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Protecting yourself against date rape drugs

Chico, Calif.-- A Facebook post by a Chico bar is getting a lot of attention after it warns the public that a date rape drug is reportedly circulating around the city. The post was made by Joe's Bar and said they wanted to make a public announcement on a rumor they're taking very seriously regarding the date rape drug GHB.

Posted: Feb 22, 2018 5:11 PM

Chico, Calif.-- A Facebook post by a Chico bar is getting a lot of attention after it warns the public that a date rape drug is reportedly circulating around the city.

The post was made by Joe's Bar and said they wanted to make a public announcement on a rumor they're taking very seriously regarding the date rape drug GHB.

It read in part, “it unfortunately has made its way back into Chico and Enloe hospital has reported over 10 cases in the past two months. As far as we know, there have not been incidents here at Joe's but we want everyone to be aware and alert."

Emilee Hunt is a counselor at the Chico Rape Crisis intervention center and said she's thankful the post by Joe's Bar is bringing attention to the issue.

"A lot of times say we see a bar that this post this happened here, they're going to be known as the place that's like 'oh don't go there this happens there' but it's really present everywhere and it's just a place that's talking about it," she said.

The Facebook post makes it clear that they don't know of any confirmed cases at their location.

"For us it's an issue that's never gone away. It's something that we've seen time and time again so while it's talking about this new surge of this happening in Chico, it's really not anything new or something that's disappeared from the community," said Hunt.

In a statement, Enloe Medical Center told Action News Now, “we cannot confirm the numbers that were posted, and it is rare to test for GHB in the emergency department. However the test is done for cases of sexual assault, or suspected cases, as part of a routine forensic medical exam. In those instances, the samples are considered forensic evidence and are sent to law enforcement, which decides whether they should be sent to a lab for testing.”

Hunt said it's important you know the effects of a date rape drug.

"Loss of motor function, loss of control of your body, dizziness, sickness, loss of memory. You might not even be able to say you're looking for safety and want to reach out to a friend or get to a hospital or get to a safe location, you may not be able to dial numbers on your phone, remember your name," she said.

Hunt said you should still go out and have a good time, but there are steps you can take to stay safe.

"Travel in packs, don't leave your drinks, don't share drinks, don't take a drink from a stranger, and I think it's really important to stress that above 80% of sexual assaults occur with somebody you know, so even that stranger danger mentality that a stranger may slip something your drink may not be entirely true," she said.

If you need to talk to the Rape Crisis Intervention center, you can call them at 530-342-7273.

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