A Legal Prescription for Date Rape (1 in 4 at Risk)

If you have a daughter, young female friend, or you’re a fun-loving individual yourself, there’s a very disconcerting likelihood that a night in, a night out, or just about any old night (even with friends) could turn very bad very quickly. Consider the statistics that approximately 1 in 4 college-age women have reported that they survived rape or attempted rape at some point in their short lifetimes.

We’re not talking about the risks of dark back-alley confrontations either. Numbers this high come from predators of a far more common and different sort. The scenario might start at a house party, dorm room, a bar, even a friend’s house. Bring on the drinks! Good times planned, designated driver, check. All good, right? She might come with a friend, but her friend is off in the corner with a cute guy.

A couple drinks into the night, after her judgement starts to wane, a nice enough guy starts showing her some interest. He gets her another drink, but unbeknownst to her, he slips in a tiny pinch of white powder that he may have obtained from a friend or legally from his own doctor.

He learned from another buddy that it’s a much easier way to score with the chicks because they get really easy, really fast and he doesn’t have to wait several drinks deep for the girls to get completely wasted where they end up puking all over themselves just when they are having a good time.

She starts to feel the alcohol really taking hold…wow she’s really feeling like a lightweight now. Must have been some strong stuff. Not sure if she’s going to pass out or what, so she gets up to look for her girlfriend. Her friend is (very) preoccupied with another guy. She knows she can’t drive (hopefully), but now she’s thinking that even staying upright might be an issue. The guy who she was just chatting with checks in; “hey, you all right?” No not really, she needs to find a ride, find a couch, bed, floor, whatever, lay down and close her eyes for a few minutes to get a grip or maybe he offers her a walk to some place quieter or a ride home. Thank goodness for the nice ones.  But…

Researchers say that perpetrators are opportunistic and non-confrontational. They ordinarily do not threaten, force, nor do they carry weapons. They tend not to have a history of physical violence. They are often invested in their careers or communities: they are not generally culturally marginalized. [Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zolpidem]

Soon as the drug really kicks in she’s like a zombie. She wants to sleep, but hey it’s a party–that would be rude. She tries to stay awake. She may talk a little, might stagger around well enough, might even seem non-confrontational when she’s touched where she shouldn’t be. Hey, if she isn’t fighting it, she must want it, right?

One thing is for sure, she isn’t acting in a conscious state and either way, she won’t remember much at all the next morning.

This new breed of predator finds it super convenient how “easy” these girls become with a couple drinks and the little pinch of this common prescription drug. No confrontation, no fuss, just fun, easy and not much risk as she won’t remember a thing. If confronted by anyone, since she’s drinking and with a guy, she must be having fun with him…how about a little privacy please.

Well, the next morning the night was a blur. She remembers a couple drinks, a cute guy and that’s about it. Strange though, her clothes are in disarray and she’s a little sore where she shouldn’t be. She’s now realizing something is very wrong. How much did she drink, how did this happen? She might even confront other friends who were at the party and ask what happened. Witnesses saw her drinking (acting pretty drunk) and talking with a guy, maybe even flirting, being touched, etc. That’s about it. If confronted, the guy might immediately admit they had sex, consensually of course, but that she didn’t object at the time. She doesn’t remember anything.

She knows, there’s no way in a million years she’d have sex with someone she just met. She’s beginning to realize that she was drugged and raped, period. If she tells her friends, will they believe her? By the time she reports it, (if she does report it at all), the chemical traces of this legal prescription drug become difficult to detect.

If you search Google for “date rape drugs” you will find many articles exposing the danger of several sleep aid drugs, with Zolpidem (often prescribed under the trade name Ambien) being the leading date rape drug according to Wikipedia.

Zolpidem has become a leading date rape drug. Unlike Rohypnol (“roofies”), which was banned in 1996, zolpidem is available legally by prescription, and unlike gamma-hydroxybutyrate, which is used to treat a rare form of narcolepsy, zolpidem was prescribed 43.8 million times in the U.S. in 2012. It dissolves readily in liquids such as wine, and can typically be detected in bodily fluids for only 36 hours, though it may be possible to detect it by hair testing much later; this is due to the short elimination half-life of 2.5–3 hours. [Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zolpidem]

This easy-to-get prescription drug is being used by unscrupulous predators to drug others into a state where the victims becomes weak, semi conscious, unaware of what’s happening, and unable to remember what they did or had done to them while under the influence. Hence, an opportunity to commit rape (sexual assault) without one’s consent.

The ground-up prescription drug, in powder form, is simply slipped into the victim’s unattended drink. Using these drugs with alcohol can escalate the event to create a VERY potent rape-prone situation.

Between 2006 and 2011, sleeping pill prescriptions rose from 47 million to 60 million in the US. Approximately 38 million were for drugs containing Zolpidem (including the brand name Ambien) according to IMS Health. [source: Huffington Post]

Other date rape drugs include rohypnol (“Roofies”), Ketamine (a fast-acting antidepressant used as an illicit party drug), and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) categorized as a central nervous system depressant. [Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_rape_drug]

Young party goers should be aware and protect themselves by never leaving their drinks unattended and by being aware of who might be buying and providing the drinks. That may not be enough. Females must stick together and designate at least one responsible person to keep the other safe and look out for others who may very well be too drunk or drugged to get out of the situation.

If you ever feel extra sleepy, dizzy, confused, after one or two drinks, you may be a prospective victim about to be date raped. Call 911, enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member immediately to take care of you. Sleeping pills and alcohol together can lead to serious complications. Seek immediate medical attention if you feel you’ve been drugged.

STICK CLOSE TOGETHER, LOOK OUT FOR YOUR FRIENDS AND OTHERS WHO MAY FIND THEMSELVES IN COMPROMISING SITUATIONS WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT.

Please share this with anyone who might be at risk. UV

For more information about the risks and prevention, visit the non-profit organization dedicated to prevention strategies shown to increase likelihood of bystander intervention in a situation where rape or sexual assault may occur. See: http://www.oneinfourusa.org.

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