Being a single female, enjoying the bar or festival scene comes with a lot of risks. Whenever a lot of alcohol is involved, sometimes bad things happen. For as long as I can remember, women had to be careful their drinks weren't spiked.

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Not the spiked where you thought you were drinking non-alcoholic drinks, only to find out someone had been putting liquor in your drinks. That, you can usually tell.

I'm talking about the kind of spiking that happens when a drug is unknowingly put into someone's drink. Drugs like Rohypnol (roofie) or Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB), also known as date-rape drugs, are being used in different, but equally dangerous ways.

Now, a horrifying new trend where people are being spiked by injection with needles has emerged in Europe and is making its way around the world. The fear is that as a new school year begins on college campuses, this trend will find its way to the US.

What exactly is Needle Spiking?

According to dokteronline.com,

...administering (through a syringe) unwanted drugs to people, usually young women...the perpetrators can commit a 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.
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How does needle even spiking happen?

You would think if someone comes up to you and gives you a shot, you would know it. Right?

Some medical professionals say that something like this happening is highly unlikely. To administer a shot through someone's clothes, while they are moving. like dancing or walking, even standing still, would be nearly impossible.

But, other health care professionals say it can, and it does happen.

Think about this. even if you know someone just came up to you and gave you a shot with a syringe, Some of the drugs used can work pretty quickly.

Also, as crazy as it sounds, according to an interview with BBC News, Dr. Shirin Lakhani, a cosmetic surgeon, had this to say,

... some needles are so thin, you can barely feel them going in... And, if someone has had a drink or so, they might be less inclined to feel the scratch of a needle.
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A young woman at a club in Australia gets Needle Spiked

What to do if you think you have been Needle Spiked?

As students head back to college campuses and hangouts, officials in the US are worried that Needle Spiking with become a major fear. Even those not in college could be at risk. If you are someone that goes to nightclubs, bars, or music festivals, you may be more susceptible to being spiked.

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If you are feeling any symptoms, a lot of which just seem like a hangover, while other symptoms are way more severe, first, look for an injection site.

Very much like drink spiking, here are the things you should do immediately if you think your friend may have been spiked.

Call an ambulance if their condition deteriorates. Don't let them go home on their own. Don't let them leave with someone you don't know or trust. Don't let them drink more alcohol - this could lead to more serious problems.
- iTV

How can Needle Spiking be prevented?

The sad and terrifying part of all this is that there is no real way to prevent it. I searched everywhere for an answer.

The only thing I found was that women are beginning to wear thick jeans instead of shorts and short dresses to clubs to try and prevent getting pricked. But, it happens so quickly, and anywhere on your body, in extremely crowded areas, that it's hard to stop before it happens.
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Educate your friends, family, and your daughters. Tell the to always stay in a pack and never wander off alone. That way if Needle Spikng happens, the victim will be protected from the criminal's intended purpose.
I was drink spiked two different times when I was a young girl. Once, when I was 15 and another time when I was 19. Each time, my friends saved me.
Again, if you suspect your friend has been Needle Spiked, take her to the hospital. Tests will need to be performed for her medical and future injector's criminal case.

[Bustle, The Guardian, BBC News]

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