Ladies, it’s the weekend and you’re planning to go out and drink with friends. But before you go, make sure you’re careful. While nobody wants to even dream that something could go wrong, sadly, sometimes things do go wrong. Before you go out and hit Massachusetts, make sure to educate yourself about date rape drugs and know how to avoid the possibility of being slipped a date rape drug, so you can avoid sexual assault at all costs.
About Date Rape Drugs
Women’s Health gives great advice for spotting these drugs:
“These drugs are powerful and dangerous. They can be slipped into your drink when you are not looking. The drugs often have no color, smell, or taste, so you can’t tell if you are being drugged. The drugs can make you become weak and confused — or even pass out — so that you are unable to refuse sex or defend yourself.” (source)
These drugs are called rohypnol (sometimes called roofies, rope or the forget pill), GHB (sometimes called salt water, goop or soap), and ketamine (sometimes called bump, green or jet).
Effects of Date Rape Drugs
Each drug has unique effects. You may experience difficulty talking, trouble with motor function, drowsiness, numbness, vomiting, or nausea. Some of these effects are very close to the effects of intoxication, but with these drugs, the feelings are stronger.
What to do if you think you’ve been a victim of abuse
Sometimes you’ll know right away. Other times, you might wake up in confusion, uncertain of what just happened. If you suspect that you’ve been subjected to a date rape drug, and especially if you have been physically assaulted, please carefully follow these steps below outlined by Women’s Health:
1. Get medical care right away. Call 911 or have a trusted friend take you to a hospital emergency room. Don’t urinate, douche, bathe, brush your teeth, wash your hands, change clothes, or eat or drink before you go. These things may give evidence of the rape. The hospital will use a “rape kit” to collect evidence. (source)
2. Don’t pick up or clean up where you think the assault might have occurred. There could be evidence left behind — such as on a drinking glass or bed sheets. (source)
3. If you feel it necessary, get counseling and treatment. Feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and shock are normal. A counselor can help you work through these emotions and begin the healing process. Calling a crisis center or a hotline is a good place to start. One national hotline is the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE. (source)
How to avoid being drugged
The goal is to avoid date rape drugs all together. Here are a few tips that can help keep you safe and away from harm:
1. Open your own drinks.
2. Don’t leave your drink unattended.
3. Keep your drink with you at all times.
4. If you have left your drink unattended, pour it out.
5. If you are bought a drink, or looked away from your drink, carry a date rape drug-detecting coaster with you if you don’t pour it out. We supply coasters that let you test a drink to determine if it has a date rape drug in it. Contact our Lawrence location for these life-saving coasters.
Sadly, while all of the precautions can be in place, we know bad thing still occur and that date rape drugs are still out there. If you suspect that you have been drugged but aren’t ready to visit with the police yet, we can also run a test for you to check for traces of the drug. As a walk-in lab that offers extreme confidentiality, we might be a good first step if you need to get a handle on the situation.
We hope you always keep this information in mind when you are out having a good time. Stay in control of your own situation, and don’t be a victim. Take every action you can to stay safe and avoid being drugged. And in the unfortunate situation where you think you might have just been harmed, please let us know if and how we can help.