What should you look out for if you think you or someone you know has been spiked

Nightclub image from PA

Women have been telling of their horrifying accounts of being pierced by a needle in their legs, hands and back, waking up with the bruises but no memory.

One report comes from University of Nottingham student, Sarah Buckle, who said she woke up in hospital with no memory of how she got there and a throbbing pain in her hand.

The 19-year-old later discovered she had likely been spiked via a needle to the back of her hand while out in a nightclub.

Sarah has spoken to ITV News about her "shock" and "disgust" at the suspected injection, as reports of women being spiked in across the Midlands are on the rise.

Here is what you can do if you suspect you or someone you know has been spiked by injection.

Report as soon as you can, Nottinghamshire Police have said

Superintendent Kathryn Craner has acknowledged there has been an increase in reports.

She told ITV News: "We have had reports of people believing they have had an item maybe placed in their drink and that is because of a reaction that they've had above and beyond feeling intoxicated.

"But then a small number of these where people have associated them with maybe a pain or a mark or a scratch sometime after the event."

Superintendent Craner said: "We encourage people to report as soon as they possibly can," before adding, "we've obviously got CCTV in all of our clubs."

Many people have been reporting suspected spiking often the day after going out, after seeing marks in the skin or being treated by ambulance or doctors.

Zara said she noticed a needle pinprick indicating her suspicions that she was spiked. Credit: BPM Media

What are the signs and symptoms to look out for from an injection spiking?

The effects of spiking could vary depending on what you've been spiked with. Your symptoms might include:

  • Acting differently

  • Loss of balance

  • Visual problems

  • Confusion

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Unconsciousness

What have health professionals said about spiking?

Dr Sarah Jarvis, who is a GP and Medical Advisor for DrinkAware, said the symptoms you can experience from spiking may be different based on a variety of factors.

Dr Jarvis said: "The symptoms will depend on lots of factors such as the substance or mix of substances used (including the dose), your size and weight, and how much alcohol you have already consumed.

"If your drink has been spiked it's unlikely that you will see, smell or taste any difference. Most date rape drugs take effect within 15-30 minutes and symptoms usually last for several hours. If you start to feel strange or more drunk than you should be, then get help straight away."

If you think you or your friend has been spiked .....

  • Call an ambulance if their condition deteriorates

  • Tell a bar manager, bouncer or member of staff

  • Stay with them and keep talking to them

  • 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 and prevent them drinking more alcohol as this could lead to more serious problems