Date-rape drug suspected in Aspen | VailDaily.com
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Date-rape drug suspected in Aspen

Joel Stonington
Vail, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” At least three people in Aspen claim they have experienced amnesia after going to bars and restaurants, and suspect they may have been slipped GHB, the so-called “date-rape drug.”

Two woman and one male spoke with The Aspen Times about having one or two drinks and then losing consciousness for many hours; one tested positive for GHB, or gamma hydroxybutyric acid.

At a high dose, people can pass out or die depending on body weight, said Steve Ayers, Pitkin County coroner and Aspen Valley Hospital’s chief of staff.



The most recent person to speak with The Aspen Times said she was drugged this week at a private party. She is a mother who has lived in Aspen for 17 years, working at the same place for more than a decade. Like others who spoke with the newspaper, she asked to remain anonymous.

She said she had one drink around 9:30 p.m. and then does not remember anything until 1:30 a.m.



“I woke up in a random apartment, half-clothed with the worst physical feeling I’ve ever had,” she said. “It was worse than any hangover I’ve ever felt. It was very wrong.”

There was no one in the apartment, so she went home and slept until morning. She woke up feeling terrible, she said. At that point, she called the police and went to the hospital.

She later pieced together what had happened with the help of friends and police and it was concluded she had not been raped.



“It’s insane,” she said. “I don’t go out that often. When you do, you assume you are in a safe environment here, and that’s just not the case.”

Another woman, who grew up in the Roaring Fork Valley, also said she blacked for 14 hours after being slipped the drug at an Aspen restaurant. She the last thing she remembers is finishing a beer around 9:30 p.m., she said.

The next morning, she made a confusing call to a friend prompting a search by police and her friends. “According to other people, I was acting normal,” she said. “I was out, but I don’t remember a thing.”

When she went to Aspen Valley Hospital that afternoon, she needed to be rehydrated.

“You’re in a situation where others are drinking so it’s hard to figure out essentially what happened,” she said. “The social reaction is, ‘You were out drinking.’ I had people who questioned me every day.”

The hospital couldn’t conduct a rape test because she was in the middle of her period.

The third person did not comment extensively other than to say he was sharing a drink with two other people at a local bar. After that drink, all three had amnesia during the evening. He, too, is a longtime local.

Beyond alcohol ” which both Ayers and Aspen police detectives called the No. 1 date rape drug ” the three main drugs seen nationwide are GHB, rohypnol (a.k.a. “roofies”) and ketamine (aka “Special K”).

The DEA Web site notes GHB is becoming more prevalent because the victim has memory problems and may not realize what happened until eight to 12 hours later. By that time, the drug has usually metabolized and can’t be detected by medical tests.

“It’s such an extreme violation and chances of that person getting caught for it are slim to none,” the second woman said. “It’s definitely a wake-up call for myself and my friends.”


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