The start of freshers has brought a rising concern in the number of drink spiking incidents. In Leeds alone there has been several reported and unreported cases which is showing rising concerns for the safety of students. Research shows the majority of students do not report incidents in fear of the reaction they will receive from family and peers. Drink spiking is not taken seriously enough due to the popular notion that the victim has just consumed too much alcohol, however this is making it harder for young victims to speak out which is extremely dangerous both to their physical and mental health.
Georgia Gee, was spiked on a night out earlier in the year. She says that she “could not have done anything different” but it has made her far more aware of her surroundings on a night out. She was found in the toilets thirty minutes after the incident.
Rohypnol, also known as the date rape drug, has several serious and noticeable side effects. The main symptoms are “visual problems, finding it hard to move, memory loss, unconsciousness and hallucinations,” as seen on the NHS website.
Most clubs in Leeds do not have the correct amount of protection, Jennifer Tierney a first year student at Leeds Beckett University, states that most clubs do not have the correct amount of protection against drug users and only “occasionally check bags and pockets for drugs.” If clubs took the extra precautions by checking everyone entering it would decrease the amount of drug related incidents dramatically.
However the issue is much wider than just University locations, Tyler Binns a student from Manchester, went on holiday with friends last year and was spiked by another British citizen. She found herself “alone in the toilets for over an hour” hallucinating and unable to stand. She revealed that she is glad she doesn’t remember what happened as she would not want it to effect her life long term. This should not be an issue and there should be help available to victims instead of stereotyping them as having drunk too much.
DrinkSavvy is a company currently in progression who are aiming to create straws, cups and stirrers that can detect drugs in drinks. However, the release date is yet to be confirmed. The product was due to be released late 2014 but has been postponed.