A United Kingdom student described feeling “vulnerable” and “violated” after being a victim of “needle spiking” at a nightclub in Nottingham.
Hers is one of many cases reported across Britain, in which an injection is administered to someone without their knowledge or consent, usually in a nightclub or bar setting — sometimes through the clothes.
Chiefs of police across the country have been tasked by the Commons Home Affairs Committee to urgently assess the scale of the problem around the country.
Groups from more than 30 U.K. universities have joined an online campaign calling for the boycott of nightclubs. Campaigners say they are seeking “tangible” changes to make nighttime venues safer, so no woman has to endure hours of memory blackouts, or worse.
Female students have made the majority of reports, but some young men say they also have been victimized. Nottinghamshire police say no other offenses, including sexual assault, have been linked to the reports of being injected, and there have been no known arrests for injecting someone; regardless, authorities say they are stepping up patrols and working with local universities and hospitals to investigate.
The University of Nottingham said it was “extremely concerned” by the reports and was working with police and venues to “monitor, review and learn from incidents and experiences in the city center.”
Here are some tips for helping a friend who you think may have been spiked:
- Stay with them and keep talking to them
- Call an ambulance if their condition deteriorates
- Don’t let them go home on their own
- Don’t let them leave the venue with someone you don’t know or trust
- If possible, try to prevent them drinking more alcohol as this could lead to more serious problems
- Urine and blood tests carried out in the first 24 to 72 hours are most likely to detect drug traces
Pilar Arias is a multimedia journalist with more than 10 years of experience in broadcast, digital and print production. She enjoys covering a wide variety of topics. Follow her on Twitter: @PilarFOXNews.