Jess Insall has welcomed changes in the law which mean people face harsher sentences – but insists legislation needs to go further to curb the drugs
Image: Copyright Mark Anderson)
A ‘paralyzed’ teen was found slumped in toilet cubicle after a possible drink spiking.
Jess Insall reckons her drink was spiked on March 25 and says more action must be taken to crack down on the sales of spiking drugs.
She has welcomed changes in the law which mean people face harsher sentences – but insists legislation needs to go further.
The Home Office announced GHB, which is commonly used to spike drinks, has been reclassified as a Class B drug.
The substance along with GBL and 1,4-BD, has been put in a more serious category and means people found in possession of them will face tougher penalties.
Those found in unlawful possession of spiking drugs now face sentences of up to five years behind bars, while those involved in supply and production will face up to 14 years in prison.
The Daily Record reports the 19-year-old was left sick, unable to talk, and “paralyzed” after she believes she was spiked on March 25.
Jess, an accountant from Stirling, central Scotland, said: “I am shocked at how easy it is to access GBL online. It’s technically an industrial cleaner but it converts to GHB within minutes.
“If you search for it you’ll see it’s been marketed for drugs rather than cleaning.
“It’s a revenue streamline for organized crime and as long as people can buy it is going to keep happening.
“More needs to be done to tackle those that are selling it in the first place.”
In a quick online search, a number of adverts showing GBL listed as “clear and odourless”, “can be used to improve sexual performance”, and “put people in a coma”.
Sellers are also happy to accept Bitcoin for purchases and can make sure it’s delivered in discreet packaging.
On a site called gblmagic.com, the drug is advertised as “colourless, water liquid, with a weak odour”. The product is tagged with
It is also being sold through Facebook. On gooddealchem.com GBL is marketed as improving “sexual performance and pleasure” and is described as an anesthetic with a sedative quality.
Website megagblghb.com advertises the ‘spiking’ drugs clearly for consumption, describing GHB as a substance to help people sleep.
Jess’s ordeal took place on a Friday night at The Golf Lounge in Glasgow last month where she was found unconscious on the floor of a toilet cubicle by her friends.
They suspected she’d been spiked and called 999, but as no ambulances were available, Jess’ parents came to pick her up and take her home.
Despite contacting police the next morning, Jess believes a lack of understanding over how to deal with the situation saw her endure a 34-hour wait for a drug sample to be taken.
Officers told the family that Jess should have gone to hospital the previous night and advised her to call NHS 24.
The emergency call center advised her to go to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow, where drug testing could be done.
But A&E staff at the QEUH said it was the police’s responsibility to carry out testing and treated her for dehydration and a high heart rate.
Police returned to the family home on the Sunday morning and a drug sample was taken, but Jess fears the substance was out of her system by then and that she will never be able to prove what happened.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “As drugs laws are reserved, the reclassification of these drugs and resulting higher penalties will apply across the whole of the UK.
“The act of spiking is utterly abhorrent and we remain absolutely committed to working with partners – including Police Scotland, health services and third sector organizations – to tackle all forms of violence against women.
“Police Scotland have reported a downward trend in recorded spiking incidents since November last year, but there are a range of existing criminal laws in Scotland that can be used to prosecute anyone who is found to have spiked a person.
“The Scottish Government continue to work with partners to strengthen our response to spiking, and ensure that women are supported to report if something does happen.
“This includes increasing training and awareness of spiking for nighttime industry staff and continuing to implement our Equally Safe Strategy.”
Detective Inspector Stuart Gillies, of Police Scotland, said previously: “The welfare of victims in these incidents is of paramount importance.
“We have clear protocols in place to ensure full and thorough investigations are carried out in all reported incidents.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.