The rules to keep from getting dosed in a bar

To the man who dosed me in a bar,

You are a prick. I hope someone doses you sometime so you can understand how terrifying the experience is. And then I hope someone drags you out to the street by your cock so everyone can laugh at you while you freak out in the cold. Hopefully you’ll get hit by a car.

Sincerely,

The woman you dosed two Sundays ago. 

While visiting friends in San Francisco, I was dosed by a stranger in a bar. I was out having drinks, celebrating a few days of relaxation away from the stress of life at home. My husband sat only two bar stools away from me. And while no one was looking, a man dropped a drug into my gin and tonic.

He slid against me and leaned on the bar, as if wanting to order a drink, and when I saw him every alarm bell in my body rang. His pupils were so dilated he didn’t look human anymore and he didn’t blink. He just stared at me, then he stroked my thigh. Shoving his hand away, I glared into those frightening eyes and said, “No.” He smiled. I turned my  back to him so I continue the conversation about Prague with the gentleman on my left, a funny guy who was friends with the man my husband was talking to. I sipped my drink, chatted more, and then realized that I was touching the funny guy’s bare arm. He was so warm… so soft… leaning against him I felt his t-shirt against my chest. Suddenly, he was gone. I gripped the bar and stared at the people around me. Where was my husband? The scary man was still standing beside me, smiling.

“I’m so tired,” I said, and then lay my head on the bar. Someone’s hand reached inside my blouse and squeezed my right breast. I started to cry.

After that, everything is a blur, like a bad dream you can’t wake up from. You feel everything, every touch and sound and breath, but you can’t shake yourself awake, or make the fear go away. I remember being outside on the sidewalk with my friend holding me, but the scary man was still there. I told her he was touching me. Then I remember trying to walk back to the apartment where we were staying. I remember waking up because I was crying and screaming and I couldn’t stop. My husband was there but he couldn’t calm me down. Far away inside of me, I knew I needed to stop, but I kept screaming. Suddenly I was up and screaming louder, accusing my husband of letting a strange man touch me. And then my husband was gone but my friends were there and one friend took me to the hospital. The screaming finally stopped, but not the terror.

In the morning, I was calm and well enough to go home, so the hospital released me, saying I was exhausted and had experienced a break down due to alcohol. My husband picked me up at the ER and we drove home, silent and shaken from a night of chaos. What had happened? Why had I lost it so badly? Did I just have a nervous breakdown?

My daughter has a disability and is medically fragile, so every day is stressful. Add to that losing my job, marriage trouble and constant pain from a neck injury, and it’s no wonder I’m prone to hysterical weeping, especially if I drink too much. But this was different. This time when I cried, I was out of my head and ready to kill myself.

The next day, I explained to my daughter’s aid what had happened and she said, “You were dosed.”

“What? How? What are you talking about?”

“You were dosed. Someone slipped something in your drink when you weren’t looking. Probably that creepy guy who was grabbing you. You have all the classic signs.”

“But… I’m too old to be dosed. I could be that guy’s mom.”

She laughed. “No your not. You’re hot. And besides, you gave him the opportunity. Other people probably had their drink covered.”

And then she told me about the times she’d been dosed, how her friends had been dosed, what to do if you get dosed, and how to prevent it from happening.

But I still couldn’t believe it. Why would anyone want to dose me? I’m not a naive 21 year old girl; I’m an intelligent, savvy, full grown woman who doesn’t take shit from men. They tested me for drugs in the hospital and they didn’t find anything. The idea was crazy!

When I told the story to my friends under age 35, they all said, “Sounds like you were dosed.” I told my friends over age 35 that people thought I’d been drugged, and they all said, “That makes a lot of sense.” I went online and read about rape-drugs and side effects and how to protect yourself from being drugged, and even though my brain just couldn’t accept that someone would do it, I realized my friends were right: I had been drugged by the creepy guy.

The most disturbing thing about this, other than the experience itself, is how nonchalant my friends under age 35 are about getting dosed. Being dosed in a bar is as ordinary an event as getting a phone number from someone you meet there. Since it happens so often, everyone knows how to protect themselves. Unfortunately, I’m 46 and don’t go to bars very often, so no one taught me the rules. But here’s what I know now.

The Rules to keep from getting dosed in a bar.

  1. Always keep control of your drink. Don’t leave it on the bar, or on the table, at any time. If you have to pee, take your drink with you! Want to dance? Finish your drink first.
  2. If you do set your drink on the bar or a table, cover it with a plastic cup or the coasters bars give you. That makes it harder for someone to slip something into it.
  3. Never take a sip of a drink from someone, even someone you know. Do not share drinks.
  4. If someone wants to buy you a drink, go with them to the bar. Don’t drink anything that has left your sight. Someone hands you a beer? Only drink it if it is still unopened.
  5. Do no go to bars alone. If you’re on a date, reread all the rules and FOLLOW THEM.

The other thing I discovered is that hospitals do not routinely test for “date-rape” drugs. And many of the drugs pass through your system so quickly even if they do test, they might not find anything. The hospital I went to tested my alcohol level and checked for standard recreational drugs, like cocaine and pot, not Ketamine or GHB.

It’s a bizarre comfort to know I was drugged and didn’t just lose my mind one night. However, it is frightening to realize how violated I was and I’m thankful my friends were there to help me. What would have happened if I’d been alone?

For more info, here are some links I found:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_rape_drug

http://www.medicinenet.com/date_rape_drugs/article.htm

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/rohypnol-roofie-and-rape

http://teenadvice.about.com/library/weekly/aa062502a.htm

4 thoughts on “The rules to keep from getting dosed in a bar

  1. I am so sorry this happened to you and that it happens at all! If we ever see this guy on the street, do point him out so that I can a. knee him in the balls and b..repeat “a” again and again. Love you!!

  2. Oh Terena, I am so sorry this happened to you. Thank you so much for writing about and sharing with others as a warning to unsuspecting victims. Especially to those of us who are over 35. Hope you are feeling 100% better now.

  3. I’m so sorry this happened to you Sweetie. Great advice though about protecting your drink! You are right too. Hospitals don’t usually test for those drugs. Sending you a huge hug!!

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