I’m a registered nurse who’s been “roofied” – had my drink secretly drugged - twice.
The first time, I was unable to use my legs at all and alcohol was not a factor, nor was any other medications.
After I had surgery at 18, I learned that I was allergic to that drug family (benzodiazepines) and almost died. Thanks to my quick-thinking doctor, I survived.
The second time was just last year.
I’d been drinking and trusted a friend to watch our drinks, but she didn’t.
My reaction, since I was already on another medication, was severe.
I was just two blocks from my work but was so confused that I was lost.
I made no sense, but could talk and stumble/walk.
I couldn’t write a text message, as I didn’t remember how to spell, nor remember my address.
I couldn’t make calls because I couldn’t figure out how to use the phone.
My friend's boyfriend called me to locate her as we’d all gotten separated. The flashing green “answer” icon was the only way I was able to answer the phone.
He came and got me, put me in a cab, and sent me home safely.
My point: When you unwillingly take drugs that are unknown to you, there’s a huge issue with your reaction to it.
I know that most “roofie” doses are based on a person weighing 150 lbs. If a person’s drinking alcohol, the drug can boost the effect severely.
If the person is tiny, it can make things worse.
For me to be lost so near my work, in a city where I was born and raised, is a severe effect.
For your readers, here are the signs and symptoms of a person who’s been drugged: Confusion, disorientation, inability to perform simple tasks, like giving home and work addresses.
Also, inability to maintain appearance, put on make-up, or put a winter coat back on. Inability to walk safely, or to make a call or text.
Inability to determine your location, or function as an independent adult. The drugged person also becomes withdrawn and sedated.
I was with friends, so I was lucky.
People need to understand what happens to someone’s body and mind when “roofied.” They need to know which drugs are potentiated (boosted) by alcohol.
Ellie – Roofie is the street name for a small white tablet of the powerful benzodiazepine sedative and hypnotic drug named Rohypnol.
In Canada and the U.S., it’s illegal to possess, traffic, import, or produce Rohypnol.
Date-rape drug awareness means taking the following precautions when out drinking.
From a “Date Violence” fact sheet:
1.Watch out for your friends, and have them watch out for you.
- Never leave your drink unattended, not even to go to the bathroom, or the dance floor. Have a trusted friend watch it.
- Never accept a drink from someone you don't know, or don't trust 100%. Mix your own drink, get it yourself, or watch it being poured.
Rohypnol is colorless, odorless, and tasteless when dissolved in any liquid. The effects are enhanced when mixed with alcohol, causing sedation, loss of inhibitions, relaxation, blackouts, and amnesia.
It can also cause respiratory depression, coma, and even death.
The drug takes effect after 20 to 30 minutes and effects may last 8 to 12 hours.
When combined with alcohol, Rohypnol causes severe disorientation and blackouts, also typically 8 to 12 hours long.
The victim may or may not appear "awake" during this time.
FEEDBACK Regarding the guy’s girlfriend who said she was raped after drinking with a man she’d just met (Nov. 29):
Reader – “Of course sexual assault is wrong.
“What this woman did was go to a room with a stranger and have sex.
“That's why people go to hotels. The correct advice to her boyfriend would be "Run! Run away! She is not worth the effort or the compromise to your life."
“Women need to take responsibility for their actions.”
Ellie – The boyfriend’s details of what happened are being ignored here.
What was included in his request for advice was that his girlfriend takes a regular medication. And the hotel tape showed that she was stumbling when she entered the hotel, and said she’d blacked out there.
I’m hoping that the above information saves some people not only from sexual assault following drug-enhanced drinking, but also from a rush to blame the victim.
Tip of the day:
Be aware that medications and especially date-rape drugs (roofies) taken when drinking alcohol have a dangerous effect.