I’ve read with interest the accounts of people who’ve been slipped the date-rape drug while visiting the island of Put-in-Bay.
Many of those commenting on the articles warn that no one should leave their drink unattended or accept a drink from a stranger.
This is excellent advice. You never know when some sicko will dump something into your drink.
I used to occasionally stop at a local brewpub on my way home from work at the Canton newspaper. The brewpub was a short walk from a nearby truck stop and it was not uncommon for truckers to stroll over for a beer or two before turning in for the night.
One particular night I stopped in but it was a slow night and my usual gang of friends was absent. So I figured I’d have a beer and head home early.
About 10 minutes after I was served a woman trucker entered the pub, sat down next to me and immediately struck up a conversation. It wasn’t even 5 minutes before she got to the point.
“What are you doing later, sugar?” she asked. “My truck’s just over there. Why don’t you come on back with me and we can have a party?”
I politely declined, saying I wanted to get home and turn in early.
She persisted. “Well then, don’t come to the truck. Just stick around here then” she said. “A girl just wants some company. That’s OK, isn’t it?”
Absolutely, I assured her. It was just that I’d had a long day and was looking forward to hitting the sack.
She kept on trying to convince me to have another drink or two and come back with her “for a party” and I have to admit I was flattered by the attention. It had been a while since a gal had tried to pick me up. But it was time to go home.
I got up to use the restroom and returned to my seat. I drank the last few swallows of my beer, bid the trucker gal farewell and headed for the parking lot even as she implored me to stay.
About a mile from home I suddenly got really tired, and with each moment the feeling grew worse and I felt less and less in control. I managed to make it my driveway but was seeing double as I threw it into park. I could barely stay awake. Something was seriously wrong. I knew I’d been drugged.
I tried to get out of the car and fell to the ground. I dragged myself across the yard to my back steps. It took all I had to crawl up the steps and onto my back porch.
Somehow I got the back door open.
And that’s where I woke up, with the door against my side, the top half of my body inside the kitchen and the other half outside on the porch.
I’d spent the entire night with half of me inside the house and the other half on the outside.
And this was in November. Temperatures were down in the low 40s that night. If it had been below zero, I would have frozen to death. I had absolutely no awareness of my situation, and when I awoke, it took a few minutes for me to reconstruct how I’d wound up where I did.
I realized that “friendly” trucker must have slipped something into my beer when I went to the restroom. Thank God I didn’t go back with her to her truck before the drug kicked in. I would likely have been robbed at the very least, and I don’t even want to imagine what would have occurred at the very worst.
I felt violated in a very personal way. I had lost total control of myself, could easily have been killed or killed someone else on the way home, and would have frozen to death if it had been much colder.
If that woman had gotten me into her truck, I would have been helpless to prevent whatever she had on her mind.
Never in my life would it have occurred to me that such a thing could happen. And I was just arrogant enough to probably believe that if someone DID slip me a mickey, I’d realize it in plenty of time to be sure I was safe.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
By the time I realized I was being affected, I had a few minutes at most to get myself to safety. After that my body, and brain, ceased to operate. And when I recovered, I found it hard to remember clearly what had happened.
At the time I was a big, healthy guy -- almost 6 feet tall and about 190 pounds. Imagine what kind of impact the same drug would have on a much smaller woman.
It’s no wonder they call it a date rape drug. The victim is knocked out within moments of realizing something is wrong and wakens with hardly a memory of what’s occurred. And when they do begin to recall, it can be horrifying.
On Put-in-Bay, far too many people are discovering that they’ve been drugged while in one of the village’s taverns.Since May, more than a halfdozen reports of druggings have been made to Put-in-Bay police. Others may have occurred, since often victims are ashamed to talk about what happened.
If you’re going to go out, watch out for yourself. Try to go with a friend. And never let your drink out of your sight.
You don’t have to be at Put-in-Bay to be drugged. It can happen almost anywhere, and it does.
Don’t let it happen to you.