The municipal police carry out a night deployment in the face of possible attacks and punctures in Vitoria.

Needlesticks increase the risk of contracting hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV if any of the previous victims had it


With more than 2,000 cases in nightclubs and entertainment venues throughout Europe, punctures to women generate concern and bewilderment. We explain what are the risks faced by victims

The municipal police carry out a night deployment in the face of possible attacks and punctures in Vitoria.ARABA PRESS

Valencia, Malaga, Barcelona, ​​Mallorca, Pamplona… In recent weeks we have witnessed a worrying increase in reported cases of punctures of young people in places of leisure, especially women. But It is not a local phenomenonso that in Europe more than 2,300 punctures are recorded in nightclubs and entertainment venues.

If we go to the newspaper library, we see that the first cases appeared last winter in the United Kingdom. In just six months, the British police reached more than a thousand complaints for this fact.

From there it would spread shortly after to France and the Netherlands, and with the arrival of summer to Spain. A scourge that, for the moment, has more unknowns than certainties.

Is it possible to prick someone without realizing it?

We all remember that when we were administered the Covid-19 vaccine first they stuck the needle in us, the prick was produced, and then the nurse injected the solution.

We may hardly know about the first act, the needle was fine and the skill of the nurse helpedbut inevitably we did perceive the moment in which the liquid was injected into us because it exerts pressure under the skin.

With a prick that seeks the chemical submission of the victim the same thing happens: it could be that we do not perceive the puncture but we are aware of the moment of the injection of the content.

What kind of needle could they be using?

Those of us who work daily with syringes and needles know that there are different sizes and gauges, measuring this value in gauges. The finest that currently exist are the 34-gauge needlesknown as the invisible needle and with the same diameter as two human hairs together, whose puncture is almost imperceptible.

But the finer the needle, the more fragile it is and the more time we need to inoculate the content. Using this type of needles would require the aggressor to remain close to the victim and with the syringe in hand more than enough time for me to recognize it and identify it, even retain it.

Can you drug me just for a prick?

No, only for a puncture and without injecting us with any substance is not possible. The amount of medicine or drug that can contain a needle is not enough for it to have effects on our body.

If I get poked and injected, how long will it take for me to fall into chemical submission?

If that happens, the drug or drug will have remained in the subcutaneous space or between muscle fibers. Substances that are injected into the intramuscular space begin to absorb within 15-20 minutesgoing up to 20-30 minutes for the subcutaneous space.

The effect of the injected drug will never be instantaneousso that between when we feel the puncture and we begin to experience the first symptoms we have valuable time that we should not waste and we will spend it on alert our friends, security personnel and police.

How long is it detectable in blood?

This is something that will depend fundamentally on the substance that has been injected into us.

One of the most common substances in cases of chemical submission is GHB (liquid ecstasy)a compound that our body metabolizes quickly and that is why it is only detectable up to three or four hours after consumption or injection.

Going as soon as possible to an Emergency service where they can extract a blood and urine sample is, therefore, essential.

What substance do they inject?

Aggressors seeking the chemical submission of the victim often employ central nervous system depressant drugs or drugs.

In a joint research project between the universities of Vigo, Santiago de Compostela and West England, substances such as ecstasy, benzodiazepines, amphetamines, ketamine, or liquid ecstasy.

If in most cases no substance is detected in the victim’s body, why do they have symptoms after the puncture?

Our nervous system consists of a sympathetic and a parasympathetic system. The first of them is the one is activated involuntarily in an alert or dangerous situationas when we feel a puncture in a place of leisure.

Our body immediately releases a good amount of adrenalineour pupils dilate to better perceive everything around us, our heart rate increases, we feel that our mouth is dry, our bronchial tubes dilate, blood pressure rises, muscles tense, sweat production increases and our digestive system is paralyzed.

It is a primitive system for reacting to danger It prepares us for a fight or flight response. His activation in the face of fear produced by having felt a prick in a nightclub is more than enough for the victim to start feeling unwellregardless of whether or not that puncture involves the injection of some substance.

What risks does the puncture have beyond chemical submission?

The fact that we are pricked with a needle that has been used to carry out the same criminal act with other people already risks to our health, beyond whether or not any substance is injected. The traces of blood contained in that needle pose a high risk of contract hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV if any of the previous victims had it.

Let’s not neglect the glass

Chemical submission is unfortunately not something new, In the San Carlos Clinical Hospital in Madrid alone, 96 cases were confirmed last yearalthough until now the victim ingested liquid ecstasy without being aware of it after his assailant had poured it into his drink.

East modus operandi continues to this day, so we should not neglect our glass in nightclubs or entertainment venues, and we even have options to turn to, such as the tapas that some locals provide to try to put a stop to these crimes.


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