The College Date Rape Epidemic: How to Protect Yourself

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Lets set the scene. It’s a typical Friday/Saturday night (or the occasional Tuesday) at a local college party. The atmosphere is live with whatever Deadmau5 track is most overly played and the mood is great. However; amongst the red Solo Cups, Keystone Light beer, and cheap hard liquor could be a near and present danger.

A danger to every female participant at parties goes by many names, the two best-known being Rohypnol or "roofies" which are most commonly used in date rape situations.  Rohypnol has been around for decades but recently there has been a switch to two similar drugs. The drugs Clonazepam (Klonopin) and Alprazolam (Xanax) are becoming increasingly popular as a makeshift roofie. In treatment, Klonopin, most commonly used to treat panic disorders, is a form of Valium.

When used in copious amounts these anti-anxiety medications can render a person heavily sedated to the point of unconsciousness. Hence why they are becoming increasingly popular for date rape. Since anxiety disorders have unfortunately become an epidemic in their own right, (especially on college campuses) so these drugs are not so hard to come by. Just claim “Anxiety!” at your next doctor’s appointment and chances are you can get your hands on the cure without much effort.

The ease in getting drugs like Xanax and Klonopin coincides with a staggering percent of undergraduate women who have been victim of rape (25% according to a 2010 Department of Justice study).  Here are a few tricks of the trade to protect yourself from becoming the proverbial statistic. First off: never, ever leave your drink unattended. If you have, pretend it has become toxic waste and immediately discard it.

Next, make sure your drink is served right in front of you, like from an unopened beer can or at the bartender. Always know where your drink is coming from. Finally,  if you feel as if something is not right get out of the situation immediately and tell a friend to get you help. Above all else: trust your female intuition. If something feels ‘off’ it probably is.

Arianna Wright | Elite.

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