an external drug that had caused the psychosis and yet there was no recrimination, just suspicion as to why and how I had been spiked.”
The TV star went on to suggest there is a societal issue surrounding victims of drink spiking.
He wrote: “For me it’s symbolic of societies general approach to spiking, that culpability and responsibly falls on the ‘spikee’, not the ‘spiker’.
“I have been contacted by policemen, soldiers and students who all have the same story to tell. It can happen to anyone. Anywhere (mine was a rural pub in the Cotswolds). Anytime.”
Signing off, he added: “It was a tough lesson. Love and peace.”
Davina McCall was among the followers to thanks Ben for his story – and to express shock at his experience.
The 53-year-old wrote in a reply message: “Thank you for sharing this . It’s terrible that more wasn’t done at the time to try a get to the bottom of who did this to you… scary to wonder who else they have done that too .. and the consequences.”
* Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at firstname.lastname@example.org