Spiking By Injection Is On The Rise In UK Cities


Drink spiking is not a new issue that people in the UK face. Women especially are warned about looking after their drink. Advice includes: not accepting drinks from strangers, covering drinks, and watching drinks being made to be certain they are not spiked with date-rape drugs. Incidents of drink spiking between 2015 and 2018 rose by 108% in the UK. And, while people of all genders are prone to get spiked, a 2016 study found that 71% of spiking victims were female. Fortunately, as prevalent as drink spiking is, women know how to keep themselves safe and are alert to the dangers of someone spiking their drink. However, in recent weeks, there has been an alarming increase in reports of spiking by injection. 

Women in several UK cities such as Leeds, Nottingham, Liverpool, and Edinburgh have shared their experiences, of getting spiked by injection, on social media. All their reports of the night they got spiked follow the same story: they feel a scratch or a prick on part of their body, they blackout and wake up the next morning with no recollection of the night. Usually, they also find a bruise or needle prick scar where they believe they were injected. Spiking by injection is much more harmful than drink spiking. Women are injected with drugs that go straight into their bloodstream and they are at risk of a variety of diseases from being injected with dirty needles. Diseases such as Hepatitis and HIV can be spread through the use of needles although risks are low.

Boycotting nightclubs

Many students across the country have called to boycott clubs. Numerous organisations called Girls Night In, spearheaded by students, have sprung up around the country using social media to gain momentum. Girls Night In calls for students, of all genders, to boycott all clubs in their city on a particular date. The purpose is to send a message to the nightclub industry to do more to combat spiking.  

All cities have different dates to boycott clubs, with most cities taking part in the boycott on Wednesday 27th October.

How to know if you have been spiked

Alcohol is thought to be used more commonly than drugs to spike drinks, but Rohypnol and Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) are the most well-known date-rape drugs. Other drugs such as Ecstacy, LSD and Ketamine are also used to spike drinks. Whilst not everyone’s experience of drink spiking is the same, DrinkAware list symptoms to look out for:

  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Loss of balance
  • Visual problems
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Unconsciousness

However, symptoms can vary depending on which drug has been used, the size and weight of the person being spiked and how much alcohol they have already consumed.

As reports of spiking by injection are relatively new, health organisations have not listed any official symptoms.

What to do if you have been spiked

Whether you have been spiked either through your drink or by injection it is important to get medical care. Firstly, tell someone (if you can) that you have been spiked, for example, a friend you trust that you are out with. Get medical advice if you think you have been spiked either through your drink or by injection. Dirty injections can lead to diseases that need to be treated by medication as soon as possible.

How to help a friend who has been spiked

If you think your friend has been spiked there are a few ways you can help them. DrinkAware say that you should:

  • Tell a member of staff in the club or bar you are in
  • Stay with them and keep talking to them
  • Call an ambulance if their condition deteriorates
  • Stay with them

Words by Sanjana Rao

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