Drugs and booze
Posted on Sep 18, 2012 in News
Drug-related sex crimes on the rise
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, “Drug Rape”, is one of the fastest growing drug-facilitated, sexual assault crimes in America today.
“In Alabama, from 2003-2005, we had zero calls about drink spiking. This year, we have had three calls,” said Ann Slattery, Supervisor of the Regional Poison Control Center.
In the past month, three of my friends, two of the three being males, have been “roofied”—a term used for someone who has unwillingly ingested a benzodiazepine, the classification of psychoactive drugs that includes Valium, Librium, Xanax, and—a common but illegal drug in the United States—Rohypnol.
“Rohypnol has never been marketed as a prescription in the United States. In 1996, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection banned the importation of the drug into the country,” said Slattery.
The aforementioned pills have been nicknamed “date rape drugs” that, in combination with alcohol, may causes adverse effects that lead to toxicity and death.
“The legal benzodiazepine drugs are therapeutically used as sleep aids and anxiety medications, but they are illegally used for drink spiking,” said Slattery.
Side effects for benzodiazepines may include extreme drowsiness, decrease in respiratory rate, sedation, muscle relaxation, and impaired psychomotor and cognitive skills.
After-effects include piercing headaches, memory impairment, urinary retention, gastrointestinal disturbances, and dehydration.
An anonymous victim described the after-effects of Rohypnol as “the worst hangover of my entire life. It lasted for days. I wanted to sleep through it all, and even when I did, I still felt drowsy.”
Certain date rape drugs may only stay in a victim’s system for up to 8 hours. Rohypnol may be detected on urine screening for up to 60 hours after ingestion.
“If you’re with someone who is acting strange, seems sedated, loses their inhibition, and has motor impairment, take them to an emergency room immediately. Do not be afraid to tell the physician what you suspect because they can test that individual and rule out what may have been given to them,” said Slattery.
Here’s the real danger about the Rwohypnol: it dissolves easily in drinks with little to no taste. In recent years, the drug has been modified so that a blue or green dye becomes apparent in light and clear drinks.
“The drug can be bought for pennies in Mexico and be sold for as little as $5,” said Slattery.
Victims of drink spiking often experience amnesia the following day, so it is important for that individual to visit a physician for precautionary reasons.
“One thing that the Regional Poison Control Center would really like for people to know is that they should trust their health professionals. Physicians are never going to judge you, so never be embarrassed to be honest,” said Slattery.