Thursday, November 1, 2012

Date Rape Drugs.

This post won't be too long because there's not a whole ton I can say about it. I was reading an article in Cosmopolitan about date rape drugs. And as I was reading the symptoms. I have to say, I was pretty concerned. I'm not saying I've been slipped the drugs, but I've had a similar experience to some of the girls in the article. A lot of girls don't realize they've been slipped anything, because the symptoms are similar to those of being drunk, and lots of times, predators will slip them into the second or third drink so that you don't question the way you're feeling.

There are a couple different drugs commonly used to sedate in drinks. While it occurs mostly to women, it can happen to men, too. The bottom line is always watch  your drink. Watch the bartender make it. Watch them bring it to you. Don't accept drinks from strangers and don't ever leave your drink unattended. Slipping something in can take seconds, and you might not even notice it. It might be someone you're with, it could be a stranger, or it could even be the bartender. Be wary of

Rohypnol is the most common, otherwise known as ruffies. GHB and Ketamine are also commonly used. The last two are even easier to administer into an unaware person's drink because they come in liquid form as well as a powder. All three come in pill form, which can disintegrate into a drink. Sometimes, the color of the drink can change and look blueish or cloudy, but it's hard to tell in a drink or in a dark bar. Most people wouldn't question it. And the scariest part is, the pills are available dye-free, meaning there would be deciphering a safe drink from a dangerous one.

Symptoms from Rohypnol:


--Confusion
--Drowsiness
--Impaired judgment and motor skills, essentially like being drunk
--Memory loss
--Dizziness
--Nausea
--Slurred speech
--Blackouts/passing out
 Symptoms usually present themselves within a half an hour and can last for hours.

Symptoms from GHB:










--Drowsiness
--Impaired judgment and motor skills, essentially like being drunk
--Memory loss
--Dizziness
--Nausea
--Difficulty breathing
--Sweating
--Vomiting
--Seizures
--Blacking out
--Dream-like feeling
 Symptoms usually present themselves within 15 minutes and only last a few hours.

Symptoms from Ketamine:













--Slurred speech
--Difficulty breathing
--Vomiting
--Impaired judgment and motor skills, essentially like being drunk
--Convulsions
--Loss of coordination
--Numbness
--Aggressive behavior
--Blacking out
--Inability to move while still being mentally aware
--Dream-like feeling
Symptoms are almost immediate.

Rohypnol is not legal, but it is a benzodiazepine, which is a relaxant. It's typically used for treating anxiety and sleep disorders. It's very similar to Klonopin and Xanax, which are legal, and very widely prescribed. When taken in prescribed, low doses, these drugs can be safe and helpful. But when taken unknowingly and at high doses, it can make you act strangely and knock you out. Ketamine is used in medical procedures to put patients/animals to sleep, and GHB is now being used to treat narcolepsy in the US.

If you're given a drink that looks, smells or tastes funny, don't drink it. Try and have a sober friend with you (you should do this any time you're drinking, anyways). If you feel like you may have been drugged-- are very drunk after drinking very little, or if you feel the effects are intensified, and or if you just feel weird, take a break. Drink some water and get to a safe place. Call the police and explain the situation. Make sure you are with people you trust, and don't put yourself in a situation where you could easily lose control.

Victims don't always know they've been given the drug. These drugs are out of your system within 8-12 hours. If you can get to a hospital, do so. If you are in a safe place, many have slept it off. If you wake up in an unknown place or even a known place but you feel very hungover or like you may have been violated, go to the hospital and call the police. The longer you take to report a possible rape or sexual assault, the more and more evidence is gone. If you wake up in an area where you believe you may have been assaulted, don't touch anything. It is all evidence, and may be able to help law enforcement officials to piece together what happened.

Do not blame yourself. Accidents happen. The biggest thing is to focus on the present. What happened and how do I fix the situation? Do what you can after the fact. And again, be very safe when you're out drinking. Even if you aren't drinking alcohol, be aware of any beverages you may drink. One really cool invention that can help is a coaster from Drink Safe Technology. These coasters have spots that chemically react when a date-rape drug is dripped onto it. The spot will change colors to tell you if your drink is safe or if it has been tampered with. Of course, there can be false positives. But it is better to be safe than sorry. You can purchase the coasters from their website for about $0.40 a piece.

So, be safe, and happy drinking!

Women's Health.gov
Drug Abuse.gov
Above the Influence.
ABCNews.
Drink Safe Technology.