Have you ever had someone slip something into your drink? I have and it is no picnic for sure. It happened to me as a 10-year-old. Why someone slipped a psychedelic drug into my Coke I have no idea. I know that I spent 10 hours totally out of control and wound up in the ER.
In 2009, nearly 15,000 American women and men ended up in an emergency room after being unwittingly, but intentionally, drugged by someone else, a new federal report reveals.
According to the data, about 60 percent of these cases occurred after someone surreptitiously slipped a drug into the victim's drink.
For example, nearly three-quarters of intentional poisonings involved individuals over the age of 21. And though the majority of cases involved females, nearly one in every four victims was male.
Why Drugs Get Slipped Into Drinks
On the one hand, such poisonings have been implicated in the rapes of an estimated 3 million American women, although in reality that figure could be considerably higher. The problem, the report authors pointed out, is that not everyone realizes they have been drugged, recall can be spotty and the intent of the perpetrator can sometimes be difficult to discern.
What's more, intentional drugging is not solely about sexual assault, since victims can instead be targeted for robbery or injury.
A study performed on why this may occur found:
- Of the estimated 4.6 million drug-related visits to the ER in 2009, 14,720 were the result of intentional poisonings. The vast majority of patients (84 percent) were treated and released without hospital admission.
- Roughly 60 percent of the cases involved drugs that were never identified, investigators noted, and 37 percent of cases involved a mix of alcohol and an unidentified drug. Nearly 20 percent of cases involved just unidentified drugs, while another 7 percent involved a mix of unidentified medications and identifiable illicit drugs.
- Overall, more than two-thirds of visits were chalked up to a mix of more than one drug, while three in five cases involved a mix of alcohol and drugs.
- Almost one-third of cases involved the use of illicit drugs, including pot, cocaine, Ecstasy and a range of stimulants. By contrast, about one-fifth of cases involved the use of prescription medications, such as pain relievers and anxiety/insomnia drugs.
Women accounted for 63 percent of victims.
Based on the findings, the report authors suggested that an effort needs to be made to raise public awareness of the problem, particularly with respect to the elevated risk present in public settings (such as bars and dance clubs) where alcohol and drugs are prevalent.
Be careful of who you hang around and where your drink is (especially if you are at a bar). The best remedy is to not drink, but even then, like the innocent 10-year-old drinking Coke – it could still happen to you.