There has recently been an increase in reports of spiking across the UK. 

Since the beginning of September there have been 15 reported cases of spiking in Aberdeen, some of these include spiking by injection. Not all cases are represented in this number as many victims may not have felt they were able to report or access support.  

While we don’t have many details about the reported cases, we do know that spiking is not isolated to student communities, or within pubs and clubs. Anyone of any age or gender can be spiked and it could happen a number of places, such as house parties or even restaurants. 

There is no room for victim blaming in this conversation and we stand against the suggestion that anyone apart from the perpetrator is responsible. No one should have to protect their drink or body against the possibility of being spiked or assaulted. 

What is spiking?

Spiking is a criminal act that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Spiking has traditionally been the act of adding a substance into another person’s drink without their knowledge or consent. Drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) may be spiked using liquids, powders or crushed pills that often have little or no taste. 

Drinks can be spiked with; 

-          extra measures of alcohol 
-          illegal drugs (this can include ‘date rape’ drugs such as Rohypnol) 
-          prescription drugs 

Recently there have been reports of spiking through injection. This is when a victim is injected using a needle and syringe containing illegal or prescription drugs. This also carries an additional risk of contracting blood borne viruses such as Hepatitis and HIV.  

Spiking Symptoms

Victims of spiking have reported the following symptoms; 

-          confusion 
-          memory loss 
-          loss of balance 
-          visual problems 
-          nausea 
-          vomiting 
-          unconsciousness 
-          lowered inhibitions 

Victims have also reported that they feel very drunk after consuming little to no alcohol. Those who have been spiked through injection have also found visible pin prick marks on their bodies, often with bruising appearing the following days. Symptoms of spiking are also very unpredictable due to a variety of factors; previous drugs and alcohol consumed and mixing of substances, size and weight of the victim. 

What to do if I or someone else has been spiked?

As some symptoms can be similar to the effects of being drunk victims of spiking can often be wrongly overlooked. If you feel for any reason that you or someone else has been spiked, whether by injection or through a drink please seek urgent help from a person you trust. This could be a friend, family member, staff member or emergency services.  Spiking can leave victims very vulnerable and susceptible to physical and sexual assault, so also try to find a safe space away from people that you don’t know if possible. 

If you experience excessive tiredness, vomiting or hallucinations you should seek urgent medical attention. If you are concerned that you have been spiked by injection there may also be a risk of infection and blood borne viruses, which also requires urgent medical attention. 


If you have been the victim of spiking you can access support from the NESCol Student Advice and Support Team, where a Student Support Adviser will meet with you and discuss further support options. This can be done in person, online or by phone. 

You can book an appointment by using the link below or by emailing

Rape Crisis Grampian are also dedicated to supporting victims of rape and sexual assault can be contacted on 01224 590932 or 08088 01 03 02 (from 6:00pm until midnight). 

They can also be contacted by email 

And finally, if you know someone who is spiking or has spiking someone we urge you to report this behaviour to Police Scotland or by using our Report + Support service. 

More information on spiking can also be found on the DrinkAware website. 


There are two ways you can tell us what happened