Reno Police Stress Drink Safety To Downtown Revelers - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Reno Police Stress Drink Safety To Downtown Revelers

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Hundreds are expected to flood the streets of downtown Reno this Saturday for the 5th Annual Vampire Crawl.

It's a fun environment for people looking to have a good time, but police want crawl-goers to be aware of some of the dangers.

Date rape drugs are powerful and relatively easy to get a hold of, and at large events, it's not hard for someone to slip one into an open drink.

"It's a powerful tool in the hands of people who are intent on committing harm to someone," says Lt. Mohammad Rafaqat with the Reno Police Department.

The drug's effects start almost immediately. Within a few minutes, the victim will feel dizzy, drowsy and could lose consciousness. The drugs are powerful enough that someone can be physically helpless and unable to refuse sex or remember what happened.

"We can't identify what the date rape is a lot of times because it leaves the system so quickly," says Brie Bertges, a victim advocate with RPD.

Bertges says many of these rapes are not reported because victims often feel shame or blame themselves.

"People are so quick to say, 'I did something wrong,' instead of recognizing that somebody else might have done something that they should not have done," she says.

The Corkscroo bar is right next to the University of Nevada campus. On the weekends, it's filled with students.

The manager says they haven't had any problems with date rape drugs in the past, but he still urges women to be responsible.

"We tell them, 'if you're worried about it, buy an unopened bottle from us, open it yourself,'" says Levi Guthrie. "Do not leave your drink laying around. Doesn't matter if you're with your friends, anybody."

Police say the best way to avoid becoming the next victim, is being aware of your surroundings.

"There's safety in numbers," says Lt. Rafaqat. "If you are going to go outside and enjoy yourselves, go out as a group. Look after one another."

There are some other simple ways to avoid being a victim. Never leave your drink unattended, and don't take drinks from anyone you don't know. Police say if you arrive as a group, be sure to leave as a group.

If you do suspect you or someone you know has been drugged, police say immediately call 911 or go to the emergency room for treatment.

Written by Adam Rasmussen

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