Posts Tagged Rohypnol

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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Personal Safety: “Date Rape Drugs” Aren’t Only Used for Rape

Ripped from the headlines:

According to ABC News, a California couple vacationing in Italy were the victims of a heartless scam artist.

Apparently, the perpetrator struck up a conversation with them at a coffee shop and – after winning their trust – brought them each a cappuccino. Both cups were laced with drugs.

After being robbed, and obviously while heavily sedated, the male victim tragically was struck and killed by a train as he stumbled near some tracks. His wife was not hit by the train, and after being treated at a hospital in Rome, was released.


It is very common for us to think in “context” or to categorize. We hear the words “date rape drug,”or hear about using drugs to victimize people, and we usually think about this in the context of a sexual assault against a woman or girl.  The fact is, date rape drugs aren’t only used for rape – they are used for other crimes, too.

  • In our travel safety class we cover the risks of such drugs being used to incapacitate unsuspecting folks, especially tourists, for the sake of crimes such as robbery.

We also talk about “trust building” as a means by which someone will gain your confidence, so that you categorize them as “friend” and not “foe” – so that the last thing you think is that this new “friend” would harm you.

“Trust building” combined with the malicious use of powerful drugs such as Rohypnol – which can be obtained with a prescription in Europe – can get anyone in trouble.

A big burly commercial pilot I know told me of an incident where he was on a layover in Japan. After just fifteen minutes in a very posh bar in a swanky part of Tokyo, he began to feel light-headed and “out of it.” He immediately realized what was going on and walked the short distance to his hotel and the safety of his room just before he passed out cold.

In the case of the couple in Rome, the robber brought the coffees to his victims, giving him the opportunity to slip in the drugs. In the pilot’s case, he felt the drug was put in his drink behind the bar before it was given to him.

You can never be too careful.

– Larry Kaminer

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