Roofies, Ruffies, or Mexican Valium: It Doesn’t Say “I Love You.”
She was 29 years old and so obese that she had to walk through the door to my office sideways. She had put on most of the weight, she said, after she had
She did not remember much about what happened. She knew the guy who had been with her, and avoided him as best she could, although she still had thoughts of him, that intruded into either her nighttime dreams or her daytime thoughts. And she had the characteristic “hyper-arousal.” I have learned, the hard way, never to think of slamming the door or clapping my hands to test this one. I only did that once or twice and always regretted it. I just asked her if a sudden noise made her jump in the air, ever, and she nodded. ”How did you know?” she asked.
Those cited above are the three characteristics of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) — Intrusive reliving of the event, attempts to avoid situations reminiscent of the event, and hyper-arousal. In men it is often related to wartime and/or combat type experiences. In women, more often related to highly disagreeable sexual experiences, like getting raped. With sex roles melting together and differential levels of sensitivity, it can happen, as far as I can tell, to anybody in the context of anything.
She had learned somehow or other, that the drug that had been in her beverage had been Rohypnol, generic name “flunitrazepam.”
This is a benzodiazepine, one of those drugs that works on the same receptors as alcohol, that is supposed to be anti-anxiety but a lot of people seem to get addicted to it amazingly quickly and it is hell to get people off of it.
But this is a preferred “date-rape” drug because it is a little different from the other drugs in its group. Some, like Xanax (alprazolam) have short half-lives and are wildly addictive. Valium (diazepam) has a long half-life, and can often be used to get people weaned off drugs in this group to which they seem to be addicted.
But flunitrazepam is 7 to 10 times stronger than Valium. 7 to 10 times
stronger than Valium. Its effects, which are similar to the others in its group (muscle relaxing, preventing seizures, and sedating folks, appear 15 to 20 minutes after administration and last approximately four to six hours. Some later effects can be found as much as 12 hours later.
The drug has never been approved in the U.S. but is commonly used in Mexico and Europe, usually as a prelude to anesthesia. It does induce amnesia, which is why it is the (dangerous) drug of choice for people who want someone not to remember they got raped. I have, however, seen memories return, especially if someone is trying to do this.
This is a use of pharmacology I am not proud of, and had not heard about for a while. But this notorious drug was in the news recently when somebody apparently spiked a bottle of vodka at an off-campus party in Central Washington.
I suppose the only prevention is education. But how can someone warn another person about everything that can go wrong before it does?
Alcohol may be the most frequently used date-rape drug in the universe. I generally tell people I abstain simply because I need to use every single brain cell I have, and this is not good for them.
Oh, those wacky college students. I remember being at parties and being afraid to consume anything — in both France and the United states. I was amazingly sensitive to alcohol — being a non-drinker — but in the 60s and 70s it wasn’t uncommon for people to “spike” a drink with LSD and then watch the fun begin.
Oh, the high degree of suspicion I have shown for strange smells and tastes. I think it may have kept me out of trouble more than once in my life, but I will never know for sure.
Now you heard it. Now you know. I suppose there will always be at least a few men who want to take advantage of women, no matter how evolved we get.
I don’t really know much about avoiding them, except to try and do a psych evaluation. A quiet, sideways kind of one. That is, after all, basically what I did to potential candidates to find my husband.
Be careful, at the very least.
Don’t be surprised to find out I watch this fascinating and instructional reality show to study a certain type of psychology that has come in useful with some of the patients I’ve treated, but I always liked how Jerry Springer says at the end of the show to “take care of yourself and each other.”
Few people do.
This may be a basic definition of the bedrock of love.