Rohypnol: In the news

Last modified: Saturday, 20. June 2009 - 3:20 pm

Rohypnol is one of at least 20 drugs that law enforcement officials say are used in committing sexual assaults. A study published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology in 1999 found that of nearly 1,200 samples collected from victims of alleged sexual assault, more than one-third were positive for alcohol and a significant percentage were positive for benzodiazepines, which include Rohypnol. Because of the close association between alcohol and Rohypnol in relation to sexual assault crimes, it is important for anyone who frequents bars or parties where drinking occurs to take steps to protect themselves from being victimized.
Some things people can do to protect themselves include:
• Drink only from tamper-proof bottles or cans and insist on opening them yourself.
• Be particularly cautious about drinking out of wide-mouthed cups and wine glasses.
• If you do have a mixed drink or other beverage that is not in a can or tamper-proof bottle that you have opened yourself, insist on personally watching while the drink is mixed or prepared. Do not accept a cup of punch, for example, that you did not see being poured into the cup.
• Do not ask another person to watch your drink while you dance, go to the rest room, or make a phone call. Even if the person watching your drink is trustworthy and known to you, he or she could become distracted, giving someone an opportunity to tamper with an unattended drink.
• Avoid group drinking or drinking games in which you can quickly become intoxicated and not realize what you are being given to drink.
Party-goers should remember that even though legal Rohypnol pills will emit a blue color when dissolved in liquid, the blue is not as noticeable when the pill is put in a dark ale, fruit punch, cola, or other colored beverage. It will, however, make the drink turn slightly cloudy. If it looks suspicious, the best advice is not to drink it.
In 2002, a company called DrinkSafe Technology announced they had invented a coaster that can be used to test whether a drink has been drugged. If Rohypnol, GHB, or ketamine has been added, the coaster will change color when a drop of the tampered drink is placed on it.

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