Roofie Incidents on the Rise in Boston: 5 Things You Need to Know
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
Roofies aka Roofalin aka Flunitrazepam aka Rohypnol aka GHB aka Ketamine aka the Date Rape Drug. As a woman, this is a drug I’ve known of since I was a pre-teen after, even at that age, being warned to not leave my soda unattended at dances.
According to the DEA, it is a depressant and benzodiazepine. The drug causes muscle relaxation, loss of motor coordination, weakness, and more. When someone ingests the drug unwillingly it leaves them in a state that would largely incapacitate them and unable to resist an attack. Afterward, they may not even remember being assaulted. In addition to the sinister uses of the drug, it’s also commonly used by cocaine abusers to relieve side effects.
News broke back in May that there appears to be an epidemic of roofie incidents throughout Boston. TikTok user @melsmantras has been spearheading the conversation on social media. In one of her first videos addressing the topic she shared a handful of social media posts from a Boston Facebook Group warning of these incidents in various establishments throughout the city including Faneuil Hall.
What makes these incidents particularly frightening, is that many of these accounts the women were doing everything “right” by not leaving drinks unattended, accepting drinks from strangers, etc. It goes to show how quickly and easily this can happen.
One of the establishments where this seems to be happening regularly is Scholars, shared tips with patrons outlining what to look out for and how they will help you if you feel unsafe.
They also shared a helpful resource to help recognize when a drink has been tampered with.
Not all the bars/restaurants/clubs are being as helpful. One establishment, Lorettas is offering lids but charging $1 a piece for them.
Beyond Drink Tampering
Some have reported not drinking at all and yet still experiencing the side effects of being roofied. A warning came out from Cape Cod and Boston areas of vape pen cartridges possibly being tampered with. According to Boston.com police are advising against sharing or using unknown vape cartridges.
In sum these are the 5 things to be aware of:
5. No Discrimination: This can happen to anyone of any gender.
4. Stay Safe: While nothing is 100% foolproof there are things you can do to decrease risk. Watch your bartender make your drink. Do not let the drink leave your sight. Utilize the buddy system. Pregame. Use tools like NightCap or test strips. If anything feels off speak to someone immediately.
3. Sharing is NOT Caring: Do not share vapes. It can be easy if you’re vibing with a group to take a hit when offered, but the reality is that you don’t know what’s truly in the cartridge. Don’t buy cartridges outside of authorized sellers.
2. Find Community Accounts: There are groups (such as Booze in Boston) sharing their experiences if you want to stay up to date and be aware of the establishments that are most often targeted. (Remember, this can happen anywhere.)
1. Better safe than sorry: If at any point things feel not right talk to someone like a staff member immediately.