If we lived in an ideal world, no one would ever have to worry about being safe. People wouldn’t be concerned about walking alone at night, or taking their eyes off a drink in a club.
Unfortunately we don’t live in an ideal world. We all know that it is better to not walk alone at night and to never walk away from a drink in club.
I’ve heard rumors in the area about there being an issue with people being drugged in clubs. This coupled with the increased instances of sex trafficking in the vicinity is more than a little disconcerting. So as much as I hate to have to, because — again — we don’t live in an ideal world, here are some tips to keep you and your drink safe when you are out.
Obviously, the first tip is to never leave your drink unattended. If it has been left alone, don’t go back to it. Don’t leave it with someone you trust either. I know, you trust them, but people are easily distracted and a bit of paranoia can go a long way towards keeping you safe.
If someone you don’t know, or have just met, offers you a drink — go to the bar with them. Watch the bartender make and serve your drink. Alternatively, ask that wait staff bring you your drinks if that is an option.
Choose bottled drinks or cans that you can watch being opened or you can open yourself. This is especially true at parties where you add in the danger of punch bowls or pitchers.
Hold your drink from the top. Holding your drink so that your hand covers the top of the glass makes it more difficult to put something if your drink, even if you aren’t paying close attention.
Look for obvious signs of tampering. Things like your drink being moved from where you left it, the straw having been taken out or one put in, less or more liquid than you remember, odd bubbling or fizzing, a different color or odor, floaters of any kind, empty medicinal packets next to the glass or on the floor, etc.
Trust your taste buds. If your drink tastes even a little off, discard it. It’s better to presume something is wrong with the drink then to risk drinking it.
Don’t drink from someone else’s cup. You never know what’s in their drink and everyone reacts differently to drugs. Just because they can handle it doesn’t necessarily mean you can. Someone offering you their drink can also lure you into a false sense of security. It’s easy to think that someone wouldn’t drug their own drink. I don’t know about you, but I saw The Princess Bride, I know how that ends.
Go out with others. The buddy system has been a thing forever for a reason. Keep your friends with you and never leave a friend behind. He or she may tell you they are fine, but don’t leave them alone with a stranger.
If you suspect you have been drugged, get the ER a.s.a.p. That way you can be tested and know exactly what is in your system and what to do about it.
There are products on the horizon that can help to detect date rape drugs in drinks, including a nail polish and glassware.
There are drug-detecting coasters on the market that currently test for both ketamine and GHB. While this is really just a very small percentage of the date rape drugs it’s a step in the right direction and I would love to see bars and clubs make these types of tools available to their patrons as they become available.
Trust me, I get it. Victims or potential victims shouldn’t have to be responsible for preventing sexual assault, but again we don’t live in an ideal world. We lock our cars and houses. We have safes and alarms. We do all this because we know while people shouldn’t steal and rape and drug, they do, and there is nothing wrong with doing what you can to stay safe.