Students are taking a stand against reports of drug "spiking" as third level institutes launch campaigns to highlight the risks.
The Institute of Technology (IT) Carlow Students' Union has announced an initiative aimed at curbing the recent increase in students' drinks being spiked.
‘Spike-Watch’ involves students' union staff and volunteer students patrolling popular bars in Carlow town.
It comes after what the union has described as a surge in spiking reported over the past number of weeks.
IT Carlow Students’ Union president Thomas Drury said they have been in close communication with local authorities and have been informed that drink spiking is an issue in Carlow.
“We have had incidents of this reported by our students and as the days go on, we are seeing the number of incidents rise,” he said.
The aim of the new initiative is to ensure a visible presence to prevent people from spiking drinks.
The volunteer on patrol will also act as a point of contact for anyone who fears they may have been spiked or feels unsafe, the union has said.
IT Carlow student Alex Kelly has also provided the Students' Union with a simple device to help prevent spiking whereby a small circular card can be placed over a drink to prevent tampering.
In collaboration with gardaí, popular student bars in Carlow town have joined forces with the Students' Union in signing an "anti-spiking pledge", reiterating their support.
Mr Drury said: “As a Students’ Union, we feel it should be a priority of ours to ensure students can feel safe on a night out without having to worry about themselves or their friends being spiked.
A campaign has also begun at University College Cork (UCC) to raise awareness around spiking, with a particular focus on the recent reports of spiking by injection.
The #TakeBackTheSpike camping also aims to increase Bystander Intervention practices around the issue.
The union has written an open letter to pubs and nightclubs in Cork to address the recent rise in reports of spiking.
UCC Students’ Union welfare officer Caoimhe Walsh said the union was “deeply saddened and upset” when it heard of the increase in spiking that has taken place in Ireland and the UK over the past number of weeks.
“This is an issue that has become more prominent, not only among students but also the wider community and it is something that we are very concerned about,” she said.
OPEN LETTER TO CORK PUBS AND NIGHTCLUBS FROM UCC STUDENTS' UNION— UCC Students' Union (@UCCSU) November 2, 2021
UCCSU are calling on businesses' in Cork to take a stand against the growing incidences of spiking across Ireland and to join our show of solidarity 'Take Back the Spike' this Thursday November 4th at 6pm in UCC. pic.twitter.com/jIhabo6dr2
UCC Bystander Intervention and UCC Students’ Union have joined forces to create the #TakeBackTheSpike Strike in light of the recent rise in drink spiking.
Protests recently took place across the UK, with young people boycotting nightclubs following rising reports of spiking and spiking by injection.
The #TakeBackTheSpike Strike will take place at 6pm on Thursday at the Amphitheatre in University College Cork.