‘No One Believed Me, and I Have No proof’: An Exploration into the Experiences of Spiking Victims

Laura Stephenson, Calli Tzani, Maria Ioannou, John Synnott, Thomas Williams, Mara Morelli

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Spiking has become increasingly more prevalent since the 1990s, with drugs such as Rohypnol, Ketamine and GHB commonly being put unknowingly into people’s drinks in nightclubs. More recently, spiking through the use of a needle has become more prevalent in the nighttime economy, with this and the other more commonly known methods of spiking (drink, food) all being limited in research. The current mixed-design study aims to explore victims’ spiking experiences and explore the prevalence of the varying forms of this spiking phenomenon. In the study, 131 participants took part and all had experienced spiking. Data were analyzed using statistical testing and content analysis. Findings showed that females were more likely to experience spiking than males, and the experience of each sex was entirely different. Drink spiking was shown to be the most common method of spiking in this sample. Many participants highlighted the lack of support received after victimization, from the establishment and medical professionals. There was also a strong theme of fear from participants regarding potential reactions if they were to report it. Participants also recalled feeling responsible for their victimization due to voluntary alcohol consumption prior to the incident. Implications and limitations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalDeviant Behavior
Early online date22 Sep 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Sep 2023

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