Unattended drinks leave students vulnerable

CN/James Storbakken

By Giang Hoang

Across the United States, there are now higher rates of intentional drug poisoning. Many people are not aware that they can be the next victims.

Some people seek clubs and parties to socialize, mingle, or meet new acquaintances. On the common grounds of nightclubs and parties, more than half of the people there indulge in alcoholic beverages.

Some people are offered drinks by random strangers and the chances of them taking up that offer are likely. What may seem harmless can turn into a dangerous situation.

The more people are aware of the potential harms of social gatherings when drinks are involved, the better they can protect themselves from being a victim. There have been many incidents where people have been slipped drugs into their drinks and end up being raped, robbed or assaulted. Certain drugs, such as rohypnol, known as the date rape drug, cause victims to be helpless.

It slows down brain motor skills and sedates the body to make people weak. The drug is tasteless and odorless and it takes 10 to 20 minutes to take effect. In most cases, victims forget what happened to them because the drug causes memory loss.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Such poisoning has been implicated in the rapes of an estimated 3 million American women, although in reality that figure could be considerably higher.” Other assaults have not been filed or even remembered by the victim.

Recently in August 2011, a woman was drugged and raped. She woke up in a hotel located in Rosemead having no clothes. She only remembered going to a nightclub in Los Angeles with a co-worker the night before her alleged rape.

According to L.A. County Sheriffs, they checked the surveillance camera and saw a man carrying the helpless woman into the hotel and soon later seeing him leave without her. Deputies said that the alleged rapist called the victim and told her he had drugged her and sexually assaulted her. He offered to give her money, and she suggested to meet him in Monterey Park at a business area. Soon after when they arrested him at the location, they found Ketamine on the alleged rapist.

There are many ways to prevent and protect oneself from being drugged. Make sure you always have your drink with you. Do not leave your drink alone or with someone, you just met. Under the circumstances of having someone buy you a drink,make sure you are there at the bar to see the bartender make your drink. Do not accept random drinks that are already made. Try to finish drinks before leaving to the dance floor.Someone can slip drugs into your drink when left unattended.

Avoid being alone with strangers. Always have your group of friends close by. Keep a level-headed outlook and a clear state of mind by not over-indulging in too many drinks. Remember alcoholic drinks make the mind hazy and judgments become impaired.

Make sure you have more than three people in your group. The more people there that you know, the safer it will be. Not only look after yourself but your friends as well. There is no way to inevitably stop the dangers but being more informed and taking precautions will help people from being the next victim.


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