Was I slipped Rohypnol (roofies)?
July 30, 2012 10:08 PM   Subscribe

Are the day after effects of Cocaethylene (cocaine and alcohol) and Rohypnol (roofies) similar?

There is a night that I had two weeks ago that was unlike any other, and not in a good way. I was very sick after (which I originally blamed on cocaethylene poisoning, which is what happens when you mix cocaine and alcohol) but now I'm thinking that I may have been given Rohypnol (you know, roofies). There's not a lot I've seen about any day after side effects on cocaethylene, just long term consequences so if anybody knows anything or has experience that would be great. Also, I did not post this so I could be judged-I know what I did was childish and harmful and I feel bad enough as it is, so let's leave it at that.

I went to a get-together with someone I was casually seeing a few weeks ago but on the way, us and one of his friends stopped to get some cocaine from a guy. I never had done it before, but I came with alot of crap on my mind, so I was like f it, I'll do one line. I instantly felt a buzz from it. When we got back to his house, we sat around, smoked cigarettes, and had some beers. Thing is, I didn't know that cocaine prevented you from feeling as drunk. I drank about 7 beers or so within maybe 3 to 4 hours. Normally I'd be comfortably drunk with that, but I just felt tipsy. Later on, the guy I was seeing, his friend, and I went to get more alcohol from his friend's place. He brought out rum mixed with orange juice (forgot what it's called) and wine. We had some but not a whole lot. Thing is, I don't remember A THING after that. I know that it takes a lot more than that for me to actually black out, but I blamed it on the cocaine although I don't know much about the drug. I barely even remember waking up the next morning, but it wasn't that "I drank so much last night that I still feel drunk" feeling.

I remember being in his room (not sure if that's where I ended up sleeping) and him telling me that I threw up in his bed. I didn't believe him at first because I've never thrown up-I have an iron stomach, but it was in my hair. My mind was very fuzzy so much that I don't even remember him driving me home. I felt so sick beyond any hangover I've ever felt, and I just fell asleep for hours when I got home. My friends came to my place and said they'd never seen me worse. My bra was undone and my underwear was in my pocket, something I hadn't noticed before. I had no appetite, everything either made me nauseous or actually vomit and when I did want food it was very specific. I remember feeling very dizzy and confused, and even music sounded different. All I did was sleep and throw up for the next few days (I couldn't even go to work). I remember asking on my way home what happened after we drank the rum and wine, and he said he didn't remember either. Thing about that is, it's a bit strange that we would both black out at the exact same time, considering we had unequal amounts of everything. Also, how did we make it home in one piece if he was driving unconsciously? He completely stopped talking to me that day after he dropped me off, wouldn't answer when I just said hey a few days after and now won't answer any of my questions. Just seems weird.

On the other hand, why would any of them give me roofies anyway, if I had already slept with the guy I was seeing the last time I saw him (meaning he wouldn't need to drug me) and I don't know why his friend would either. I know from what I read that the day after effects of roofies is strikingly similar to what I felt, but before I jump to any conclusions, I want to be sure that it wasn't cocaethylene poisoning. Any input would be great.
posted by xxxsweetambitionxxx to Society & Culture (27 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
On the other hand, why would any of them give me roofies anyway, if I had already slept with the guy I was seeing the last time I saw him

So they could all have sex with you. It's weird that the guy you were hanging out with just suddenly stopped talking to you after the incident. And sounds like he was lying about what the effects of the alcohol had on him. I'd recommend you getting an STD test and maybe a pregnancy test also.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:14 PM on July 30, 2012 [7 favorites]

Oh I also wanted to add that roofies are not the only rape drug. GHB has similar after effects that you describe.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:21 PM on July 30, 2012

If you've lost consciousness for reasons you can't explain, or lose consciousness in a public setting and wake up later feeling like crap, it's better to be safe than sorry. I understand Planned Parenthood is happy to give you whatever tests you need without asking a ton of questions or getting anyone else involved, if you're worried about anything like that.

At this point, BTW, you can't know for sure what it was or wasn't. This was two weeks ago - Rohypnol has a half life of 26 hours and cocaine a half life of 1 hour - I don't think either one would show up on a test today, and obviously if you're a regular drug user that kind of testing would be the definition of useless for your purposes.

