Police put out ‘date rape’ drug alert

The RCIPS issued a general public advisory Wednesday about the use of a substance often called ‘the date rape drug’ at social gatherings. 

The warning came after police received a number of unconfirmed reports from people who believed their drinks had been spiked with the drug Rohypnol.

The Caymanian Compass has also received a few such reports, mainly from patrons of bars located along the Seven Mile Beach area within the past few months. 

Rohypnol, often called ‘roofies’, is a powerful sedative that depresses the central nervous system and can cause a person to become unconscious. It has been used in numerous instances of ‘date rape’ cases in North America. 

Rohypnol can also cause memory loss and decreases a person’s
resistance when combined with alcohol. When placed in a drink, Rohypnol dissolves quickly and takes effect within minutes.

Other common symptoms are dizziness, confusion, decreased blood pressure
and urine retention.

The police advisory asks that people remain alert in order to avoid becoming a victim, especially leading up to activities associated with Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Royal Cayman Islands Police Superintendent Marlon Bodden advises that several precautionary measures can be taken: 

• Stay aware and alert at all times

• Be wary about accepting drinks from anyone you don’t know well or long enough to trust

• If you are accepting a drink, make sure it’s from an unopened container and that you open it yourself

• Don’t put your drink down and leave it unattended, even to go to the restroom

• Notify other persons you know about the effects of dangerous drugs particularly ‘Rohypnol’

• If you think that you have been a victim, notify the authorities and seek professional medical help immediately.

To date, police said there has not been any medical evidence to support various suspicions of Rohypnol drugging, and there has not been any seizure of drug locally.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Just to be clear on this: Rohypnol is NOT the same drug as GHB (which is Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate) – they are two different drugs that can be used in the same manner. Both are also drugs of abuse. More importantly, and unless someone has recently changed it, GHB is not a controlled drug in the Cayman Islands. It is controlled in the UK and USA.

    Editor’s note: Thanks for the heads up Dr. S!

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  2. The experience in the UK is that having your drink spiked is actually rare. What is more common is that a person simply drinks too much. Alcohol has long been known as a drug that loosens inhibitions and it is the addition of extra measures or shots of alcohol, either knowingly or unknowingly that causes the loss common sense.

    However, where spiking does occur, the more likely suspect will be the person who has most opportunity to do so and that is the person serving you the drink.

    It is a regrettable fact that some people, particularly at this time of year, will overindulge in alcohol and then, having found themselves in an embarrassing situation claim that their drink ‘must have been spiked’. In truth they simply drank too much.

    If the practice of using the so called ‘date rape’ drugs is prevalent in the Cayman Islands I would hope that rather than issuing an advisory, Superintendent Bodden will actually investigate as this activity is illegal in almost all jurisdictions.

    Your story also claims that there have been numerous claims of ‘date rape’ in North America. It is certainly true that there are numerous cases where this is claimed with significantly less proved by laboratory analysis.

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  3. This has already happened to three of my friends on island and one of the girls had had two drinks and then complete blackout so ‘Beachbum’ is wrong to say ‘will overindulge in alcohol and then, having found themselves in an embarrassing situation claim that their drink ‘must have been spiked’.

    Men will pick on women that have had a few drinks as they are more than likely not to come forward to the police as they think that they have drunk too much when in fact they have been drugged.

    To all the ladies out there take note of what the police say and do not leave your drink unattended. And do not be embarrassed if you think that you have been drugged. The more women that come forward the better then the police can actually do something about this.

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