Was it Rohypnol?

Last week my sister’s housemate was found by the police, lying unconscious, slumped in a bus stop at 2am on Thursday morning.

I spoke to my sister at the weekend, and she relayed the whole sorry story. Her housemate had headed off on a night out with the university ski team for a social in Newcastle city centre. He sent a message to his friend at approximately 1.30am, saying he had made it to the club they had been heading for, but half an hour later he was out cold on the street. The police rushed him to hospital where he was kept on a ventilator for a few hours before being discharged later that morning. He was incredibly drowsy and unsteady on his feet, and my sister and her housemates spent the rest of the day looking after him. He recuperated at his parents house for the weekend and has now returned to university.

I should underline the fact that the guy in question is not a heavy drinker, and had only had a couple of drinks before he arrived in the club. He isn’t a big guy, about average build, but the one drink he was given in the club proved lethal. He remembers being given a drink by some freshers he had just met, and no-one knows what happened to the drink between the bar and his mouth, but it appears that it was laced with a dose of a powerful sedative.

Whether his drink was spiked for amusement or something more sinister, there is no doubt that it was a deadly dose. Had he not been found by the police (who no doubt assumed he was just another inebriated student), the situation could have taken a turn for the worse. He was extremely lucky to have not been mugged or attacked whilst under the influence of the drug.

It is vital that greater publicity on the dangers of drink spiking is circulated throughout universities, and even in local clubs. The police are unlikely to investigate unless they are certain of prosecution, but if there is a spate of incidents then something urgently needs to be done. Date-rape drugs pose a threat to both men and women, and even if there is no evidence of assault, the withdrawal from the drug alone can prove fatal.

In this case, my sister’s housemate had a lucky escape, but it highlights the fact that this danger still lurks in dark clubs and bars. Please, please, drink safely, for your own sake.

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Published in: on October 20, 2009 at 12:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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