Date rape drugs ‘out there’ 

Neither the Coast Garibaldi Health Authority nor the Whistler/Pemberton RCMP have any statistics involving the use of date rape drugs, but both acknowledge that it is going on. Most events aren’t formally reported, and the ones that are often lack proof – both common date rape drugs, GHB and Rohypnol, are all but impossible to detect more than eight hours after they enter the blood stream.

Pique Newsmagazine received a report of three suspected cases in the last six weeks through a friend of the victims. Two of the girls were taken to a hospital in Squamish, according to the report, and one made it home with the help of a friend.

Paul Martiquet, the Medical Health Officer for the Coast Garibaldi region, does not know of any specific cases, but says it is happening in the corridor.

"I wouldn’t say it’s a growing problem, but I think it’s a problem that the readership should be aware of," he said. "It is going on, and we have been made aware of it in the past. I think it’s important that women in Whistler know it’s a risk and to take preventative measures to keep it from happening."

Both GHB and Rohypnol are turning up. Both are available on the street, and are undetectable in drinks.

To protect themselves, women should not leave their drinks unattended, and should be aware of the symptoms.

"Essentially what happens is that both drugs depress the respiratory system and they can cause a little reduction in social inhibitions at a low level. At a high level you get an unexplained euphoria that gives way to sedation, so if you’re feeling low, getting too high off a drink than what the alcohol could account for, then you need to make a friend aware of that," said Martiquet.

Dizziness, vertigo, seizures, vomiting and drowsiness are also symptoms.

If you think you’ve been targetted, go to an emergency room to have your urine tested.

There are no statistics for the occurrence of date rate drugs in Whistler because it is hard to detect, but Martiquet says it’s important to go to the police to help generate more accurate numbers.

Community policing officer Michelle Nisbet says the RCMP don’t get many complaints from the public that can be verified by tests, but says they believe it’s going on in Whistler.

"It’s hard to get stats, but it’s reasonable to expect cases are going unreported," said Nisbet.

"Our advice for girls is don’t leave your drink alone, and don’t put it down, keep it in your hand. Always go out with a group, and keep an eye on each other.

"I wouldn’t say it’s a massive problem, but it’s something that surfaces every so often."

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