Watch Your Drink-Watch Your Friends

An Educational Program Addressing the Issue of Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault

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Problem – Predatory Drugs (Date Rape Drugs)

Over the course of the past several years, rape crisis centers, college campuses and law enforcement agencies throughout the nation have been plagued with increasing reports of suspected drug “dosing” and drug induced sexual assaults.  A few of the suspect drugs are Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), MDMA (Ecstasy), Ketamine and Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol). These drugs are readily available and fairly inexpensive.  They can be purchased on the Internet, bought off the street or stolen from veterinary clinics (Ketamine).  They are very popular among predators as they can be easily slipped into a drink, which may then render the victim defenseless against their perpetrator.  These drugs are also being used recreationally.  These are ideal drugs for perpetrators because not only does the victim become incapacitated; they may also be unable to remember anything about their assault.  Certain drugs, such as Rohypnol, do not appear on regular drug tests; expensive urine tests may have to be conducted to prove a victim has been dosed.

Program History

Watch Your Drink-Watch Your Friends is educational program providing information about the dangers of predatory drugs to high school and college students. In 2001, The Crime Victims Assistance Network Foundation formed collaboration with the Women’s Resource Center at California State University, Sacramento to promote this campaign.

A pilot program was launched in Sacramento, CA and Yolo County, CA focusing specifically on bars that young people frequented.  Bathroom stickers designed with information about predatory drugs were placed in every dormitory bathroom on the campus at the California State University at Sacramento.  The stickers also provide information on where to turn for help if you believe you, or a friend, may have been drugged and/or sexually assaulted.  Students have been asking for more information ever since.  Drink coasters printed with information about to predatory drugs were distributed to about 20 bars throughout Yolo and Sacramento counties.  Within a month’s period of time, the bars participating were calling with requests for more coasters.  As hoped, the patrons were taking the coasters with them when they left the establishments.

Program Specifics

This program is designed to inform individuals about the dangers of drugs that are used in the course of rape, commonly referred to as “date rape drugs”, more appropriately referred to as predatory drugs.  Although alcohol is still the most common substance used by young people, drugs such as GHB, Rohypnol, Ketamine and MDMA (Ecstasy) are gaining popularity – especially in the club scene.  These drugs are not only ingested voluntarily, but also surreptitiously slipped into drinks to perpetrate sexual assault.  Each year hundreds of people, especially young people, fall victim to assaults initiated through either voluntary or involuntary drug ingestion.  This program increases the awareness of predatory drugs and provides important and essential prevention information about predatory drugs and sexual assault.  Also addressed is information on what to do if you have been assaulted and/or drugged.  Program materials for this project includes bathroom stickers, drink coasters, brochures about predatory drugs and sexual assault, posters and a PowerPoint presentation with facilitator’s guide.

View campaign materials HERE