The Big 3 Date Rape Drugs

The date rape drugs Rohypnol, Ketamine and Gamma-hdroxybutyrate –  With all the things that travel is, it is also dangerous and at any given moment an amazing time becomes a horrifying event.  And the thing about violence it comes in all shapes, sizes, forms –  large, frightening and intimidating.  And then there is the type of violence that’s invisible, the danger you can’t see and that is for worse because you don’t realize you’ve been a victim of violent crime until six, eight or ten hours later when the drug you were given has worn off.  And then you might wake up with your clothes off and realize you’ve been violated in the worse possible way, or you’ve been physically assaulted robbed or all three caused by these drugs –

Rohypnol – when slipped into a drink a clear liquid turn bright blue and dark drinks become cloudy.  And in a dark nightclub who’s even paying attention, once we have drink in hand – it’s on.  The effects of Rohypnol usually take about thirty minutes and you will look and act like someone who is drunk, and because we all know the feeling we might not think we’ve been drugged at all.

http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/prescription/rohypnol.html

Ketamine – for those of you that have any kind of medical procedure that required anesthesia once it was administered you lost conscious immidiately, that is what Ketamine does, within seconds you are unconcious.  It is known as a dissociative anesthetic: a drug that distorts perception of sight and sound and produces feelings of detachment (dissociation) from the environment and self.  

https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/drug_data_sheets/Ketamine.pdf 

3. Gamma-hdroxybutyrate (GHB) – and the final of the big 3 is ghb.  This one takes about fifteen minutes before effects start to kick in.  It is very potent and the smallest amount can and will have a big effect and it is an drug easy to over dose on.  

https://www.drugs.com/illicit/ghb.html 

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I’ve never spoken about this publicly, too ashamed, embarrassed, and angry.  This is something that shouldn’t happen to a man, a big strong black man like me, right? – WRONG!!!  The effects of these drugs do not change with your sex, color, creed or ethnicity – what they do to one person it does to every single person that it is given too.  

 It was May of 2005 and I was on a trip around the world with the continent of South America my first stop.  I had now reached Brazil and I was in Rio.  And with all the fifty five cities I’ve ever visited I have never felt more unsafe than I did in Rio, and maybe that alone should’ve been a red flag.  I went out with little money and never wore jewelry.  

The poverty and homelessness was like I’ve never seen and it wasn’t just individuals it was families three, four, five sometimes more living on a street.  I remember one night I was getting fast food, and this young Brazilian boy who couldn’t have been more than ten was trying to enter.  The manager was standing at the entrance refusing to let him in because he was going to beg for food.  So I bought his family some food he took and ran across the street and it is as clear today as when it happened twelve years ago.  They were actually fighting each other for something to eat and that image as always stayed with me.

It’s moments like this you realize how lucky you are, grateful for all that you have.  Here I am getting fast food because I didn’t feel like a restaurant and I watch this family, this very hungry family fighting each other for food.  Well after I inhaled the garbage I’d bought it was time to dance, drink and maybe even get laid – and if it presented itself I was going in for the kill.

Well I never thought it’d be easy as it was, and maybe that should’ve been the first red flag, I was approached, the attraction was mutual and less than an hour into the night and I had my prey neither one of us speaking each others language, but when it comes to sex there are no language barriers.  I had this beautiful Brazilian and they had this handsome black man, at least that is what I believed.

Once we were in my room, the second red flag was the request to put their wallet, keys and money in my safe I did think that was odd for a moment but did it any way not knowing they were memorizing the combination.  We opened up a couple of beers and he took them into the bathroom with him and again it was another red flag, it should’ve been the ‘GET THE HELL OUT.’  I found odd but I still didn’t question because I had this beautiful Brazilian all to myself, I was thinking with my penis and not my mind.  After a sip of beer we got into bed and within seconds I was out, I had a beer that had been laced with Ketamine and like any anesthesia you do not wake up until has worn off.

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I woke up sometime in the afternoon and the safe was open and any money I had was gone but surprisingly by wallet was left behind, including my credit cards.  My computer, camera and backpack were gone as well.  I went down to the front desk to see if they record people entering and exiting the hotel and unfortunately they didn’t.  I did go to the police station and they were as helpful as they could be.  He offered to file a report, but I leaving the next morning and even he said it won’t make any difference. He told me that this is something that has been on the rise and tourists are always the target.  He also told me I wasn’t the first one of the day, these people find the tourists because they are the easiest target.

That night while I was packing I felt violated.  I wasn’t a victim of a sexual assault or physical harmed, it was the mental.  The vision of me lying on a bed unconscious while a complete stranger is robbing me.  I’d never heard of this drug before or the term ‘date rape’ and that was the last thing on my mind all I saw was a beautiful Brazilian whom I thought I’d be having some amazing sex with instead I was violated.  The plane could fly me fast enough out of Rio and it is a place I will never return.

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The second time was November of 2016.  It was my last night in Medellin, Colombia I was all packed and ready to go to Bogota the next day.  Part of me said stay in, I’d had o.k. time and I had an early flight the next morning but like an idiot I listened to the part that said go out for one final beer.  This time it was simple chat with someone who spoke almost zero English and that alone should’ve been the ‘walk away’ moment and the thing on the this night I wasn’t looking to get laid.  I just went out for one last beer.

I went to Parque Lleras, it is an park with bars, discos, restaurants even prostitutes.  Well I went to the bar I’d been to the whole time I was there – might as well end the trip where it began.  And what started as simple chat ended up at the apartment I was staying and all I remember was being handed something to drink and like a fool I drank it.

The next morning the people I’d rented the apartment from entered after numerous attempts to wake me up.  They found me unconscious and all they could do was wait and once I did wake up, I didn’t even look to see what I had left I just took my luggage, passport and what pride I still had and left.  I was extremely fortunate because the man I rented the apartment from made sure I was ok before he allowed me to leave.  He’d also told me I wasn’t the first he’d seen this happen and I wouldn’t be the last.  Once I had my wits back he paid for me to get to the airport I’d bought a ticket to Bogota and I was out, ‘get me the fuck out of this city.’  Goodbye Medellin.  

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A few weeks following my return to Boston I took a long, long look at all that happened and I realized I can’t blame myself, none of us can.  We are on vacation and we are all looking for a good time, that is why we are on vacation.  On any given day or night we meet someone not knowing where it might lead, we don’t know a person’s true intentions.  But that is a risk we all take whether we are travelling the world or a night out in our own city.  

And while I hate the word ‘victim’ once again I was  but I was also fortunate – a computer, camera or iPod can be replaced, a few $100 dollars won’t bankrupt us and a credit can be cancelled online.  It is those have were victims of sexual assault that will suffer mental anguish and pain none of us can begin to fathom, but I hope they know they’re not alone.

 In the time it took me to write this and the time it took you to read it somewhere in this world a multitude of people will wake up and realize they were a victim and there will be more today, tomorrow and sadly forever.  We’re human and there will be times where our belief, faith in the good in people will be tested.  But more than anything we must look at ourselves to find that strength deep inside our soul that will allow us to heal.

Safe travels everybody 

 

 

 

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