For students, nights out at the bar or attending house parties are common activities – but how careful are they when they enter these environments? When alcohol plays a large factor in night life scenes, unexpected scenarios can occur; it’s all fun and games until someone slips something into your drink.
Rohypnol, most commonly known for it’s recreational name, “roofies”, is a street drug that falls under the category of a Benzodiazepene. These drugs are used for anti-anxiety, sleep deprivation, and for anesthetic use for surgeries. However, the drug is notorious for being the “date rape” drug at parties, bars, and other similar scenes. The act of getting “roofied” is when the drug is slipped into someone’s drink when they are not aware – waiting for side effects to kick in.
Pharmacist Pierre Samson says Rohypnol can have effects that range from minor (grogginess, lack of memory, exhaustion) to major (kidney failure, central nervous system issues, falling into a coma, and even death).
Breanna Miller is a Western University student who was victim to the drug one night at the bar. Her night started off similar to many – putting on her makeup, doing her hair, and pre-drinking with her friends. At the bar, Miller celebrated reuniting with a long-term friend over tequila shots. “I was so excited to see my friend that I turned my back for five minutes to talk to her…which I guess was more than enough time to have my drink taken advantage of,” says Miller.
Throughout the night Miller felt a loss of control over her body and the feeling she felt was nothing like her previous drunken nights. “At one point in the night I felt my body completely collapse, and I actually peed my pants,” says Miller. Luckily, her roommates were at the bar to carry her home safely and put her to bed. “I was so out of it, I was not myself. When my roommates bathed me and put me to bed I asked them if they could take me home,” says Miller. “It was ridiculous, because I was as at home as I could’ve been.”
Samson says the following day victims of Rohypnol should immediately see a doctor to see if the drug is in their system. “If the drug is still in the body, there’s not much you can do then to sleep it off and perhaps take some type of antidote,” says Samson. “However, if there are copious amounts of the drug still in the system, it can be very serious and can have deadly affects…this is why they should get checked ASAP.”
Miller says she confirmed her suspicions the next day at the doctor and that overall she looks at the situation as being more fortunate than she could’ve been. “Thank god I had my roommates there to take care of me,” says Miller. “I think back at the situation and wonder what would’ve happened if they didn’t, I could’ve ended up in anyone’s cab, woken up in anyone’s bed…it’s so scary, but I’m thankful none of that did happen.”