By Wednesday, 16 August, the Andalusian Health Service (SAS) had attended to 96 possible cases of needle spiking in the region, nine of which were men. The highest number of cases (38) occurred in Cadiz province, followed by Huelva with 16, Seville and Malaga with ten each, Granada with nine, Almeria with seven, Cordoba with four and Jaén, which had had no cases before, with two.
The regional government has set up a protocol to be followed if chemical submission by needle spiking is suspected. It recognises that these injections are a form of assault and are a criminal offence, so medical staff have to write an injury report and provide urgent attention because of the risk of chemical submission.
The protocol sets out the procedures to be followed in all cases, whether or not sexual assault was involved. Once a patient has been seen at a hospital or health centre or via the 112 Emergency service, samples are taken and sent to the National Institute of Toxicology.
Victims of these crimes are also offered psychological and legal support. The authorities stress that it is important that anyone who has been the victim of needle spiking must report the incident immediately so action can be taken.