Today I had a hard conversation with my niece who just relocated to a new city / state to start college. As happy as I am for her and this new and exciting chapter in her life, I felt the need to level with her in a serious way about the importance of taking care when it comes to her personal safety.
Specifically, I warned her about the possibility of encountering a situation in which she is slipped the ‘date rape’ drug. It happened to me when I was in college in the early 90’s, and it certainly hasn’t gone anywhere: this drug is still making headlines, whether it’s due to people busting a man who was putting it in his date’s drink in a bar (caught on camera), or the Bill Cosby scandal (drugging over 30 women and counting?).
I encouraged her to stick close to friends and keep support close by when out and in social situations (particularly those that involve alcohol). Though it acts fairly quickly, there is a time period in which the individual who is drugged experiences a heightened sense of drunkenness–this is when it’s important to reach out to friends and/or get to a ‘safe space’. Avoid being alone with strangers in any sort of social setting (again, I think that when one is young and new to a city and college experience, it’s super important to keep your friends CLOSE).
I plan on writing a short booklet detailing steps and tips to take into account when it comes to personal safety and situational awareness, but for the purposes of this blog post I will keep it short! Mainly I just alerted her to this drug’s existence, which is good enough for now. I will be sending her my safety booklet as well (keep an eye out for it…coming soon!). I send prayers of healing to all who experience trauma related to the theft of personal choice and sovereignty, and may we all continue to heal ourselves as we move forward into living our best lives!