How Can I Protect Myself?

From Rape Crisis Assistance and Prevention

Rape and sexual assault are widespread problems. The use of psychoactive drugs makes a dangerous situation even more dangerous. These substances impair a person's ability to respond to a situation or to defend themselves if the need arises. It is fairly easy to assault someone after they have been rendered unconscious or immobilized by these drugs.

While there are no guarantees that you will not be sexually assaulted if you follow these suggestions, here are some ideas that have helped others feel more secure:

Educate yourself. Find out about which date rape drugs are in current use, what they look like and the effects they have. If you recognize a drug or its packaging at a party, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY and contact the police.
Party by the buddy system. Check in with friends every 20 minutes. If something seems strange, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY. Watch for signs of over-intoxication. If you are leaving the party, let your friends know where you are going and with whom. It's a good idea to designate someone to be the sober "lookout" - someone who can drive and who can keep an eye on the situation.
Bring your own drinks. Whether or not you choose to drink alcohol, bring your own beverages and keep them in containers you can tightly cover.
Do not accept drinks from anyone other than a bartender or waitress. Always open your own drinks if they are offered by someone else.
Do not accept drinks from a punch bowl or other open container.
Never leave your drink unattended. If you go to the bathroom, take it with you. If you get up to dance, finish it or take it with you. A friend left to watch your drink can easily get distracted.
Don't drink anything that has a funny smell, color or taste. If it seems strange, THROW IT OUT! Get to a hospital to be tested for the presence of date rape drugs.

This information was generously provided by Rape Crisis Assistance and Prevention