Date-rape drugs have become engraved in American pop culture, but despite “roofies” often being the butt of jokes, date-rape drugs are anything but funny.
An alarming new study suggests drink spiking is on the rise, especially among college students. However, without proper testing, it’s hard to determine for sure if drink spiking is a growing problem, or if people are simply drinking too much alcohol too often.
The study, which is now published online in the journal Psychology of Violence, was conducted by researchers from the University of South Carolina. Results are based off an online survey given to 6,064 students aged 18-24 from three different universities: The University of South Carolina, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Cincinnati.
Students were asked how many times since the beginning of the academic year they had suspected or known someone to have slipped a drug into their drink.
Students could either answer with an exact number (such as this occurred three times this year) or answer “This happened, but not since the beginning of the school year.” Students who answered that they had been drugged were then asked follow-up questions, such as where it happened, and what were the consequences.
Results revealed that a total of 462 (7.8 percent) students reported that they had been drugged at some point. A further 83 (1.4 percent) said they had drugged someone else or they knew someone who had drugged another person.
Although women were more likely to be the victim of drink spiking than men, a surprising 21 percent of victims were male. Unfortunately, women were also more likely to report negative consequences to their drugging, such as rape, sexual assault, or theft, while men mostly reported that their drugging was done “for fun” or “as a joke.”
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