(Next time you have a freaky event like this, get tested right away, please.)
posted by SMPA at 10:24 PM on July 30, 2012 [4 favorites]

Agreeing with Mary - you mention why the hookup wouldn't need drugs for sex, but you don't say why the friend wouldn't. Because he's your hookups friend? Not really a reason for him to not want to sleep with you.

nthing getting tested for STDs and pregnancy. You may also be able to get tested for rohypnol, but it doesn't linger for more than a few days.
posted by Lt. Bunny Wigglesworth at 10:24 PM on July 30, 2012

(shoot, didn't see this was two weeks ago. yeah, a rohypnol test would be useless)
posted by Lt. Bunny Wigglesworth at 10:26 PM on July 30, 2012

From a member who would like to remain anonymous:
In my younger days, I commonly mixed cocaine and alcohol yet never experienced any of the symptoms you had the morning after.
posted by taz at 10:28 PM on July 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

Well, came on here to say that alcohol and cocaine will indeed make you stupid, but it won't make you black out. But - here's the thing, you probably drank WAY more than you were used to. Also, coke will completely mess with your stomach, as in total acidosis and dry heaves if you overindulge - and you mixed a ton of different types of booze together. I'm going to go with Occam's Razor and say this is the penalty for your party and not anything nefarious. (It was the booze, coke's not that mysterious - it just makes you not pay attention to how drunk you are getting.) Take a lesson here (not preaching, because I have no leg to stand on) and just take it as a one time lesson and sin no more.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 10:34 PM on July 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I am so sorry this happened to you. Given the state of your clothing the next day and the extended symptoms it sounds unlikely this was just an issue with cocaine and/or alcohol. You are right to be skeptical of your hookup's claim about blacking out at the same time followed by not talking to you. It might have been your hookup's friend who wanted the drugs--it might have also been a fetish of your hookup to assault an unconscious woman (this is an actual thing).

I echo those who suggest getting a pregnancy and STD test. In the future when you find yourself in that kind of situation it is a good idea to go to a doctor as soon as possible and get examined, not just chemically but physically for signs of assault or unwanted entry.

I'm going to go with Occam's Razor and say this is the penalty for your party and not anything nefarious.

Jesus Christ. From her description it sounds like the penalty was far greater than anything anyone should pay, no matter how much "party" they did.
posted by Anonymous at 10:47 PM on July 30, 2012

I'd recommend you getting an STD test and maybe a pregnancy test also.

Seconded. Whether cocaine, alcohol, or other drugs, it seems like you describe having lost consciousness, waking up with clothing missing or misplaced. The cause seems less important than getting checked out by a doctor you trust.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:51 PM on July 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

Sorry to be overly cryptic to a point that probably isn't helpful, but I have reason to know that what you describe is not out of the realm of possibility for coke and alcohol. Especially if you drank far more than usual in addition to/because of the coke.

Nthing everyone on getting tested for everything under the sun, and probably watching your menstrual cycle for the next couple months (since it's now way too late for the morning after pill).

Even without deliberately drugging you, it's possible that some bad shenanigans were gotten up to by your hookup friend and/or his friends. There are a lot of dudes out there who think it's perfectly OK to have sex with someone who is passed out, and a lot of people in general who think it's funny to do weird/mean/upsetting things to same.

There's also the possiblity that he's not talking to you anymore because you did or said something weird while wasted on substances you consumed willingly -- I wouldn't be likely to continue to see someone who threw up in my bed because they couldn't hold their liquor/drugs/whatever.
posted by Sara C. at 10:55 PM on July 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

Could someone add for the purposes of education where they go to "get a Rohypnol test"? I really hope the answer is not the emergency department.

I have no direct experience to reference, but my understanding is that cocaethylene is a stimulant like cocaine is, and so should not cause you to pass out or be somnolent for a prolonged period of time. Rohypnol/flunitrazepam is a sedative, like alcohol is, and can also give you hangover-like symptoms afterwards.

"Cocaine washout syndrome" is a sort of cocaine withdrawal that can make you somnolent or near-comatose after cocaine use, but it occurs in people who are chronic, hardcore cocaine users and that doesn't sound like you.

