Many of us think of drink-spiking as an awful thing that happens to other people but can’t possibly happen to us. A recently released video reveals just how easy it is for someone to slip Rohypnol (roofies) in a drink. It may shock you.
‘This horrifying social experiment proves that it’s simpler than you think to become a potential victim of date rape,’ says Robyn Farrell, executive head of 1st For Women Insurance.
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Rohypnol is the drug of choice for date rape because women who have been drugged and raped often report amnesia or loss of consciousness – they’re completely unaware of what’s happening. The effect can begin just 10 minutes after ingestion and usually lasts between eight to 24 hours.
‘A common modus operandi is for a man to distract a woman while talking to her, or drug her while she is in the bathroom,’ says Farrell. ‘Remember that this could be someone you are on a date with, or a complete stranger and even the bartender. You may not taste it once it is in your drink because alcohol may blunt the taste of the drug.’
In a response to the video, 1st For Women Insurance offers some must-follow safety guidelines to follow when you’re having a night out.
1. Never leave your drink unattended. Not in a restaurant, not in a bar, not anywhere. Keep it on your person, and keep an eye on it.
2. If you’re offered a drink by someone you don’t know, stay at the bar as the drink is ordered and served.
3. Hold your drink on the top. If it’s in a glass, hold it with your palm covering the top so that nothing foreign can be slipped in.
4. When you can, choose bottles or cans over drinks poured in glasses.
Related: Could This Mani Prevent Date Rape?
5. Don’t overdo it. Try not to drink so much that you can’t be vigilant or aware of your surroundings.
6. Trust your instincts. If something (or someone) doesn’t seem right, there’s probably a reason you feel that way.
7. Listen to your body. If you feel faint, dizzy, nauseous or exceptionally drunk after not drinking very much, leave immediately and call a friend or an ambulance.
8. Look for obvious signs of your drink being tampered with. Check that your drink hasn’t been moved, whether there’s more or less liquid than you remember, strange fizzing, etc.
9. Go out with people you trust. You’ll be much safer having people look out for you, and you can look out for them, too.
Stay smart and stay safe.