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Students’ union issues warning over drink and injection spiking as young people socialise again

A students’ union has issued a warning to be vigilant following reports of instances of spiking of drinks and with needles as nightclubs reopen.

here have been reports of people being injected with drugs without their knowledge in bars and nightclubs in Ireland and the UK. People can also fall victim to so-called ‘date-rape’ substances slipped into their drinks.

Following the lifting of most Covid-19 restrictions on late bars and clubs, the UCD Students’ Union said it been informed of possible spiking instances as young people begin to socialise again.

The union shared posts across its social media channels over the long weekend and yesterday afternoon to highlight the signs that could mean someone potentially has been the victim of a spiking or that someone’s drink has been tampered with.

The union also stressed that victim-blaming is never acceptable.

Union welfare officer Molly Greenough said it was “incredibly disheartening” to see the rise in reported cases of spiking across Ireland and the UK.

“It is vital to emphasise that the onus never lies on the victim to not be spiked, but rather on the perpetrator to not commit such a heinous crime,” she said.

“Still, it’s important that students are equipped with the knowledge to better help them protect themselves and look out for their friends. Finally, and while these can be tough conversations to have, it’s important for those in a position of privilege to safely call out peers on unacceptable behaviours when you see it happening.”

Ms Greenough added: “We can all play a part in developing a culture of consent, compassion, and community.”

Students’ union gender equality campaign co-ordinator Niamh Scully said there are signs students can look out for if someone had been spiked.

“Nightlife opening back up is a really exciting time for everyone, especially students, but we now more than ever have to be aware of the dangers of going out and how we can best look out for each other and have the best experience possible,” she said.

“There are signs we can look out for if someone has been spiked and knowing these helps us look out for each other and protect victims of these assaults,” she said.

Some of the signs include the person feeling dizzy, slurring their words, memory loss or a loss of consciousness. 

The union also said that students should consult the HSE guidance if they think that they or a friend has been spiked.

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