In summary I would be suspicious that you were given a sedative like Rohypnol. I am sorry you had this experience.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 11:13 PM on July 30, 2012

No one else seems to have mentioned that Rohypnol/flunitrazepam hasn't been made in many years. There are some other benzodiazepines that are tasteless and colorless, but I've never heard of them being used to drug people (and really the Rohypnol thing was overblown - I just remember it as a pill people took to get high, like Xanax now). Also cocaethelyne is probably a myth (if coke and alcohol could poison you the ERs would be full of poisoning cases every night). Did you drink anything that tasted really salty? Usually these days dirtbags employ GHB, which tastes extremely salty. This happened to an ex-girlfriend of mine, they told her it was pickle juice (for a vodka/pickle shot).
posted by DecemberBoy at 11:25 PM on July 30, 2012

From googling rohypnol hair test, it appears that hair follicle tests for benzodiazepines are available. The one I saw wasn't cheap ($350), but perhaps if prescribed by a doctor it may be covered by your health insurance, if applicable. If you use any other benzodiazepine drugs recreationally, I suspect that may make it impossible to determine if you were unknowingly dosed.

But that is a lot of speculation. Seek medical advice. Even if you don't have health insurance, you should find out what has happened to you to the best of your ability.
posted by samofidelis at 11:33 PM on July 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

That sounds like a lot of alcohol. I would black out from that much, I am sure. But different people have different tolerances.

From WikiPedia, see links to studies from the linked page. A study in the UK found that only 2 percent of a pool of 1,014 rape victims had their drinks spiked with sedatives. Another UK study of 75 patients, most of them women, who thought their drinks had been tampered with in pubs or clubs found that none had been given a surreptitious drug. Similarly, a 2009 Australian study concluded that, of 97 patients admitted to hospital claiming to have had their drinks spiked, none had in fact been drugged.

If you'd never done coke before, that seems like it could easily have made things worse.

Perhaps the guy isn't talking to you because you threw up in his bed and he's a jerk.

Despite all of that, I'd still get a pregnancy test and an STD test and maybe not hang out with those people for a while.
posted by MonsieurBon at 11:58 PM on July 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

For education's sake - there are private labs that will do urine tests for date rape drugs. (Usually they make their bread-and-butter with workplace drug screening.)

And, DecemberBoy, flunitrazepam is still available by prescription here in Australia, where it is covered under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. So I bet you can get it from Mexico and points south.
posted by gingerest at 11:58 PM on July 30, 2012

Not wanting to get involved in the was I drugged? Or did I just have a big night out discussion but further to MonsieurBon's study reference above and from my personal experience working in and ED in Australia where there was an ongoing research study into intoxication and drug use where everyone who came to the ED under the influence of drugs/alcohol was tested.

Of the victims who alleged they had their drinks spiked, 65% were found to only have had alcohol in their system followed by 24% with amphetamines, 9% with benzodiazapines, 8% THC and 4.5% GHB.

Designer Drug Early Warning System (D2EWS)
posted by mule at 3:13 AM on July 31, 2012 [6 favorites]

In some way*, it doesn't matter if you were slipped a drug in addition/substitution to the cocaine and alcohol. You blacked out, awoke unclothed and having vomited, and the guy isn't talking with you. You have enough information right there -- without the roofies issue -- to know that you need to see a doctor for an STD and pregnancy test.

That he's not talking with you, out of guilt, or because you vomited, or because he's lost interest, or whatever, is probably doing you a favor. Cultivate a classier group of friends.

* (It is important, at a minimum because you want to know what happened to your own body. But if it's too late for a test and nobody will tell you, then you are unlikely to ever have a definitive answer about what happened that night. Don't let this side-track you from doing what you can do right now to make sure you are healthy and without an unwanted pregnancy.)
posted by Houstonian at 3:31 AM on July 31, 2012 [9 favorites]

I'm sorry. It's too late for a urine/blood test for GHB etc. it's definitely possible to blackout on that amount of alcohol, especially if you didn't keep track of the rum (probably not, IMO, after 7 beers). Add that to an empty stomach and/or quick compensation and what you've described could absolutely incapacitate your average sized woman.

What happened when you were blacked out was not your fault. Forgive yourself for putting yourself in a vulnerable position. Nthing testing and also therapy. Drop these guys.
posted by murfed13 at 4:56 AM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

The cocaine and alcohol combination, in itself, doesn't make you black out etc. But it certainly could lead to you drinking a lot more than you normally do or than you can handle, and it sounds like that may have happened here. I don't know, of course, but I suspect you drank a lot more rum and wine than you realize.

