What is needle spiking?
Written by: Editors
Needle spiking is grabbing headlines and more and more people are gripped by fear of being the next victim. Whereas previously you were warned not to leave your drink unattended to avoid the risk of it being 'spiked' with drugs during a night out, now the new thing that we're seeing is people being spiked with a hypodermic needle.
Why needle spiking?
By administering unwanted drugs to people, usually young women, the perpetrators can commit physical or sexual assault as they can sedate or incapacitate a victim, making them more vulnerable to attack. Needle spiking is a less noticeable and quick way to drug someone.
How can you protect yourself from being drugged?
Sadly, this is virtually impossible. Be aware of who's around you, stay close to your friends, and keep an eye on each other. It's easier to protect yourself against drink spiking than needle spiking.
Protect yourself preventively against HIV
In addition to being drugged, mugged or sexually assaulted, potentially with horrible consequences that you won't even remember happening, there is also the possibility of contracting HIV from a contaminated needle.
People are therefore increasingly advised to use pre-exposure prophylaxis (PREP) medication as a precautionary measure. PREP can reduce your chance of getting an HIV-1 infection. Want to know more? Click here for more information on the use of this medicine. *
What if you have been drugged?
If you think that you have been drugged and you're still alert, there are a few immediate steps you can take. Tell your friends and/or parents immediately. Locate the injection site: check your body for bumps or needle marks. Get to a local emergency department as soon as possible. This is especially important as the sooner a urine test is done, the higher the likelihood of picking up any possible substances that you may have been exposed to. Most substances can be detected for up to 12 hours. Report the incident to the police. Also, inform the venue owner. There may be video footage that can help the police track down the perpetrator.
If you visit busy venues such as cafés, clubs or festivals regularly, be on your guard. As terrible as this may sound, it's necessary.
Don't just protect your drink from being spiked, also be vigilant and make sure you are watchful to prevent needle spiking. Consider taking precautionary measures to protect yourself from HIV. After all, prevention is better than cure.
* The use of this medicine requires a prescription. At Dokteronline, you can request an appropriate treatment. Your request will be reviewed by a doctor based on the medical questionnaire that you completed.