default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Sex, Drugs And Date Rape The use of date rape drugs is common but rarely reported.

Sex, Drugs And Date Rape

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, April 20, 2000 12:00 am | Updated: 12:44 am, Sat May 18, 2013.


Crime


After drinking a Mountain Dew laced with gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), 15-year-old Samantha Reid became a date rape drug victim when she lost her life to GHB, one of the most common such drugs today.

Her best friend, Melanie Syndone, fell into a 17-hour coma after ingesting GHB. Melanie was lucky; she lived.

In Texas, 17-year-old Hillory J. Farias died after her drink had been laced with GHB in a nightclub.

These tragic incidents prompted President Clinton to sign the "Hillory J. Farias and Samantha Reid Date Rape Drug Prohibition Act of 1999," which was unanimously passed by Congress. As of mid-February, date rape drugs-GHB, Rohypnol and ketamine are the most common-are the most strictly regulated drugs under federal law. Anyone charged with possession, distribution, or manufacturing date rape drugs could face up to 20 years in prison.

Locally, use of GHB, says Daniele Roth of the Monterey Rape Crisis Center, is "steadily rising." Rohypnol is also a frequently used date rape drug, while ketamine, a newer drug used primarily for veterinary purposes, is growing in popularity.

Roth says the most likely people to fall prey to date rape drugs--and the sleazy people who deceptively dispense them into victims'' drinks--are high school and college-age women. But it can happen to anyone. The drugs are typically slipped into a victim''s drink without her knowledge. The drinker then becomes incapacitated and can then be easily robbed or, most likely, sexually assaulted.

Local law enforcement officials say there have been no more than five reported cases in the last five years around Monterey County. But those statistics are deceiving. Roth says only 15 percent of all date rape drug cases get reported at all. Unfortunately, victims often feel embarrassed, are unaware they are being drugged, or do not get the proper drug testing in time to make accurate reports.

Know Thy Drugs

By knowing what to look out for, women are better prepared to defend themselves against date rape drug offenders.

GHB, a central nervous system depressant, is commonly a grainy white or sandy-colored substance. It also comes in liquid or capsule forms, and is colorless and odorless, but the liquid form has a salty taste. Its effects can last up to six hours and include strong relaxation and lowered heart rate, loss of motor control, or even a deep sleep resembling a coma. Side effects may be nausea, delusions, vertigo, seizures, respiratory distress, possible addiction, and severe erosion of the esophagus.

Common street names for GHB are Cherry Meth, Easy Lay, Georgia Home Boy, Liquid X, Liquid Ecstasy, Salty Water, Soap, Bedtime Scoop, Grievous Bodily Harm, and Fantasy.

Ketamine, an anesthetic, comes in powder or liquid form and is taken orally, nasally, or injected intramuscularly. Its effects are dissociative, meaning the user feels that her mind is separated from her body. Side effects are paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, heart malfunctions, and feeling as part of a different reality. Common street names for ketamine are Special K, Vitamin K, Kit-Kat, K, and Ket.

Rohypnol is the brand name for Flunitrazepam, a tranquilizer with 1 to 10 times the power of Valium. It most often comes in pill form, but is also made in powder and liquid forms. Rohypnol is odorless, tasteless, and usually colorless. Its effects can last up to eight hours and include dizziness, confusion, loss of memory or amnesia, tremors, impaired judgment, and decreased blood-pressure.

Common street names for rohypnol are Roofies, Roachies, Forget Pill, Lunch Money, Circles, La Rocha, Mexican Valium, and R-Pies. Withdrawal symptoms are dependency problems, headaches, confusion, muscle pain, hallucinations, and convulsions. Combined with alcohol, Rohypnol can cause coma, heart failure, or even death.

The best way to protect yourself from becoming a victim of date rape drugs, Roth says, is to be aware.

"It''s important for people to keep an eye on their drink and if you feel something is wrong," she says, "stay with someone you know until you can get help."

The Rape Crisis Center also advises against accepting drinks from strangers or drinking beverages that appear to have candy or other objects in them.


April is Sexual Assault Awareness month. For more information on date rape drugs, contact the Monterey Rape Crisis Center at 373-3955.

More about

More about

More about

Welcome to the discussion.

  • Sean Folsom

    Sean Folsom is a local music enthusiast who owns more than 1,000 instruments including rare antiquities like a Lakotan flute and a 48 key conc…

More Band & Musician Directory »