Edinburgh's independent student newspaper

Spiking by injection reported in Edinburgh nightclubs

Clubgoers stand in front of a stage, illuminated by stage lights, as a band plays live music.
Tuesday 19th October 18.35

CW: sexual assault, rape

Ten students in Edinburgh have come forward with allegations that they have been spiked by needle while at venues in the city.

These allegations come through student sexual assault advocacy group Edi Anonymous, which in a press statement on Thursday 14th revealed that ten women students in the city had reported to them being spiked by injection, with at least some of the students noticing small, red puncture wounds on their person.

According to the group, several of the students had reported the incidents involving them to the police.

Claims have also emerged on social media about injection spiking incidents in Glasgow and Dundee, with The Courier reporting that a Dundee pub has reported such an incident to Police Scotland.

Several social media posts seen by The Student claiming to describe accounts of injection spiking incidents all describe survivors as experiencing memory loss and that those around them had described them as exceptionally drunk after the injections occurred.

Many of the posts further claim that the survivors had either contacted the NHS for advice, were going to attend hospital, or had attended A&E directly.

Photographs attached to three of the social media posts show a circular, red mark on an individual’s body, similar to the ones detailed in Edi Anonymous’ press statement.

Another social media post seen by The Student claims that three women were spiked by injection while at 'The Liquid Room' over the weekend. It is not known if these three women are among those survivors reported by Edi Anonymous.

According to a social media conversation shared with The Student between 'The Liquid Room' and Emily Reid, a university student, 'The Liquid Room' denies that any spikings were reported as having taken place on their premises.

The club responded to a question by Emily asking the club to increase its security checks on men entering the venue by saying:

“We had the [council alcohol licensing officer] in on Friday night looking at our safety protocols and they were happy with them and I asked them about the spiking they have had no reports or complaints about any pub or club you can make up your on (sic) mind up and Reid (sic) into it.”

Lucia Adam, a student at the university, in response to hearing about the spikings by injection, said:

“I'm genuinely horrified, like, for decades women have been conditioned to not go out on their own, watch their drink, always make sure you know where a drink is coming from and now not even that is enough.”

Cora Mahoney, another university student, concurred, saying:

“It’s terrifying to consider the possibility of being spiked and especially so when the use of needles may be involved—there are so many more health issues that come to mind beyond the actual drugging.”

“It’s also very scary to acknowledge that there’s nothing you can do to protect yourself—you can’t cover your drink as one normally does in that atmosphere.”

“I’ll definitely do further research on spiking and how to better recognise the signs for myself and my friends.”

When reached for comment, a Police Scotland spokesperson said: "We have received a report and enquiries are at an early stage."

These reports come amidst a disturbing uptick in sexual violence reports across Scotland, with Police Scotland statistics showing an increase in reported sexual crimes over pre-pandemic levels for every month this year from June until August, the most recent month for which data is available.

If you’ve been stuck by a needle, seek medical treatment immediately through your GP, NHS 24 (available on 111), or your nearest accident and emergency department, as you risk having contracted a blood-borne illness. If somebody that you do not know injects something into you, go to your nearest accident and emergency department right away.

If you are a victim of sexual assault or want more information on sexual assault, contact Rape Crisis Scotland on 08088 010302 or visit their website.

If you’d like to share your story of injection spiking with The Student, please contact news@studentnewspaper.org. We will treat your information confidentially, and will not share anything - including your identity - that you do not wish to be public.

Image via Pixabay