image by: Gina Hughes
Rape is one of those horrible things, whether or not is has "date" in front of it. And one of the ways some men rape is by dosing unsuspecting women with "roofies" or similar drugs that render the target incapacitated - Greggory Moore
My guiltiest pleasure other than the bottomless Champagne offered during Sunday brunch is The Real Housewives series on Bravo. My god! I try not to watch trashy TV but, come on, how can you resist the CRAZY drama? The series is a realistic (?) look into the lives of housewives, as they tan, shop, get Botoxed, gossip, fight, and live extravagantly.
Yes, they may be called “housewives” but really there’s not too much housewifing (I know, it’s not a word) or parenting going on. The women spend most of their time drinking, planning parties, drinking, going to the gym, drinking, and hanging out at bars so they can drink. I guess it sounds like a fun life but the women get themselves in a little too much trouble for my taste. It’s entertaining though, kind of like watching aliens trying to live as humans, and failing miserably.
Speaking of getting into trouble, a few weeks ago some of the Housewives got a dose of “real” reality while out for drinks in New York City. Old school OC Housewives Tamra Barney and Vicki Gunvalson, newbie Peggy Tanous, and wild-eyed NYC Housewife Ramona Singer “got roofied.” I know that was probably scary and could have ended in catastrophe, but…it makes for good TV, right?
After a long day of filming the housewives decided to go to a bar, of course. There they were minding their own business, drinking, and greeting fans when a man approached the women and offered the group free drinks, which he already had in his hand. Big mistake. Wild-eyed Ramona said, “The man sat next to Tamra and Peggy and said, ‘I have a special drink for you ladies.’ Tamra drank only part of her drink, but Peggy drank all of it, poor thing.”
At first, nothing seemed odd, but before too long Tamra and Peggy began to feel the effects. Tamra said, “Our friends thought the wine was getting to our head. So they got us in a cab and took us to the hotel. Peggy and I walked into the bathroom and got very sick and we passed out on the floor of the hotel lobby bathroom. It had been about 30 minutes from the time we drank the drink until we were out.”
Tamra said she woke up at 5am and had no idea where she was or how she got there. She says, “It’s like everything was in slow motion. Then about noon I had to get up to do press in NYC. It was the most difficult thing I have ever done. I was sick to my stomach and couldn’t stand up very long without feeling like I was going to pass out. Peggy was violently throwing-up over and over again for hours. She missed her plane back home because she was too sick to fly. As the day went on I felt better, but I was so tired it was hard to keep my eyes open. It took about three days to feel normal again.”
Clearly it seems that the women were drugged, probably with a roofie aka “the date rape drug.” Roofie is the street term for the drug Rohypnol; a powerful tranquilizer similar to valium but more than 10 times stronger. The sedative effects of Rohypnol usually take effect within 20 minutes of ingestion and last approximately 8 hours, although some residual side effects can last more than 12 hours. Rohypnol causes muscle relaxation, dizziness, confusion, headaches, low inhibitions, and amnesia. Besides the fact that roofies make you vulnerable to sexual assault, they can also cause seizures, coma, liver failure, and death due to respiratory failure.
Rohypnol comes in pill form and dissolves easily in liquids. Older versions of the drug are small round tablets that look like aspirin; newer pills are tan colored ovals and contain a blue dye. When slipped into a drink, the dye in the newer pills makes clear liquids turn bright blue and dark drinks turn cloudy. But this color change might be hard to see in a dark drink, like coffee or dark beer, or in a dark room. So beware, roofies are tasteless and odorless and absorbed quickly by the body.
Drug rape is one of the fastest-growing crimes against women in the U.S. therefore, a date rape drug in the hands of a sexual predator means that an assault can easily be committed.
Protect yourself with these tips from The Roofie Foundation:
- Always be aware of the color, texture, and taste of your drinks.
- Don't accept pre-purchased or open drinks from strangers or casual acquaintances.
- Do not leave drinks unattended, even in familiar surroundings.
- Do not share or exchange drinks with others
Signs that you may have been drugged or raped:
- You feel drunk and haven't had any alcohol or, you feel like the effects of drinking alcohol are stronger than usual.
- You wake up feeling very hung over and disoriented or have no memory of a period of time.
- You remember having a drink, but cannot recall anything after that.
- You find that your clothes are torn or not on right.
- You feel like you had sex, but you cannot remember anything.
If you feel you have been the victim of a roofie or rape get medical care right away. Call 911 or have a trusted friend take you to the emergency room. Don't urinate, bathe, brush your teeth, wash your hands, change clothes, eat or drink before you go as you may destroy evidence of a suspected rape.
Date rape/Drug rape is very serious and the Housewives learned an important lesson from the scary experience. Never take a drink from a stranger. “I know how stupid I am for taking a drink that was handed to me,” Tamra said. “I am mad at myself for drinking that drink. I knew better!”
Stacy Matson, a health enthusiast from Southern California, regularly blogs on Celebrity Health for A Healthier World, as well as contributing to the Best of the Best.
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