Substance-related rape has been occurring more frequently in recent years. When secretly slipped into a beverage, even a glass of lemonade, sedating substances can leave anyone vulnerable to sexual assault. You may not be able to see it, smell it, or taste it. You don’t have to be at a bar or club; it could happen in any social setting. If an individual appears extremely intoxicated after consuming a non-alcoholic beverage, or only a small amount of alcohol, they may have unknowingly ingested one of a number of substances.
Preventing Substance-Related Rape
Although the often-tasteless drugs are hard to detect, there are precautionary steps one can take to reduce the risk of falling prey to this criminal conduct. For example:
• Do not leave beverages unattended; always keep your drinks in sight.
• Do not take any beverages, including alcohol, from someone you do not know very well and trust.
• At a bar or club, accept drinks only from the bartender or server.
• At parties, do not accept open-container drinks from anyone.
• Be alert to the behavior of friends. Anyone appearing disproportionately inebriated in relation to the amount they consumed may be in danger.
• Share this information with friends and talk about ways to look out for one another when you are at parties and social events.
• Anyone who believes that they have consumed a sedative-like substance (symptoms include low inhibition, confusion, impaired judgment, dizziness, extreme drowsiness, or other sudden and unexplained symptoms) should be driven to a hospital emergency room or should call 911 for an ambulance as soon as possible. Bodily fluids can be examined for traces of these substances within hours of ingesting. Therefore, it is important to seek medical assistance for a blood test as soon as possible. Try to keep a sample of the beverage for analysis. If you or someone you know believes they have consumed a sedative-like substance, please contact your resident assistant, resident director, or the Department of Public Safety as soon as possible so they can assist you.