The first time I was ever drugged I was only 15 years old. I was attending a concert and drinking FourLoko and smoking weed like the naive high schooler I was. I know what you’re thinking, “first” time getting drugged? That’s right. Some older guys I didn’t know offered my friend (also a girl) and I some Jaeger Bombs. Being the certified young party child I was, I happily obliged. Then, things weren’t right. Suddenly I went from tipsy to drunk. As in way too drunk. As the unnamed man carried me into the venue, his hands slid up my shirt and he kissed me. I kissed him back, but I was sloppy and couldn’t stand. Finally, I pushed him off and found my friend. That night I went in and out of consciousness, the only truly memorable event being when I collapsed and felt my body being carried. I had no idea who was carrying me or where I was going, but I heard my friend scream “she’s only 15!” Before they dropped me. It was a night I will never forget. Even though the same thing has happened during my years in college.
Just two weeks ago I was celebrating a conjoined early birthday party with my best friend. As things go, she got far too drunk and we had to leave the fraternity we were partying at to wait for a sober driver. She had definitely blacked out by then and was hysterically crying for her boyfriend. When I finally got ahold of him the next day, he told me his friends had ninja barred him. For those of you who don’t know, that is when you are unknowingly consuming Xanax along with your alcohol. His friends drugged him in celebration of the end of the year. It was a joke, a potentially fatal joke, but a joke nonetheless — so he never confronted them.
I knew my school has had a problem with drugged drinks. Never drink the punch our professors would warn us before every big party weekend. Hell, one of our most popular bars got shut down after excessive complaints of students being roofied. Myself being one of them. We didn’t accept strange drinks from creepy men. It was the drinks we had paid for that we needed to watch out for. Later we found out that some of the bartenders had allegedly been paid to drug drinks as they made them. Terrifying, I know.
And the worst part? My school is not considered unusual. So if you’re thanking God that my reality is nothing more than your nightmares, you might want to think again. According to a new study by the American Psychological Association’s Psychology of Violence journal, this practice is a lot more common than you might think.
After surveying over 6,000 students, Suzanne Swan found some pretty horrific results. Nearly 462 of those students claimed to have been drugged at some point. Sure sometimes it’s “harmless” fun, like what happened with my friend’s boyfriend, but that is more common with male students. In fact, 26 percent claimed that they believed they were drugged as a prank. Why are guys doing this? Maybe they’re just stupid and don’t really give a shit about their friends’ well-being. But more likely they’re just oblivious to how terrifying it is to be drugged as a woman. While guys can laugh at the stupid joke, girls immediately have to assume the worst.
An estimated 17 percent of drugged females have been raped. This is where the “it was just a joke” mentality takes a severely dark turn. It’s already hard to be a victim of sexual assault, but then to add on the mentality of “it was a prank” is not okay. College students take drugs. That is a fact. But they consent to take drugs. So, yes, maybe it isn’t seen as a big deal to a guy to slip in some Adderall to the party’s jungle juice in an effort to liven up the party. Hell, maybe some of the recipients don’t even mind. But there are still people who do. And they have the right not to be in fear.
I understand that most of these students are doing what they’re doing with no intention of hurting anyone. After all, we’ve all pulled the giving-someone-water-when-it’s-really-vodka joke. But just because you don’t take it seriously does not mean it’s no longer happening. People are still drugging drinks with the intent to rape the victim.
Be safe and smart with your alcohol consumption. Always get your own drinks and don’t let a guy you don’t know bring you water when you already feel sick. Keep your friends close and look out for each other. And if you ever hear someone joking about how they ninja barred someone as a joke, remind them that they are an asshole..
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