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Date rape drug hits colleges, robs victims of memory

Sept. 11, 1996

By Russell Reneau

Lariat Reporter

When college students get ready to go out for an evening of fun with friends, common worries involve what clothes they will wear or what how to wear their hair. Now, they need to consider the possibility that a date could slip a sedative into a drink.

Rohypnol is one of the newest drugs to hit college communities. According to an article in the Feb. 26 issue of Newsweek, the drug comes in a pill form that can easily be put into a drink without the consumer knowing.

Rohypnol is a sedative that is ten times stronger than Valium and is prescribed to treat severe cases of insomnia.

According to the article, there are a few different effects the user may experience. The user may become fearless and aggresive, or, the more common and dangerous effect, they may experience blackouts and a loss of memory.

Rohypnol is now commonly known as the 'date rape drug,' because victims who did not know that they were taking the drug were being taken advantage of and were unable to recall the events while they were under the influence of the drug.

According to the article, rohypnol has become a popular drug because it is very affordable and easily obtained. Each pill can cost between one and five dollars.

The drug is under the Dangerous Drug Act, so it is a felony to be found in possession of Rohypnol.

Although Jim Doak, chief of the Baylor Department of Public Safety, said he would not comment on specific reported uses at the University, he said he would agree it was dangerous.

'This is a very dangerous drug,' Doak said. 'There are problems around the community that we are looking into carefully. Everyone needs to be careful and aware of the dangers of this drug.'

Jean Seligmann and Patricia King, authors of the Newsweek article, warn that the best way to prevent unfortunate occurences from happening is for students to know the person they are with, know where they are going and know who is preparing the drinks.

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