A Cocktail You Don’t Want At a Holiday Party – Your Favorite Drink With a Splash of a Date Rape Drug

My youngest daughter is 21.  She is bright and an all-around great young woman whom I am proud of.  However, she is also socially naïve.  Last night she called to tell my husband and I that she was headed to a club to attend a concert with her friends.  She is very much a homebody, so this was her first venture into the club scene.  My husband turned to me after the call and asked, “Did you talk to her about being careful with anything she might drink at the club?”.

This conversation then reminded me of a call I received the day before from one of our ExperTox clients.  It was filled with urgency, as a father had contacted him wanting to test his daughter for date rape drugs, also called club drugs.  I tried to put myself in that father’s shoes, only imagining what it would be like to face the possibility of someone dropping a little pill in my daughter’s drink, then taking advantage of her loss of inhibitions, memory and possibly unconsciousness.

With the holiday season filled with parties and social activities, now is a good time to talk to your loved ones about how people are drugged by casually and quickly dropping hypnotics, sedatives, even over-the-counter medications into a person’s drink without them even knowing until it is too late.  An article on date rape drugs is posted within ExperTox’s December newsletter.  I want to focus on how to be proactive and aware to avoid an unimaginable situation from happening to you, or your daughter.

  • Keep your drink close to you and within sight at all times.
  • Never leave a drink on a table when heading to the restroom or dance floor.  It is a prime opportunity for someone to add something to your cocktail.  Finish your drink before you hit the dance floor, or get a fresh one when you return.
  • Avoid becoming intoxicated.  This just opens the door for another person to take advantage of the situation and you.
  • Do not drink from communal containers, such as a punch bowl, and do not share drinks.
  • Beware of bartenders – they are not exempt!  If they seem very flirty or the opposite – rude and angry, be cautious and think about heading to different bar area.
  • “I bought you a drink” may not be a flattering attempt to start a conversation.  Do not accept drinks from a stranger, especially if they are bringing it to you.
  • Go out with groups of friends you know and trust, and watch out for each other.

Party safely, and give a special gift to someone you care for by sharing these safety tips.

Other helpful resources:

URL –     National Institute on Drug Abuse

Video – “Be Aware of the Risks of Date Rape Drugs”

Video-  “Date Rape Drugs Story Featured on Dateline

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