Man drugged by syringe in Brussels nightclub

Man drugged by syringe in Brussels nightclub
The interior of a club. Credit: Belga

A victim at a nightclub in Brussels was drugged with a syringe in April.  It was the first recorded case in Belgium after the phenomenon took off in Europe a few months ago as a grim alternative to spiking people's drinks with pills.

The father of the victim took to social media after his son was drugged to warn people of the danger, according to La Dernière Heure.

"I have a duty as a responsible father to alert, I hope a maximum, of my friends of a new danger that threatens our young people or even the older ones who would still like to have fun in peace by going out to a club," he wrote.

The father explained how his son and his friends didn't realise for several minutes that there had been an attack until the effects started to kick in. The son is now getting checked for other illnesses in hospital.

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"(My son) has notified the party organisers and the police. Please be vigilant at parties, and do report this type of heinous aggression if you hear about it," urged the victim's father.

A problem across Europe

Belgium isn't the only country to be hit by this type of drugging. In the UK, victims are speaking out after women in several cities reported blacking out after feeling a scratchy sensation or waking up the next day to find puncture wounds on their skin.

One victim of drugging, a student at the University of Nottingham, told CBS News about her experiences. "I remember going in, going to the bar, going to the toilet and the photo booth, and then after that moment, my memory is a blank until I get home."

She recounted how she found a pin prick on her leg, which was were her pain came from, disabling her from walking. By the time she got to the hospital, it was too late to discover the drug as it had gone out of her system. However, she was getting tested for HIV or other illnesses.

Nottingham police are investigating the incident together with a dozen reports of drugging through needles.

What can be done

After the reports, there was an outpouring of support on social media followed by women in the UK planned to not attend nightclubs. Over 163,000 people signed a petition calling on the government to make a thorough search at nightclub entrances mandatory.

In Belgium, neither the federal police nor local areas have been informed of this new method of targeting people in clubs. However, a Feminist Association (Union féministe inclusive autogérée) is well aware of the issue and encourages victims to come forward.

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