“Needle Spiking” – New phenomenon creates uncertainty – News


  • During the street parade, 8 people reported to the medical post, apparently affected by needle spiking.
  • The incidents all happened in the Bürkliplatz region in the late afternoon and early evening.
  • “Needle spiking” is mysterious needle pricks that unknown people inflict on their victims.
  • A victim told SRF that she was dizzy and felt like she was trapped in her own body.

Basically, the street parade was peaceful and there were only 621 medical treatments. That’s not much if you put this number in relation to the 900,000 participants. Nevertheless: Eight people reported to the protection and rescue Zurich with suspected “needle spiking”.

This phenomenon involves needle sticks that unknown people inflict on their victims. If substances are injected, this can cause symptoms such as nausea, drowsiness and even memory loss.

«Needle Spiking» – a new phenomenon

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The first cases appeared at parties, clubs and music festivals in Great Britain last autumn. Within a few months, a surprisingly high number was received by investigative authorities. A final report by the British Parliament speaks of around 500 “spiking” cases. In the course of the last few months, reports of needle attacks have also increased in France, Spain and Brussels, where a youth festival had to be canceled as a result. Since the first cases appeared in Germany at the end of May, the phenomenon has now also spilled over into Switzerland.

Mirena M. was also a victim of the mysterious needle attacks near Bürkliplatz. She tells SRF of dizziness and a feeling of pressure, as if she were trapped in her own body. Over time, she heard nothing more and walked around disoriented, which caused her to lose her group.

Involved shares experience on TikTok

The emergency doctor Katharina Seidl was on site. Of course, the patients were worried after they noticed a puncture, she says. However, after thorough cleaning and photo documentation of the wound, not everyone wanted to accept the offer and be taken to the hospital for further examinations.

Doctor: Unlikely substances entering the body

According to the investigative authorities, well over 90 percent of the cases reported abroad were stabbed by men with syringes or needles. However, there was never any poisoning, theft or sexual assault – instead there was the so-called “nocebo” effect. Victims experience symptoms even without substances. The combination of alcohol and fear is usually decisive for this.

On the other hand, administering substances to someone with “needle spiking” is difficult, says Katharina Seidl, the medical director of Protection & Rescue Zurich. The probability of stabbing, injecting and getting an effective amount into the body within a short time is very low. In order to introduce more active substance within the limited time window, a larger needle would have to be used, which would be noticed immediately when it was inserted, says the doctor. In addition, the tissue of the mostly affected young and healthy women would resist.

Unclear motives

Even the psychologist Felix Hof can only formulate hypotheses due to the lack of facts. He assumes that there is a quest for sensation and attention in combination with a sadistic and power-motivated motive. The abuser feels pleasure in inflicting pain, fear, and panic on others, and in taking a dominant position. The victims are so affected in their initial behavior that they are no longer able to make free decisions.

In any case, if there is any suspicion, it is worth getting examined immediately, as using a needle several times could lead to infectious diseases.

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