Needle Spiking in Nightclubs in France by Expertox

21 June 2022

Over the past few months, in multiple regions of France, an increasing number of police reports of needle spiking have been filed from young people. Symptoms described by the victims are variable, from a simple stinging sensation and marks on the body to feeling unwell, fainting and memory loss, that are all signs of possible drug injection [1].

In these injections, we can suspect the presence of substances that are commonly used for chemical submission : illicit substances such as GHB*, ecstasy, cocaïne, and especially drugs like antihistamines and benzodazepines due to their sedative properties [2].

Investigations on the administration of harmful substances were conducted. However, the substances that were injected could not be identified with toxicological analyses. GHB is the most suspected product because of its fast and short acting abilities, but it is not frequently found in biological samples because it is not easily accessible and the detection period in urine and blood are limited [3].

Although there were no tentative of agression after needle spiking, it can be dangerous for people’s health. Indeed, the risk of accidental blood exposure and as a result, hepatitis B or human immunodeficiency viruses transmission cannot be neglected [4]. Therefore, if someone suspects being spiked with a needle, it is advised to go to the emergencies and file a complaint. Toxicological analysis will be performed to serve as a proof for the judicial procedure.

The EXPERTOX laboratory will shortly be able to perform toxicological analysis on biological matrices such as whole blood by using chromatographic methods.

* GHB : Gamma Hydroxybutyrate

[Sources : [1] Jean-Pierre Goullé, Élodie Saussereau, Michel Guerbet, Christian Lacroix – La soumission chimique : un problème de santé publique ? Académie Nationale de Médecine, 2010. [2] CEIP-A de Paris, ANSM – Résultats d’enquêtes soumission chimique, 2019 [3] Kintz P., Villain M., Cirimele V., Goullé J.P., Ludes B. — Usage criminel de substances psychoactives : le problème de la durée de détection. Acta Clin. Belg. Suppl., 2002, 1 , 24-30. [4] Société Canadienne de Pédiatrie – Les blessures par piqûre d’aiguille dans un lieu public, Paediatr Child Health. 2008, 13(3): 213–218].

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