So basically, yeah, you could have been drugged, but it also could have been the alcohol. You drank a lot of booze in a short amount of time while taking a stimulant that allowed you to drink more than you normally can without immediately experiencing the effects that would make you slow down.

Like everyone else said, take the practical steps that are the same regardless of which drug made you black out.
posted by J. Wilson at 5:59 AM on July 31, 2012

One thing that stimulants do (for me anyway) is make me a little more in the moment. Meaning you drink a lot more than you think, and have a bit of a memory hole because of it.

I have certainly been that sick from just alcohol. Exactly as you describe. It was also coincidentally during the summer when I was slightly dehydrated to begin with.

Anyway, that's not proof of anything. You probably should get tested just for peace of mind.

And don't hang out with people like that. I won't lecture on cocaine use, but it is my experience that hanging around with people who know how to get cocaine is bad news.
posted by gjc at 6:11 AM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

So basically, yeah, you could have been drugged, but it also could have been the alcohol. You drank a lot of booze in a short amount of time while taking a stimulant that allowed you to drink more than you normally can without immediately experiencing the effects that would make you slow down.

This is what I was going to write. In either case, I think it is clear that a) your "friends" are people who didn't see anything wrong with letting you drink to the point of blacking out and probably had sex with you while you were blacked out; or b) your "friends" are people who would slip you a sedative and have sex with you while you were drugged. So step one here is reconsidering your choice of friends.

Step two, as mentioned above, is that since there was almost certainly sexual contact, and you have no way to know if it was protected and who it was with, you should make an appointment with Planned Parenthood or your regular doctor to talk about what STD testing makes sense in your situation. Chances are that everything is fine, but part of being an adult and loving yourself is to take care of these things, even though it's no fun.
posted by Forktine at 6:21 AM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

Unlikeliest possibility: you were roofied. Second-unlikeliest possibility: you were slipped a benzo (benzos and alcohol are a bad, baaaad combo and can cause blackouts). Likeliest possibility: you're one of those people who happens to black out when they drink too much. Regardless of what ACTUALLY happened (which you may never know), you need to be aware that it's a distinct possibility that you're prone to alcohol-induced blackouts. I have several friends who are, and their stories are scarily similar... there's no telling HOW many drinks will cause a blackout, and there's no telling WHAT kind of insane stuff they get up to WHILE blacked out.

While I'm n-thing everyone else who's said "get thee to a Planned Parenthood, NOW", I'd also like to add that you should be very, VERY cautious about the people with whom you drink in the future. If you ARE prone to blackouts, you're gonna want to do your drinking in safer circumstances than the one you mentioned.
posted by julthumbscrew at 7:25 AM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Also, not to the point about blacking out (agree with that could just be the drinking/your chemistry), but the description of the day after sounds more like meth than coke, which could easily have been mistaken/switched for each other in the moment (can't think of a reason why they'd do that, necessarily, except if you'd be more likely to try one than the other).
posted by Pax at 7:44 AM on July 31, 2012

I was slipped a benzo last year, which is more common than roofies I think. I drank two drinks that night, passed out, had to go to the er because I was in respiratory distress apparently. I remember nothing until I woke up hours later in the hospital. But I will say, I was not sick the next day at all. I was not drunk enough to be hungover and once the blackout was over, I was tired but not sick like you describe. So maybe not a benzo situation, just a drug and alcohol combo thing for you. I'm sure I dont need to tell you that if it occurred to you that the people you were with may have drugged you, thats a valuable clue from your psyche that you ought to stay away from them.
posted by supercapitalist at 8:42 AM on July 31, 2012

GHB can be detected in hair
posted by yohko at 9:18 AM on July 31, 2012

Severe alcohol poisoning can make you sick for a few days. The devils dandruff had nothing to do with it, and it generally ends up negating the booze and you stay awake and alert longer, not shorter.. Not to say something else could not be at work here but all one can really do is survey the damage... preg test and std test just to be sure.
posted by couchdive at 10:09 AM on July 31, 2012

This sounds like you drank too much and blacked out. The rum drinks were probably pretty strong, it's very easy to knock back a mixed drink after several beers like that and if it's stronger than you expected that will put you into technicolor yawn territory. I strongly doubt anyone drugged you. It's a little weird your guy stopped talking to you but not out of the question since it was pretty casual.
posted by spatula at 11:37 AM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

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