Student, 29, was ill for weeks after her drink was spiked on a night out by a FRIEND who did it for a ‘laugh’
- Gillian Reilly was on a night out with friends when she started feeling ‘weird’
- When at home Gillian felt dizzy and ‘violently sick’ – which continued for weeks
- She was later told that someone she thought was a friend spiked her for ‘a laugh’
- Gillian felt betrayed and wants to raise awareness of spiking at universities
A student has told of her horror after learning had her drink spiked by a friend who later admitted she thought it would be a ‘laugh’.
Gillian Reilly, 29, went out with friends to her student’s union bar at Queen Margaret’s University in Edinburgh for her end of year night out.
The final-year student, who was studying drama at the time, was excited to spend the evening with friends but during the night started to feel ‘like my insides were getting pulled out’.
She managed to get herself home, where she felt dizzy and had sharp pains in her stomach. Her symptoms of feeling unwell continued for ‘weeks and weeks’.
Later she was told by a friend that another person who she considered a close pal ‘thought it would be a laugh to put something in her drink’.
Gillian Reilly said she felt ‘really betrayed’ after learning that a supposed-friend had spiked her drink ‘for a laugh’
Gillian said: ‘We always had an end of year celebration at university, and I went with all of my friends I had known for a while.
‘I was in my final year so it was going to be goodbye for a lot of us. I was drinking anything that was handed to me, and was having a really good time, but soon I started to feel weird.
‘When I got back to my flat I felt really weird, it wasn’t how being drunk usually feels.
‘I started to feel really dizzy at first – but then I got these sharp pains in my stomach, and I started to feel violently sick.
‘The day after was when I knew something was really wrong – it felt like my insides were getting pulled out, I was sick for weeks and weeks.
‘I felt so unwell I honestly thought I was going to die. It’s scary to think that it’s not just strangers you need to look out for. Sometimes, it’s people you know.’
Gillian Reilly pictured in 2016 when she was a student at Queen Margaret’s University in Edinburgh
The ordeal happened in 2016 but she has only recently been able to address it and speak out.
She said: ‘I felt really betrayed, you feel like you can trust people and it just made me doubt who I can trust.
‘At the time I didn’t tell anyone because I had been attacked physically before and nobody believed me.
‘They even said that I’d hurt myself rather than believing it was my attacker – so I’ve been really wary of coming forward since.’
Ms Reilly has now begun studying Adult Nursing at Stirling University, says her past experiences still haunt her.
‘It’s made me wary of going out and going to clubs. I was really cautious in freshers week and I’m very careful about who I go out with.
‘Even now though, there needs to be so much more security to help people on nights out.
‘There’s drunk, vulnerable people walking around campus, where’s security making sure they get home okay?’
Spiking’s at university reached dangerous levels last year, where reports of needles being used to spike people came to light.
Ms Reilly continued: ‘Starting university is supposed to be exciting – you don’t want to have to think about these things happening.
‘You’re meeting lots of new people and you want to think these people could be friends, but it’s not necessarily the case.
‘You may meet people who do this to harm you, or in my case, people who think it’s funny to spike people.’