Kansas City Police warning public on rise in use of ‘date rape drugs’ at bars and nightclubs

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Police are warning the public about an uptick in use of “date rape drugs.”

It can happen to anyone, according to Kansas City Police detectives, who ask people attending bars and nightclubs to pay close attention to their surroundings and the beverages they’re drinking.

On Monday, KCPD’s vice unit demonstrated for FOX4 cameras methods used by sexual predators to drop drugs into other people’s drinks. The demonstration proved it doesn’t take more than a moment to drug a victim with intent to assault them.

Sgt. Brad Dumit, who works with KCPD’s vice squad, said many assaults that involve drugs – or “roofies” as they’re sometimes known – are never reported to police.

“It takes a split second to not watch your drink or to turn around and talk to somebody else or to not pay attention to what’s going on in your surroundings, especially when it’s a crowded venue and there’s a lot of people around,” Dumit said.

Police recommend bar-goers to watch their drinks intently, and to never leave a bar or tavern without a trusted friend. Sexual assault counselors see this as a larger problem in the summer months, since bar traffic is more active when the weather is warm.

Some “date rape drugs” can taste salty, while others are completely flavorless. GHB and Rufilin are commonly used, but Dumit said ground-up Xanax tablets are often used. Some of those medicines can incapacitate a victim within 10 minutes.

At MOCSA, Brandy Williams often works with sexual assault victims. Williams, MOCSA’s director of education, said some victims are reluctant to come forward or go to police since drugs used in these incidents can cloud a victim’s memory.

“That might be a little more of a barrier. I think it may decrease the number of instances where a person would report, and it allows that perpetrator to continue perpetrating in that manner multiple times,” Williams said.

“Take care of yourself when you’re out there, and make sure you have a plan in place from start to finish when you go out drinking,” Dumit added.

That advice could help reduce the number of victims assaulted when alcohol comes into the mix.

If you or someone you know needs help, contact MOCSA’s 24-hour crisis line at 816-531-0233 or 913-642-0233.  

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