Residents are raising concerns about safety after reports of roofies in drinks have spread across Facebook and other social media sites. Bargoers reported feeling effects beyond normal intoxication after drinking at several bars around Capitol Hill. According to the Seattle Police Department’s official blotter, officers have “not identified any cases definitively related to drugged drinks” and have not found a pattern of reported roofies at specific venues, but they are monitoring the situation and working with local bars to train staff on how to recognize and respond to suspected drugging incident.
The problem: a wide variety of drugs, some legal and some restricted or outright illegal, can be slipped into an unsuspecting bar-goer’s drink. Rohypnol is the most commonly known “date rape” drug, but fewer than one in one hundred victims of suspected druggings test positive for it. Many others are dosed with over-the-counter sleeping pills or sedatives, or controlled substances such as GHB.
When mixed with alcohol, these substances can have potent, sometimes fatal effects; a drugged victim may only remember feeling unusual before blacking out or passing out, and an untrained bartender or staff member may mistake the signs of drug intoxication for normal drunkenness. Many of these drugs leave the bloodstream quickly once their effects fade; by the time a victim is conscious enough to realize that they need medical attention, it may be too late for a blood test to conclusively prove that they were drugged.
One person who believes that he was drugged remembers talking to a man who claimed he was from southern California with a rose tattoo on his left inner forearm. Others are unsure of who could have tampered with their drinks. The Seattle Police Department is encouraging anyone who suspects that they were drugged to seek medical attention and contact the police as soon as possible.