Purple leaf

Important information about date rape drugs and their symptoms

Following recent reports of the use of date rape drugs in Waterloo, the university is sharing information to increase awareness about the use of such drugs and the associated symptoms.

‘Date rape drugs’ are drugs used with the intent of facilitating sexual assault. These drugs may be in pill, liquid, or powder form, and can be blended into any kind of drink. Alcohol can also be used as a substance to facilitate sexual assault. Date rape drugs commonly include Rohypnol, GHB and Ketamine.

It is important to note that survivors of drug-facilitated sexual assault are never responsible for what happened to them and will not be blamed for experiencing sexual violence, when seeking help from Laurier. Support is available through Laurier’s sexual violence support advocate, regardless of when or where the incident took place. Providing support is the university’s highest priority; if a survivor has been drinking underage or taking illegal drugs, they will not be punished for these acts if they choose to seek support or file a report with the university.

Warning signs that indicate that you or a friend may have been drugged include: slurred speech; excessive sweating; tremors; loss of muscle control; visual or auditory hallucinations; cool, clammy or hot, flushed skin; unusual drowsiness; blurred vision; nausea or vomiting; extreme thirst; loss of coordination; numbness; feeling out of body; slow or shallow breathing; a sudden drop or spike in pulse, and/or sudden mood changes.

If you suspect that you or a friend has ingested a drugged drink, ask someone you trust to get you to a safe place right away. You can call 911, Special Constable Service (519.885.3333 in Waterloo, 519.756.8228 x5888 in Brantford) or visit the Waterloo Region Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centre at St. Mary’s Hospital Emergency Department or the Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Care Team at the Brantford General Hospital. Evidence of these drugs lasts in the body between 12 and 72 hours. If you are unable to visit a hospital within that time you can save your urine in a clean, sealable container in a refrigerator or freezer.

How Can You Practice Bystander Intervention?

Bystander intervention is an essential part of preventing sexual violence. Bystander intervention means speaking up and getting involved when you see signs of sexual violence – like someone being drugged.

Some of the ways to practice bystander intervention include:

  • If you see that someone’s drink has been spiked, let them know.
  • If you see someone spike an unattended drink and walk away, throw away the drink.
  • If you see someone acting strange, offer to get them help.
  • If you realize someone has been drugged, seek medical attention.
  • If someone shows you drugs and tells you they plan to drug someone, intervene, ask for help or alert the authorities. (Make sure you are safe before you take action.)

Supports Available

  • For assistance navigating sexual assault support services on and off campus, contact Laurier’s Sexual Violence Support Advocate, Sarah Scanlon at sscanlon@wlu.ca.
  • In Waterloo: to book an on-campus appointment with a counsellor from SASCWR contact intake@sascwr.org.
  • The Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region 24-7 Support Line: 519.741.8633.
  • Special Constable Services Waterloo 519.885.3333.
  • In Brantford: to book an appointment with SACB’s sexual violence counsellor and advocate, contact Hayley Moody at hayley@sacbrant.ca.
  • The Sexual Assault Centre of Brant 24-7 Crisis and Support Line: 519.741.8633.
  • Special Constable Services Brantford 519.756.8228 x5888.

Contact Us:

Sarah Scanlon, Sexual Violence Support Advocate

E: sscanlon@wlu.ca
T: 519.884.0710 x4847
Office Location: MacHouse Residence, room 117

Lynn Kane, Manager, Gendered Violence Prevention and Support

E: lkane@wlu.ca
T: 519.884.0710 x4710
Office Location: MacHouse Residence, room 117