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Predatory Drugs

December 21, 2010

Over this coming break some of you will be going out to bars and/or going to holiday parties and drinking with people you may know well or may not know at all.  If you think that everyone is as nice as you watch this video.  If you’re paranoid about people putting things in your drink watch this video.

Warning! This video might scare you. And, it should.

Predatory drugs are virtually undetectable in food and beverages; most are colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Traces of most predatory drugs leave the body within 72 hours of ingestion and cannot be detected in any routine toxicology screen or blood test. Because of memory loss and the speed at which the drugs metabolize, it can be difficult to make and support a claim that a drug was used to facilitate sexual violence. Doctors and police have to be looking specifically for them and they have to act quickly.

Rohypnol

The effects of Rohypnol can be felt within 30 minutes of being drugged and can last for several hours. If you are drugged, you might look and act like someone who is drunk. You might have trouble standing. Your speech might be slurred. Or you might pass out. Rohypnol can cause these problems:

* Muscle relaxation or loss of muscle control
* Difficulty with motor movements
* Drunk feeling
* Problems talking
* Nausea
* Can’t remember what happened while drugged
* Loss of consciousness (black out)
* Confusion
* Problems seeing
* Dizziness
* Sleepiness
* Lower blood pressure
* Stomach problems
* Death

GHB

GHB takes effect in about 15 minutes and can last 3 or 4 hours. It is very potent: A very small amount can have a big effect. So it’s easy to overdose on GHB. Most GHB is made by people in home or street “labs.” So, you don’t know what’s in it or how it will affect you. GHB can cause these problems:

* Relaxation
* Drowsiness
* Dizziness
* Nausea
* Problems seeing
* Loss of consciousness (black out)
* Seizures
* Can’t remember what happened while drugged
* Problems breathing
* Tremors
* Sweating
* Vomiting
* Slow heart rate
* Dream-like feeling
* Coma
* Death

Ketamine

Ketamine is very fast-acting. You might be aware of what is happening to you, but unable to move. It also causes memory problems. Later, you might not be able to remember what happened while you were drugged. Ketamine can cause these problems:

* Distorted perceptions of sight and sound
* Lost sense of time and identity
* Out of body experiences
* Dream-like feeling
* Feeling out of control
* Impaired motor function
* Problems breathing
* Convulsions
* Vomiting
* Memory problems
* Numbness
* Loss of coordination
* Aggressive or violent behavior
* Depression
* High blood pressure
* Slurred speech

So, what to do?
•Stay with friends and watch out for each other.
•Take notice if someone appears to be intoxicated at a level disproportionate to the amount of alcohol they have consumed.
•Designate a sober friend to watch out for you and your friends and make sure you periodically check up on each other.
•Call 911 if someone passes out and is difficult to wake up, seems to be having difficulty breathing, is behaving in an uncharacteristic way, or gets sick after drinking a beverage.
•Be cautious about those from whom you accept drinks.
•Never leave with someone you just met, and don’t let a friend leave with someone she just met.
•Watch your drink.
•Prepare your own drinks when possible.
•Don’t share drinks.
•Don’t drink from a container that is being passed around.
•Don’t drink from a punch bowl.
•Only drink beverages that you open yourself.
•Bring your own drinks.
•Don’t leave your drink unattended; discard unattended drinks.
•If you see or hear that someone is dosing a drink or a punch bowl, take action. Confront the person, warn others, discard the drink.

Look for a Spring semester Common Hour presentation on predatory drugs and more ideas about how to keep yourself and friends around you safe from sexual predators.

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