What started as a single case in the UK, spiking women with a needle has become a new norm. Vancouver has already reported one case of a woman being stabbed with a hypodermic needle in a local coffee shop.
Needle spiking is when an injection is administered to someone without their knowledge or consent, usually in a nightclub or bar setting and sometimes through clothes. While most reports have been made by young women, some men have also disclosed being victimized by this.
The first case of spiking via injection happened on Oct 11. in Nottingham. Zara Owen took her story to social media where it exploded. After that, other university students shared their stories involving this alarming new trend. The UK police department is worried about the spread of this news on social media.
Bars and clubs around the UK are being boycotted to raise awareness of this dangerous problem.
Girls Night In was organized in response to the spiking increase. University students around the UK boycotted clubs in the cities with reports and some even stood outside in protest. They are demanding nightclubs to have a safer protocol in case of an emergency.
Besides the obvious concerns of being drugged, needle spiking brings on new levels of danger. The students speaking out on this issue are concerned about the danger of having an unclean needle injected.
The National Aids Trust commented that while HIV infection by a needle is rare if someone is suspected of being infected, they should wait at least six weeks to get tested. Before those weeks, the results may be inconclusive. Victims of needle stabbing should also go to the emergency room or a sexual health clinic right away.
It is important to know when someone has been “roofied”. The principal symptoms are extreme drowsiness and even amnesia. Always have a “buddy system”, meaning you are sure to go with a group of friends you trust and stick with them.
In case something does happen the most important thing is to not panic. Tell your friends, a bartender or a club security person that you need to go somewhere safe. Find the puncture wound of the needle and have someone apply ice around it to minimize the bruise.
If it happens to someone you know, stay with them and make sure they do not leave with a stranger. In case they get worse, call an ambulance. The substance will leave the body naturally within 48 hours.
The cases of spiked drinks have slowly increased in the past years and while it is still quite new, this scary trend involving needles could become a normal part of club life.
Trusting your instincts and staying close to friends could be the key to ensuring your safety.