'It happened so quickly': Student describes drink spiking horror 

'It happened so quickly': Student describes drink spiking horror 

Irish student found herself feeling dizzy, disoriented and vomiting in the toilets after her drink was spiked in Belgium. Picture: Denis Minihane

A 22-year-old student has described the moment her drink was spiked within 10 minutes of entering a nightclub, while on a night out with friends in Belgium.

Míde Nic Fhionnlaoich, who is from Connemara, had been out celebrating a friend’s birthday in Antwerp, Belgium, when the group went to a nightclub.

However, within minutes of entering the club, Ms Nic Fhionnlaoich found herself feeling dizzy, disoriented and vomiting in the toilets.

“At first I thought I might be drunk. I had only had two glasses of wine, but I thought they had hit me at once, so I thought it might pass. 

"My friend came in and sat with me, and she was like, ‘I don't think this is drink. I think we need to go get security’."

It turned out that one of Ms Nic Fhionnlaoich's friends had also fallen unwell, so they were taken to see the club's medic.

“He took one look at us, shun a light in our eyes and said that we have both been spiked,” she added.

According to Ms Nic Fhionnlaoich, who is studying at University College Dublin, the medic told them their symptoms were consistent with the drug Gamma-hydroxybutyrate, more commonly known as GHB.

Used recreationally and as a date rape drug, it is usually available as a clear liquid.

Date rape drug

According to Michael Guerin, an addiction counsellor at the Cuan Mhuire addiction treatment centre in Bruree, it is used as a date rape drug due to the fact it hinders the memory of the person spiked, as well as leaving them in an inebriated state.

“It's quite dangerous and the risk of adverse effects and overdoses are quite probable,” Mr Guerin added.

The drug itself becomes more dangerous when mixed with alcohol, with the HSE reporting that the most severe side-effects can include seizures, coma and death.

Ms Nic Fhionnlaoich said while the conversation around spiking regularly centres around what can be done to prevent it from happening, it can be incredibly difficult to stop.

“It happened so quickly that I can’t point to any moment where I made a mistake or left my drink. It's not enough to say, 'oh, watch your drinks when you're out' or 'look after your friends'. As long as people are out there spiking drinks, this going to happen,” she added.

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