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Special Alert--Presence of Rohypnol (Roofies)

Sept. 30, 2016

To: The Oberlin College Community From: Marjorie Burton, Director of Safety and Security Date: September 30, 2016

A report overnight by an Oberlin student shared information that last weekend the student was drugged at a party, one of several unauthorized parties students heavily attended. The student wanted the community to be aware that this is a risk to others at Oberlin. The office of Safety and Security shares the following information in the interest of community safety.

Rohypnol “roofie” is ten times stronger than Valium and illegal in the U.S. since 1996. It is a sedative that causes a feeling of extreme intoxication and amnesia. It is a frequent drug of choice for people looking to commit sexual assault by slipping a ground or whole pill into someone’s drink. About 20 minutes after consumption, a person feels drunk, has difficulty speaking or moving, and may eventually pass out. Effects rise for about two hours. Additional side effects of this sedative can lead to seizures, coma, liver failure and even death from respiratory depression.

Administering “roofies” serendipulously and engaging in sex is rape. If you possess or administer “roofies,” you risk harsh penalties due to the drug’s connection with sexual assault: • Sexual Misconduct Policy or Judicial Conduct consequences that may include interim suspension pending administrative hearing, suspension or expulsion if found responsible; loss of federal financial aid or scholarship. • Criminal prosecution, if convicted, results in jail time for possession; 10 years to life in prison if intent is to distribute; or 20 years to life if you cause someone’s harm (coma) or death.
• A felony conviction remains as part of your permanent record.

Suggestions for Protection in Social Situations: • Be alert for change of flavor or color in drinks. Roofies give off a slightly bitter taste. In a light color drink, recently manufactured roofies tint the drink blue; older pills will not change the color of your drink. Abandon your drink immediately and seek medical assistance. • Be aware of sudden feelings of drunkenness. You may only have a few minutes of alertness to help yourself. Grab a friend, tell your concern; have the friend help you, or use your cell phone to call for help. • Do not drink anything you did not open or keep in your hands at all times. Do not accept a drink from someone you don’t know, or go back to a drink you’ve set down. Where crowded, keep your hand over your drink. • Go out with trusted friends; don’t leave them or let them leave you. Keep your cell phone charged so you can contact help when or if needed.

Oberlin College Safety and Security and the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion / Title IX urges anyone who believes they have experienced sexual assault to immediately seek medical assistance and/or notify law enforcement for assistance. Safety and Security can help you with assistance, and you are encouraged to program their 24-hour number into your cell phone (440) 775-8444. Call 911 for emergencies or Oberlin Police Department directly at (440) 774-1061. Emergency assistance from the Lorain County Rape Crisis Center, the Nord Center Sexual Assault Care Unit, and the Lorain County Mental Health Crisis Hotline can be obtained at 1-800-888-6161.