One in three Nevada women have stayed sober on a night out due to fear of drink spiking, survey finds

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 11:23 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - If you go out to bars and clubs, you’ve probably heard “cover your glass, keep your drink with you at all times and never accept a drink from strangers.”

All guidance meant to keep you safe from drink spiking, but women in our area say the advice alone is not enough.

“It feels like, it’s almost expected to happen,” said a University of Nevada Reno student, who wanted to remain anonymous.

“It’s a constant policing of everyone, you know, you can’t just go out and enjoy yourself, you always have to be very cautious,” said another UNR student.

They say posts on social media and stories from friends and acquaintances about being drugged are so common, they’ve decided to not go out to bars and clubs anymore.

“A lot of girls just stopped going out because it eventually happens to someone they know,” said a UNR student.

According to a survey done by the website, for drug abuse treatment resources, one in three Nevada women have stayed sober on a night out due to fear of drink spiking.

Crisis Support Services of Nevada says drink spiking happen more than we imagine and that a lot of cases go unreported.

“Some of them are scared to come forward, because they might be underage and using a fake ID or under the influence of something else and they think they’re going to be prosecuted,” said Loralee Rae, director of programs at Crisis Support Services of Nevada.

Chief of police at UNR, Eric James says it’s hard to determine how often these type of incidents happen.

“Things can be dropped in quickly, they’re tasteless, odorless, they dissolve quickly,” said Chief James.

However, when it happens, most victims know their perpetrator.

“The idea of like a stranger contact, while it does happen, it’s a lot less than some colleague known to somebody else,” said Chief James.

Which can be even more dangerous since people usually let their guard down around friends.

“If you are going to go out with four, five people, make sure you go home with four, five people,” said Chief James.

He also suggests having safe words with your friends and pay attention to whoever is making your drink. In the case you have to go to the bathroom or step out, make sure to ask someone you trust to hold your drink.

While it’s often virtually impossible to detect whether your drink has been spiked, some spotting signs to keep in mind are loss of consciousness and dangerously slow breathing.

The survey also shows two in three women say they are not confident their perpetrator will be held accountable by law.

If you think you have been drugged or have been a victim of sexual assault, call Crisis Help Line (800) 273-8255 or Text ‘CARE’ to 839863.

For the Sexual Assault Help Line, call 1 (775) 221-7600.

The state of Nevada has an amnesty policy across all institutions stating that a survivor is not to be punished if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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