Over 40 cases of drink spiking reported to Gardaí this year
Gardaí are encouraging those who have been affected by drink spiking to come forward.
There have been over 40 instances of drink spiking that have been reported to the authorities so far this year.
These incidents happened both in public places, like bars and restaurants, but also in the home and at house parties.
There are concerns that this figure is actually an underrepresentation of the actual amount of drink spiking incidents, and the Gardaí are encouraging those who have been affected by drink spiking to come forward.
Commenting on the figures, Dola Twomey, a therapist from the Cork Sexual Violence Centre, described spiking as "a form of violence", and addressed the stigma that surrounds the crime.
She said: “Spiking is a form of violence in its own right. The more examples we can gather, the more armed we are to go to Gardaí and venues about this."
Ms Twomey also said that the attitude that often surrounds victims of spiking is one that suggests the person simply drank too much.
The therapist outlined how spiking can result in the victim experiencing "lost hours", as well as violent crimes and serious health complications.
Ms Twomey said that she hopes the online hub will raise awareness about drink spiking in Ireland, which in turn will minimise harm.
On a page dedicated to drink spiking, the HSE outlines the symptoms of date rape drugs, which include lowered inhibitions, difficulty concentrating or speaking, loss of balance, visual problems, memory loss, confusion, paranoia, nausea, vommitting and unconsciousness.
The date rape drugs that are used in drink spiking include alcohol, Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), benzodiazepines and ketamine.
If you suspect that your drink has been spiked, the HSE advises you to tell someone you completely trust, get to a safe place and to call 999 if you need urgent help.
Drink spiking can be reported right here.
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, support is available. You can contact the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre on 1800 77 8888.