Across social media over the last few weeks there have been rising reports of people being spiked when out in bars and clubs.

Police have confirmed that reports of spiking are on the rise.

Various universities and bars have put out statements urging people to take extra care when out.

Shockingly, many are claiming they have been spiked via injection rather than a tampered drink. This has caused concern for many with the risks associated with dirty needles.

Over the last month searches for ‘drink spiking’ have increased by over 800%. LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor have answered frequently asked questions about spiking and date rape drugs to help you if you feel like you may have been spiked.

Symptoms of spiking

If you or one of your friends are on a night out and start to have a different than normal reaction to alcohol, then you may have been spiked.

A spiked drink might not look, smell or taste any different. And it could take 15-30 minutes before you see any effect, but these effects could last for several hours.

Symptoms vary based on a number of factors including:

  • Which substance or mix of substances have been used
  • The dosage
  • Your height and weight
  • How much alcohol you’ve already had

Common symptoms can include:

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

Spiking can often make it seem like the victim has just had too much to drink, so sometimes it is not taken as seriously as it should.

What to do if you or someone else has been spiked

If you believe you or someone else has been spiked, you should tell a friend, bar manager, bouncer or member of staff immediately.

Never go home by yourself if you think you’ve been spiked and stop drinking immediately, as the mix of drugs and alcohol could be dangerous.

If you suspect that you have been assaulted, you can go to the police, a local GP or hospital. If you don’t feel ready to do that, you can also call the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre on 0808 802 9999.

If you suspect someone else has been spiked you shouldn't allow them to leave the venue with someone they don’t know or trust.

You should be prepared to call an ambulance if the person you suspect has been spiked's condition deteriorates. At A&E you should tell the medical staff that you suspect the victim has been spiked. They will then be able to conduct urine and blood tests to determine which drugs are in their system.

Denbighshire Free Press: Reports are rising of spiking via injection (Canva)Reports are rising of spiking via injection (Canva)

What drugs are typically used in spiking?

The most commonly used ‘date rape’ drugs are Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and Rohypnol (or Roofie).

Dr Sameer Sanghvi, Clinical Technology Lead at LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor explained:

“GHB can give you a sense of euphoria, reduce your inhibitions and also cause sleepiness, whereas Rohypnol is a sedative drug that is often used to treat insomnia and anxiety. Rohyphnol works by increasing the effect of gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) in the brain which can strongly affect a person’s rational thought process and short-term memory.”

Other recreational drugs such as Ketamine, Ecstasy and LSD are also often used in spikings. All of the drugs have the capability of reducing bodily sensations and have varying effects.

Spiking via injections

This year there has been a shocking increase in reports of spiking through injection. Social media posts from the last fortnight have seen claims of injection spikings from across the UK including in Nottingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, Dundee and Liverpool.

Sarah Crew from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) confirmed that a “number” of forces across the country are now investigating reports of spiking done with injections.

Spiking via injections is not only dangerous because of the drug used, but if a needle is being reused, there's a risk you could catch something from the other people who've been injected with that needle. Viruses like HIV and hepatitis are known to be spread by sharing needles - through no fault of the victim.

In response to the recent events, women are planning to boycott nightclubs next Wednesday 27th in an attempt to get nightclubs to impose stronger measures such as bag searches and more staff training.

Instagram pages called ‘Girls Night In’ that represent over 30 different cities across the UK already have thousands of likes.