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DATE RAPE DRUGS CONTINUE TO BE A LOCAL WO

By Alfa, Feb 13, 2005 | |
  1. Alfa
    DATE RAPE DRUGS CONTINUE TO BE A LOCAL WORRY


    The use of date rape drugs in Jasper continues to be a problem even in the less busy winter season.


    Jasper Community and Family Services reported to municipal council last month that there were three reported incidents involving date rape drugs.


    "That seems like quite a high number for that month," said sexual health nurse Diana Sieben. "Any incident is high, three is quite big."


    Sieben said that it's impossible to calculate an accurate statistic on the number of incidents of date rape drugs because many victims don't report it.


    "It's so hard to estimate because people don't know they've been affected by it or they just wake up the next day and say why bother."


    Sieben spoke to a nurse working in emergency last week who said that there was recently a proven case of the use of date rape drugs in Jasper.


    Victims of the drug often go to the emergency room complaining that they feel sick, drowsy or overly drunk after having only a couple drinks. And people who plant the drug in peoples' drinks often don't always go after younger adults.


    "I've seen anywhere between the ages of 18 and 40. There doesn't seem to be an age group being targeted - it's pretty much anyone who's out there drinking."


    Community Outreach Worker Paul Schmidt agrees that the use of date rape drugs doesn't leave with the summer tourism period.


    "I wouldn't say it's specific to the season. It might be a little more prevalent just because of the bars being busy in the summertime, but percentage-wise, it stays the same," he said. "It's definitely out there and people should be aware of it."


    Date rape drugs, such as Rohypnol, can cause a loss of coordination, blackouts, loss of memory, or an inability to protect oneself from an attacker.


    Anyone who experiences these symptoms, or if their drink looks, smells or tastes different, should stop drinking and call the police. If any of the suspected drug-laced drink is consumed, that person should seek medical attention. Some of these drugs, when mixed with alcohol, may cause death.


    You can help protect yourself from date rape drugs by not drinking anything that has not been opened or prepared in front of you, not leaving your drink alone or with other people and by realizing you put yourself at risk by accepting drinks from people.

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