Drink and Injection Spiking: How to Approach an Increase in Presentations

Jo Daniels, James Dear, Fraser Birse, Edward Carlton, Kaye Burgess, Tom Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)
35 Downloads (Pure)


In 2021, there was a significant increase in the number of reported drink spiking incidents across the UK. The new phenomenon of spiking via injection also emerged, which gained significant media attention. Campaigns encouraged potential spiking victims to attend an ED for testing. However, there is limited published research on drink spiking and no published studies on injection spiking. One UK guideline for the management of spiking exists, advising testing ‘if clinically indicated’ and is likely underused. Therefore, patients are often managed without drug testing, psychological support or a clear onward referral pathway. This practice review will explore the background of spiking, discuss drug testing options and highlight the psychological sequelae of spiking. An example guideline for the management of spiking incidents is attached.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-312
Number of pages5
JournalEmergency medicine journal : EMJ
Issue number4
Early online date14 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.


  • Diagnostic Tests
  • guideline
  • patient support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine


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