In college, the majority of the student body can’t wait for the weekend; for the 48 hours of calm and relaxation after 5 days of books, exams, papers, and hours of studying. But, with the calmness of the weekend also comes a massive amount of partying and drinking. According to the American Psychiarty Association and a test done by Stanford University, roughly four in five college student’s drink legally and illegally. So out of the 22,000 students currently enrolled at Mount Union, about 8,800 student’s drink. But how many of the students woke up the next morning and didn’t remember anything that happened the night before?
Rohypnol is a drug that can knock a person unconscious and put them in an amnesia-like state where they cannot remember certain things that occurred. Rohypnol, commonly known as a roofie, is one of the most common drugs out of a group referred to as “club drugs,” which includes rohypnol, ketamine (special K), Ecstasy, and GHB. Commonly dumped into a drink, this small white pill odorlessly and tastelessly dissolves into someone’s drink and takes up to 20 to 30 minutes to take effect. When someone has been slipped rohypnol, dizziness, relaxation, and headaches can occur as common minor symptoms. The lowing of cognitive responses and inhibitions and having difficulty moving or speaking are some reasons people use the drug to sexually assault or rape. Only when mixed with alcohol, severe disorientation and a loss of memory will occur because of the synergistic effect it has with liquor.
“Some people won’t be able to tell if they have been roofied,” said Stephen Minich, Special Investigations and Narcotics Unit Detective from the Alliance Police Department. “It’s kind of like alcohol, you wake up with a hangover and a headache and I could wake up with no headache and just have the sweats the next day. It affects everyone differently.”
There are a few ways to tell if you have ingested rohypnol early enough to catch it before you become at the mercy of the person who slipped you the drug. If you know how much you can drink before you become intoxicated and you are feeling a bit odd, nauseous, or slightly intoxicated after only a few drinks, your drink could be spiked with rohypnol and you should go somewhere safe. If you are with friends, then ask them to take you back to your dorm and ask them to stay with you until the effects have worn off. If you are not with friends, then go to the ARD or the RD and explain the situation.
If you wake up in a strange place with little to no clothing on and you have sore genital areas, or bruising, then you’re probably a victim. If you fear that you are a victim of rape, you should go to the police right away still wearing the clothes you wore the night before and without showering. If you shower before you go to the police, evidence could be washed away. Traces of the drug in the body disappear before the memory of the event comes back. Forensic traces of rohypnol can only be picked up within 48 hours. If you have been roofied, remember to report it to campus security and the police so it won’t happen to someone else.
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