Yet Another Public Service Announcement

>Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2007 16:12:53 -0500 (EST)
>From: Daniel.M.Nelson@Dartmouth.EDU
>To: all-students-announce@locum.dartmouth.edu
>Subject: Dick’s House/Safety & Security Alert
>Cc: Mark.H.Reed@Dartmouth.EDU, Katherine.P.Burke@Dartmouth.EDU, John.H.Turco@Dartmouth.EDU, Mark.H.Reed@Dartmouth.EDU, Daniel.M.Nelson@Dartmouth.EDU
>Reply-To: Safety.and.Security@Dartmouth.EDU
>Sender: massmail-sender@locum.dartmouth.edu
>Precedence: bulk

Dick’s House/Safety & Security Alert

We write to alert the student community that several undergraduates have described recent experiences of unexplained memory loss while attending parties across campus. Although there is no substantiated evidence linking these individuals or their experiences, the fact that several people believe they may have experienced similar situations involving drinking, social parties and significant loss of memory is of great concern. Like any other college, Dartmouth is not immune to the possibility that rohypnol, ketamine, GHB and related drugs could be present on campus.

These drugs, sometimes referred to as “date rape” or “predatory” drugs, can be easily slipped into drinks and are colorless and tasteless. The use of these drugs is very difficult to document as they are only detectable in the body for 4-12 hours after they are ingested and the victim is generally heavily sedated or asleep during that time. By the time a person seeks medical help and has testing done the drug is usually out of their system and undetectable.

While we don’t have a currently documented positive lab test for GHB or rohypnol, we do have reports of a few students who were suspiciously incapacitated. Since it is possible that these substances are currently being surreptitiously used on campus we feel it is very important to review steps that students can take to protect themselves and their friends:

* only drink from containers you open yourself
* don’t leave your drinks unattended
* avoid drinking from “punches” or common sources where you can’t be sure what is in them
* be very careful with mixed drinks
* do not drink alcohol on an empty stomach or when taking prescription or over the counter medications
* if you suddenly feel very intoxicated (or more intoxicated than you would expect), tell someone and get help (call Safety and Security at 646-4000, or come to Dick’s House). Let the medical staff know of your concerns so you can be tested for the presence of a “date rape” drug
* look out for your friends
* watch their drinks
* make plans to go out together and go home together (don’t leave your friends behind at a party)
* if you are worried about a friend (they seem very drunk or more impaired than you would expect) get them help -call Safety and Security at 646-4000
* if you witness suspicious behavior (ie. witness something being put in a drink, the drink has an odd taste, see powder remnants in a drink, hear conversation about “spiking a drink”) let someone know (call Safety and Security)

Other important resources on campus include Community Directors in the residence halls, peer health educators, and Xenia Markowitt and Megan Fallon of the Center for Women and Gender. Xenia and/or Megan are available to meet with students who have questions about sexual assault related issues. You can reach them at 646-3456. Sexual Assault Peer Advisors (SAPAs) are also great resources for any student who has a question or concern related to sexual assault. You can reach a SAPA by blitzing SAPA. Additional information about these drugs and prevention ideas can be found at http://www.4women.gov/faq/rohypnol.htm#6.

Please contact Dick’s House, Safety and Security or any of these campus resources if you have questions or concerns.

Harry Kinne, Director of Safety & Security
Jack Turco, Director, College Health Service
Mark Reed, Director, Counseling & Health Resources