WMU News

Date rape drug fears heightened

May 11, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- The introduction of gammahydroxybutyrate, better known as GHB, has heightened concerns about so-called date rape drugs.

Women everywhere need to take precautions, says Linda Lumley, WMU coordinator of Women's Resources and Services and an authority on the subject. Lumley says concerns about date rape drugs were heightened by use of the European prescription drug Rohypnol, but have risen sharply with the recent introduction of homemade versions of GHB.

"I think it's important for women to be aware that these drugs are everywhere, to not assume that 'I'm in a safe place' or 'this is a safe college' or 'I'm in a safe city. I've heard about these down South, but not up here.' They have been used everywhere."

Both GHB and Rohypnol are powerful sedatives that act quickly on the central nervous system, Lumley says. Women should never accept a drink from a stranger, keep their drink in sight at all times and watch each other for signs of being drugged. Lumley says that if a woman begins to act very intoxicated when little alcohol has been consumed, the best assumption is that she has been drugged and she should be taken to a hospital.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 616 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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