Spiked drink turns evening out into nightmare
CNS): A 34-year-old woman says a beer she ordered at a local bar was spiked with a powerful drug that caused total loss of control and blackout. Now she wants to warn other women of the dangers of date rape drugs and how easily they can find their way into drinks. “I don’t remember any suspicious activity. I don’t remember feeling watched or anything,” she said. Later, when she read up on date rape drugs, she thought, “That’s exactly how I felt.” It was odourless and tasteless; the only thing she was aware of was the impact it had on her body. The victim said she was lucky she had friends to take care of her, but feels frightened when she thinks about the 'what ifs'.
A Grand Cayman resident who works in the financial services industry, the victim, who wants to remain anonymous, said that last Friday night she was at a bar on Seven Mile Beach with friends where she was meeting her husband, who had first gone to a Christmas party. They ordered a second round of drinks and she got a bottle of beer, which was delivered to the table opened. She said she did not know everyone in her group well, but that there was no chance to spike her drink after it was brought to the table by the bar staff.
“By the second sip, I felt something go terribly wrong,” she said. Her body would not respond, she wanted to talk but the words would not come out – afterwards she was told by friends that she was talking gibberish – but this sensation of being cognizant of what was going on but feeling out of control lasted only for a few minutes. Then she blacked out altogether and remembers nothing until she woke up next morning.
The friends with her that night said it was very obvious something was wrong; she was incoherent and uncomprehending and, as one of them put it, “in a pathetic state”. One of them took her home, where she said she slept for twelve straight hours. When she woke up, she still felt that something was inside her system and had flashbacks of that sip of beer when she suddenly felt the effects of the drug.
The next day she went back to the bar and told the manager on duty about what had happened to her. “The manager was quite defensive, not helpful at all. She accused me of being a heavy drinker. I don’t think she believed me at all.” The victim also said that on the night it happened, no staff member offered to help or asked if she was alright. “They probably thought I was very drunk,” she said.
On Tuesday she reported it to the police because, she said, she doesn’t want this to happen to anyone else, but was a little disappointed by the reaction. “It was a quick conversation, not asking me very in depth details, which I was a bit shocked about,” she said, adding that she wants to warn other women about the dangers of spiked drinks. “On Saturday night I was thinking, is this happening again to someone else?”
A police spokesperson said, “We can confirm that this incident was reported to us for information and that we are not aware of any similar incidents in the area. However, we would urge people to be vigilant and always ensure that others do not have the opportunity to tamper with their drinks. Anyone who suspects they have had their drinks tampered with should contact the police immediately.”
According to the Drink Detective website, there are three major groups of drug rape drugs: GHB, Ketamine and Benzodiazepines, which include Rohypnol (roofie) and valium.
All the drugs act as an anaesthetic that reduce a person’s ability to resist rape or robbery and often causes the victim to cooperate with the criminal. After a few hours, the victim will fall asleep and wake up with little or no memory of what happened when she or he was under the influence of the drug. In addition, these drugs stay in the system for a relatively short time (as little as 12 hours for GHB) so that even if a victim wants to go to the police and press charges, the evidence will have disappeared.
The Drink Detective says this makes it very difficult to prosecute drug-rape crimes. There is no violence, the victim cannot remember what happened and the evidence of the crime has left the victim’s system before she even realises that a crime has been committed. Thus, the only effective way to deal with drug rape and other drink-spiking crimes is to avoid getting drugged in the first place.
Posted on Wed, 12/16/2009
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