NEEDLE attacks in nightclubs are on the rise and seem to have replaced drink spiking, not only in Spain but also in other European countries. During the past week, Police and Guardia Civil have received 10 complaints of spiked needle attacks, pinchazos, across the Valencia region, according to reports on Cadena Ser radio, with five in Castellón, four in Valencia and one in Alicante.
All the victims have been women in bars or clubs who noticed a needle prick and, after being attended by medical staff, reported the incident to the authorities.
The pricks are usually felt in the arm or the leg and are made in crowded areas of pubs, bars or nightclubs. During the summer, cases of needle attacks have been reported in other regions of Spain, especially during celebrations like the July fiestas in Pamplona.
Women’s group, La Asamblea Feminista, has reacted to the reports of needle attacks, saying that it is a new method to create fear and make women stay at home. Speaking to the radio station on Saturday, the group’s spokesperson, Mireia Biosca, said she didn’t know the reason for this practice but called on women to speak out, to not be silent and to continue to go out into public places, rather than hide away at home through fear.
The Spanish nursing council, Consejo General de Colegios Oficiales de Enfermería de España, has warned women to be on their guard this summer. In a statement they said: “Nightlife peaks in the summer, especially in August. Hundreds and even thousands of people pack nightclubs, festivals and other venues.
“Alarm bells have been ringing for a few days now, and in Spain there have already been more than 50 reports of women who claim to have been spiked. The effects of the injected illegal drugs pose serious risks to the victim’s health: inhibition of free will, inability to defend oneself or make decisions, a drop in blood pressure, and a loss of consciousness are some of the symptoms.”
Diego Ayuso, secretary general of the CGE said: “The effects are quite immediate and if you feel a prickling sensation, you need to alert people you trust quickly so that they can watch for sedation or loss of control.
“Also, before the substance acts, it is important to tell people if you have seen anyone who might be suspected of having carried it out.
“Many times, when the victim arrives at hospital, the substance can no longer be detected in blood tests, so it is very important to be attentive to any strange sensation,” said Ayuso.
He added that the authorities should be informed as soon as possible and that the victim should not be left alone under any circumstances. He went onto say that the friends of the person who has been spiked have a fundamental role to play at that moment because they must stay with them at all times and monitor any possible symptoms that may arise from this situation.