Layla, not her real name, was dancing in a Nottingham club when she suddenly felt “a pinch” in the back of her arm. She realized that someone had pricked her with a needle. “Fortunately her friends were with her because after that she doesn’t remember anything else. An ambulance took her to the ER where they put her on a drip and ran numerous tests. Now she is fine,” her sister reported on social networks. Like her, dozens of young people, mostly women, have reported similar attacks in recent weeks. The needles are stuck in any part of the body. Although on other occasions, the drug is also put in drinks. A 20-year-old man was arrested last week in Nottingham and subsequently released on bail in connection with a case that took place last October 16. All in all, reports are coming in from different parts of the country creating a wave of panic at what the press has already dubbed a “prick epidemic.”

“We have asked the police to investigate this and we ask anyone to report this behavior,” said a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior.

At the moment, it is not known how many people have been victims of such attacks. Although most of them are women, there are also men who are now reporting to the police that they suffered similar attacks some time ago. This is the case of Richie Waynes, 27, who claims he was stuck with a needle while at a nightclub in London last year. “I noticed a prick and when I reacted I saw the needle on the floor. At the time I didn’t feel any effect. The traumatic thing came afterwards. I immediately went to the hospital for tests. My biggest fear was whether I had been infected with a disease like AIDS. Until you know the results of the tests you have a really hard time,” he explained to the local press.

Most of the attacks have been in nightclubs. Although there have also been cases of dating people who have met through social networks. At press time, there was no official information on whether any of the victims were sexually assaulted after passing out, although Sarah Crowe, who heads the Rape and Sexual Offences Division of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), says it must be assumed that the perpetrators are sexually motivated.

On the other hand, it is also unclear what type of drug is being injected and whether it is the same in all reported cases. Its operation would be similar to that of the so-called rape pill, a substance that causes drowsiness and loss of consciousness when placed in the victim’s drink. Experts point out that the most famous of this type, GHB, requires a relatively large amount of liquid to dissolve and the needles that are being used in nightclubs in order to go undetected are small, so they cannot store large quantities.

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