Date Rape Drugs: Unintentional Ingestion and Tragedy


Ambulance Rushing

As the school year comes to a close we see the typical spike in requested safety trainings by parents especially for their daughters who will be traveling or soon off to college.

The “date rape” or “predatory” drugs are always an area of concern and we dedicate an entire module to this issue.

While we are all concerned about the malicious and intentional use of these drugs to incapacitate our daughters it is important to remember that these substances have and will continue to be inadvertently ingested in situations where there is no malicious intent, or intent at all for that matter.

I am reminded of the tragic death of a young woman in high school who attended a party several summers ago. A small party of people well known to one another and at which her and her friends were only drinking non alcoholic beverages .

At one point this young woman started to feel badly and her friends suggested she lay down on the couch. She did so but her condition did not improve. Her friends then took her home and attended to her as she rested. Not very long after arriving home the young lady stopped breathing and was dead by the time paramedics arrived.

A police investigation revealed that one of the young men who had hosted this small party had kept a large bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator to which he had added some GHB. He was sipping on this periodically to maintain his mild “buzz”. The young lady who had arrived at the party on a that hot summer day had gone to the refrigerator and poured a large glass of water for herself from that bottle and later died from, what for her, was a lethal dose of GHB.

The hard lesson learned from this tragedy is that one can easily ingest a dangerous substance even when in a situation where the substance was not intended to be shared or given to anyone else.

We remind our student to think outside the box and keep this tragic story in mind when next at a party or friends house and you reach for some bottled water. If that bottle is not sealed, you are better off drinking tap water.

The other lesson is that if you even just suspect that a friend may have ingested a drug or substance that is starting to effect them, rather be safe than sorry and get them medical attention immediately.

If someone has been drugged, even inadvertently, they need to be evaluated by a doctor. If it turns out to be a false alarm, well no harm in a false alarm. But if they do in fact have a large dose of a drug in them, immediate medical attention is critical and any time wasted getting this for them could be time that costs them their lives.

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