On the front page of today’s San Francisco Chronicle is an article about how on a first date at Noe’s Bar in San Francisco, Joseph Szlamnik slipped a date rape drug in his date’s beer while she went to the restroom. The white powder was later identfied as zalepron, a prescription sleeping drug sold as Sonata.
An observant waitress and a bartender’s quick thinking averted a potential rape. Karri Cormican, the waitress, swapped out the drugged beer with another, on the guise that the beer was bad.
As the waitress talked to the woman, Tatiana K., outside the bar about what happened, Szlamnik dropped 2 pills into the new beer, which the bartender, Hannah Bridgeman-Oxley, saw, incredulously. The pills were later identified as alprazolam, commonly sold as Xanax, a central nervous system depressant prescribed to relieve anxiety.
Police took the 2 beers as evidence, and last week Szlamnik was sentenced to one year in prison.
The lesson here? Never leave your drink unattended. Date rape drugs are used to make victims unable to refuse sex, with no recollection of the sexual assault. The drugs are virtually undetectable and leave the body quickly. Read this article to learn more about date rape drugs, avoidance strategies, detecting whether you’ve been drugged and raped, and what to do if you think you’ve been a victim.
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