As many high schoolers and ex-high schoolers know, junior and senior year are tough. AP classes, college applications, and standardized test prep were difficult to balance, and as an overachiever, I wanted to do all of it and more. My hard work ethic drove me to prioritize academics over all else, which meant my social life – which wasn’t filled with raging parties to begin with, given my studious personality – fell by the wayside.
Finally getting into an amazing college and joining a sorority made me feel like all the time and effort I put into academics in high school paid off. Fall quarter was a fresh start: I enjoyed attending parties and meeting new people, and it offered me a welcome break I never got before. Despite the fact that I was (as some people would say) “in my going out era,” my friends and I were always cautious when drinking alcohol and going to fraternity houses. We came and left as a group, always watched our drinks, and were weary of the jungle juice at events when we didn’t see any guys drinking from it. Drinking is so casual in college, especially in Greek life, but we’d all heard rumors of which frat houses would try to roofie or sexually assault girls. I never felt unsafe going out though. I was blissful; I had heard of roofies and the concept of date rape drugs, but I never thought I could actually be a victim. Until Halloween.
Halloween is probably the biggest party event on a college campus and it basically took up the entire week at mine. My friends and I excitedly got ready at our sorority house and pregamed together. The whole time, I was careful of my limits around alcohol. I was hydrated and carbo-loaded from earlier in the day and paced myself as we started drinking, actually drinking below my limit so I only had a nice buzz by the time we left the house to attend the frat party. Past that point I don’t remember much beyond flashes (memory loss is a common sign of date rape drugs) so most of what I know was told to me by my friends:
We arrived at the party, mingled, and danced. I walked away with a guy for around 10 minutes and then my friends found me completely incoherent. I couldn’t speak and could barely walk or hold myself up. The only thing I could mumble was that I “only took a few sips,” a sign that I likely accepted a drink that was given to me. Everything was moving in slow motion and my brain wasn’t processing any of it. My friends immediately knew something was wrong and quickly grabbed me to leave.
I remember laying on a couch, then sitting on a bed, then the smell of coffee grounds. I was throwing up so much the only thing my friends could grab in time was the trash bag with their used Nespresso pods in it. Hours later around four in the morning we ended up in the emergency room and then another hospital. My friends kept trying to explain to the front desk staff that something was severely wrong. “She was roofied and she needs a drug test.” Spoiler alert: I never got one. The hospital had no drug tests that could detect date rape drugs and the local rape clinic wouldn’t take me because I wasn’t raped. I was given an anti-nausea shot and sent on my way. So much for resources.
The night itself was bad, but the morning was harder. We all were in complete shock and could do nothing but cry, call our moms, and text our friends to try and figure out what to do. I ended up contacting the university police department who could do nothing more than file an incident report on my behalf. The female officer taking down my info was apologetic - she told me I had all the signs of being roofied, but without proof or some kind of evidence, there was nothing they could do. Our Inter-Fraternity Council proved to be even less helpful, with the Chief Justice telling me I didn’t seem too upset over the matter, and he’d seen girls much more distraught over similar situations. He was sorry it happened though (I felt like an inconvenience).
There was nothing to show I had been roofied and with people questioning what really happened to me, I felt ashamed and embarrassed. More than anything, I felt stupid. Why did I walk away from my friends? Maybe everyone was right and I just got a little too drunk. Except I knew this wasn’t the case. Nothing about my story or state of being fit with being “a little too drunk.” I had the symptoms, I had the signs, and earlier in the night I expressed concern over a guy who was following me around, an uncomfortable feeling many girls that night at that party echoed. It was all there, even if there were no resources available to prove it. My experience was valid and I wasn’t alone in it.
While the safety precautions I took when going out and being around alcohol didn’t keep me from being roofied, they kept the situation from escalating into something much worse. My friends saved me that night, finding me, taking care of me, and fighting for me, and I am endlessly thankful for them (they wouldn’t even let me pay them back for the Ubers to and from the hospital).
Make sure to always come, stay, and leave with a group at parties. Always watch your drinks and never accept one from someone you don’t know. If you suspect that you or a friend was roofied, seek medical attention right away. Ask for a date rape drug test and contact your local police department to file a report or open a case immediately. Seek support from national hotlines or friends and family. Remember: getting roofied wasn’t my fault and it’s not yours either.Check out our article here for more information on drink spiking and drink safety.