Beware of drinks spiked with date rape drugs this Valentine’s Day

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India Comments Off

A little vigilance and precaution can avert a major crisis

New Delhi, 14 February 2019: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is keeping a high vigil on date rape drugs during the week of Valentine’s Day. Wholesalers and retailers have been instructed about regulating the sale. Although alcohol, marijuana, ecstasy, over-the-counter sleeping pills and anti-histamines, and even cold medications can be used, the term applies to any of the three drugs: GHB (gamma hydroxybutyric acid), Rohypnol (flunitrazepam), popularly called “Roofies” and ketamine (ketamine hydrochloride).

Rohypnol is legal in Europe and Mexico but is banned in the US and India. In 2013, ketamine hydrochloride was shifted from Schedule H to Schedule X of the Drugs & Cosmetics Rules to prevent its easy availability and misuse. It has been listed as psychotropic substance under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Date rape drugs are used to spike soft drinks or alcoholic drinks and their use is fairly common. Several factors make these drugs desirable to sexual predators. They often have no color, smell or taste and can be easily slipped into drinks and food without the victim’s knowledge. They are very fast acting; as all traces of the drugs leave the body within 72 hours of intake. They cannot be found in any routine toxicology screen or blood test. The victim is rendered unconscious but responsive with little or no memory of what happens while the drug is active in their system. The drugs also make the person act without inhibition and make for a very passive victim. Without any memory of the events, the victims do not realize what transpired and make for poor witnesses.”

Some tips from HCFI

  • Don’t accept any drinks from other people, except trusted friends.
  • Open containers yourself.
  • Always keep your drink with yourself even you go to the bathroom. Don’t share drinks
  • Don’t drink from punch bowls or other large, common, open containers. They may already have drugs in them.
  • Don’t drink anything that tastes or smells strange. Sometimes, GHB tastes salty.
  • Have a non-drinking friend with you to make sure nothing happens (if you are consuming alcohol).
  • If you think that you have been drugged and raped: Go to the police station or hospital right away. Get a urine test as soon as possible. The drugs leave your system quickly. Rohypnol leaves your body 72 hours after you take it. GHB leaves the body in 12 hours. Don’t urinate before getting help. Don’t douche, bathe, or change clothes before getting help. These things may give evidence of the rape.