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Student hopes to educate mentors, others about sedative drugs

April 27, 2001

Health Advocates at Olin Health Center said there has been an increased number of people asking to be tested for sedative drugs like GHB, known as liquid ecstasy, and Rohypnol, known as roofies.

But most tests have come back negative.

“This shows there is great concern and even panic when it comes to these drugs,” said Damilola Walker, a human biology and microbiology senior and an Olin Health Advocate.

In response to the increased awareness and concern, but also to the misconceptions about the drugs, Walker has started a project to distribute information allowing students to be more educated about the effects of the drugs.

Walker will be distributing posters to mentors when students come back in the fall. She hopes they will display the information about the symptoms associated with GHB (Gamma Hydroxybutyrate) and roofies that will help people decide whether to be tested.

GHB is a clear liquid and roofies is a pill that dissolves in liquid, so they are not visible. But Walker said you can usually tell when there is something in your drink by taste.

“We want students to be aware there are ways to tell if they are in your drink before you drink all of it,” Walker said.

Olin Health Educator Jasmine Greenamyer said many of the symptoms associated with the drugs start to take effect within 15 minutes of consumption.

“If you know you have only had one or two drinks but feel more intoxicated than you really should it’s possible you have ingested the drugs,” she said. “Also a sudden sense of nausea or dizziness can be associated with the drugs.”

Greenamyer said there is a fine line between the effects of consuming just alcohol and consuming alcohol with a combination of sedative drugs. But she said it is better to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to getting tested.

“It absolutely doesn’t hurt to ask for a test,” she said.

Greenamyer added it’s important to go to the hospital and specifically ask for drug tests because many times people are not automatically tested for the drugs when they go into the emergency room.

Merchandising management senior Jennifer Geiger said she has heard a lot more talk about GHB and roofies in the past few months.

“It is one of those trends everyone seems to be talking about lately,” she said. “I hear a lot about it surrounding drinking and going to the bars.”

Although she said she has never been under the influence of the drugs, the increased information has made her more aware of what she is drinking.

“I try to pay a lot more attention to what is going on around me,” Geiger said. “I think that is the smartest way to go about it: Not taking obvious risks and taking responsibility for what I am drinking.”

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