A rather horrifying piece about date-rape drugs being more widespread than thought. Highlighting once again the dangers of getting too close too fast to people you barely know – and leaving your drink unattended. But also of the incredibly bone-headed idea some people seem to have of mixing bizarre drugs they know little about with too much alcohol.
Although all the victims believed they were covertly slipped drugs by their assailants, and met the medical criteria to support such claims, study author Janice Du Mont says they “can’t say with certainty that that was the exact scenario” in every case (drug tests were not included in the CMAJ data).
While many could have “unwittingly ingested a ‘date-rape drug,’ ” she notes others might have “inadvertently contributed to their own incapacitation” by mixing voluntarily ingested pharmacological substances with alcohol.
Du Mont, a scientist at Ontario’s Women’s College Research Institute in Toronto, believes this supports the need for a public awareness campaign that not only warns of the dangers of combining drugs and alcohol, but also educates men that people who are intoxicated are incapable of consenting to sexual contact.
“It should not all be women’s individual responsibility to prevent sexual violence,” says Du Mont.
Look. I understand partying – certainly I remember its most salient features (some of it was even fun). But if you’re a single girl going out alone (or with a “friend” who abandons you the minute a guy gets her attention), then for crying out loud don’t mix drugs and alcohol. If that’s not a recipe for disaster, I don’t know what is. And while most guys I know would not take advantage of a highly intoxicated young woman, I would not want to trust that all the random guys in the random bars are like that. After all, the kind of guy who would take advantage of a highly intoxicated young woman tends to hang out in places where highly intoxicated young women are. It’s so basic it’s threatening to give me a headache. You can have public awareness campaigns until you go blue in the face and it won’t matter as long as young women continue to put themselves in ridiculously obvious dangerous situations. I realize it’s not fun having to police your drink when you go out. But given all that we know about these drugs, what other safe options are there, assuming “staying home watching TV” isn’t one of them?by