When Clubbing, Beware Roofies

Sep 26 , 2021
By Kidist Yidnekachew

The income gap has been rising in Ethiopia for quite a while, leading to crimes. Along with the cost of living, violence is also on the climb in cities. We hear countless stories of muggings and taxi drivers being murdered in the dead of night. There is also what many women should be aware of by now – roofies.

I first became familiar with it after watching the popular comedy movie “The Hangover,” which launched the career of Hollywood actor Zach Galifianakis. It follows the story of four young men that go to Las Vegas for their friend’s bachelor party over the weekend. The adventure starts on the rooftop of their hotel, downing a shot of alcohol as a toast to the groom.

Then the scene fades to black, and they spend the remainder of the movie trying to remember what they had done all night long. The reason none of them remembers a single thing is because the shots were laced with Rohypnol, aka roofies. It is also known as “the date rape drug” because it is most used by college frat boys to rape women.

These were the horror stories I had nightmares about when I was younger. Reading news and social media posts in my teen years, I recall thinking I would never raise my kids in a place where such a thing was frequent. Little did I know that Ethiopia had a date with Western trends of this type. Over the past two years, I have heard terrible stories of women being drugged, robbed and raped. The thing with roofies is that the drugged individual becomes wholly unconscious, and when they regain consciousness, they do not recall a single thing about the previous night.

The thought of realising I was raped but not knowing who or how many were involved may make me borderline suicidal.

However, many women are going through this. But due to the stigma, most of it goes unreported and is dealt with emotionally by the women’s close friends. The story I came across was different, as the victim was a man. I was surprised as we do not hear men being subjected to this kind of crime often. When I used to go out clubbing in the old days, I have seen men get intoxicated and use all sorts of drugs but never seen a man being drugged, especially by another man.

Men’s intention when they use this drug on women is to take advantage, but I could not wrap my head around as to why it was used on a man. Maybe he had lots of cash and whoever drugged him wanted to steal his money, or perhaps someone was trying to get revenge. In any case, the man was hospitalised for three days, given a glucose drip and did not remember anything.

Let this anecdote serve as a cautionary tale for women and men who are fond of the nightlife. While out on the town for drinks, especially women, do not do as such unless with a group of friends. Designate one friend that stays sober and watches over the rest of the group, never leave the glass unattended and make sure the waiter pours the drink in front of you. We should never accept a drink from people we do not know.

Prevention is better than any cure we may eventually get – sometimes, there is no cure. This is critical for women more than anyone else, to whom society is significantly flawed when it comes to helping them with trauma.

PUBLISHED ON Sep 26,2021 [ VOL 22 , NO 1117]

Kidist Yidnekachew is interested in art, human nature and behaviour. She has studied psychology, journalism and communications and can be reached at (kaymina21@gmail.com)

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