Experts have said that a sudden spate of women being spiked by injection is "far-fetched" and "deeply improbable" due to the difficulties involved with using a syringe on someone against their will. 

Police are probing a series of unverified claims from women across Scotland and the rest of the UK claiming to have been rendered unconcious or made drowsy after being injected with a substance at a nightclub.

The claims - which first surfaced on social media after they were made by a student in Nottingham - have been repeated in Edinburgh, Dundee, Stirling and elsewhere, but officers say no women have come forward.  

READ MORE: Firewater Glasgow introduces new anti-spiking measures amid police probe

However, the belief that women are being preyed upon through spiking by injection - rather than a tampered drink - has now sparked a call to boycott nightclubs and led to Home Secretary Prity Patel calling for an investigation. 

Yet experts say the scenario is unlikely as it is almost impossible to administer the type of drugs needed to render someone unconcious without that person noticing, and could only be carried out by someone with a very specialised set of skills.

HeraldScotland:    

Guy Jones, senior scientist at drugs charity the Loop, told Vice magazine: “Injecting adds a big ‘what?’ factor to the whole thing because few drugs would be able to be injected like this.

"Where drugs can be injected non-intravenously, there are specific injection sites that do not work well. The back is one of these unsuitable sites due to the low fat-muscle content, and high concentration of pain receptors.”

He added: “GHB would be a poor candidate for injection due to the large amount of fluid needed, and therefore the thick, painful needle. This means that the substance involved would be something that would be highly detectable for several days in a toxicology screening such as a benzodiazepine.”

David Caldicott, an emergency medicine consultant and founder of drug testing project WEDINOS, said: “There are a couple of things that are disconcerting about this story. The technical and medical knowledge required to perform this would make this deeply improbable.

"It is at the level of a state-sponsored actor incapacitating a dissident, like the Novichok incident. The idea that a clubber would do this to a fellow clubber seems highly unlikely to me.

“It’s really hard to stick a needle in someone without them noticing, especially if you have to keep the needle in there for long enough, maybe 20 seconds, to inject enough drugs to cause this. If you were malicious there would be half a dozen much easier other ways to spike someone.”

READ MORE: Night club bosses call for Home Office inquiry as Scots boycott planned over spiking by injection

Caldicott added: “It’s very important that when a young person believes something has happened that has deprived them of their cognitive liberty to take them seriously and investigate it to the hilt. This has not been adequately investigated.

“It’s entirely possible that this is some stupid fad of sticking needles into people, but the association between sticking needles into people and people being intoxicated and collapsing seems far-fetched at the moment, it’s very difficult to explain.”

HeraldScotland:

Helena Conibear, CEO of the Alcohol Education Trust, who had not heard about spiking injections before last week, said that the social media claims and reports needed to be scrutinised.

“What we’ve found over 11 years of our existence is that there is a rise in reporting to us [about drink spiking] during freshers’ week in the autumn. Everyone presumes it takes place in bars and clubs, but half is at private parties and unregulated spaces because there’s less likelihood to have CCTV.”

She added that young people shouldn’t be frightened of going out and enjoying themselves, but that awareness around the actual threats is important. “Everyone presumes stranger danger but actually it could be a wider friendship group,” she warned. “You have to be vigilant all the time. It happens a lot to young men as well as young women. The mantra is any drink, any place, to anybody.”