Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Watch your drinks

By Prince George Citizen
Police warn to check your glass after incidents involving more than mix

Men and women in Prince George are having their drinks spiked with drugs.

Police do not consider recent findings to be an anomaly, but tests have found that within the last couple of months a man and a woman have both been victims of illicit drink doctoring in unrelated incidents.

“They were completely different places and situations,” said Prince George RCMP spokesman Cpl. Craig Douglass.

The timing of each incident was not disclosed, nor the social setting in particular, because Douglass said the issue is ongoing and could happen in any large social group.

“The motives for slipping a drug into the drink of a male or female can be quite different,” Douglass added. “For females it is typically done to facilitate a sexual assault. It is often done to males to make them vulnerable to violence.”

Without specifying, Douglass confirmed that in at least one of the recent cases harm was done to the targeted victim. More than one investigation is underway.

“The precautions the public should take would apply as much in any other town in the province, but you should definitely put those precautions into use here in Prince George,” Douglass said.

The most commonly administered drug to put people in a vulnerable position is alcohol, he said, so beware of overindulgence, especially at the encouragement of someone providing the drinks.

Other drugs that have locally shown themselves in recent times include Ketamine and Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB).

Although common in medical use, and to some extent naturally occurring in the human body making them challenging to detect, these chemicals are predatory drugs said Douglass, that kick in after only a few minutes. They are “often odourless and often tasteless when mixed in a drink,” he explained, and have very similar effects to alcohol.

“Should you feel your drink has been spiked, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Get to the nearest hospital for a urine test right away,” Douglass said. “It is imperative that you do not go to the bathroom. Drugs that are used to facilitate sexual assaults are quickly metabolized in the body and excreted through one’s urine. Preserve as much evidence as possible. Do not shower, bathe, urinate, eat, drink or throw away clothing. If possible, save the glasses or containers that you drank from.”

Call police as soon as possible as well. It may help not only the situation you may find yourself in, but tie into other ongoing investigations as well.

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