Issue 6, August 2001

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Dear [[Name]],

Welcome to the August issue of the Back off newsletter and, as always, welcome to our new subscribers, which number around 1000 since our last issue. I trust that you are enjoying the information we put together each month and that the newsletter continues to provide you with ongoing knowledge and motivation. A big thanks to all of you who have sent feedback, quotes and letters through to us. This feedback is great and enables us to gauge how the newsletter is being received so please keep the correspondence flowing in.

This months feature article looks into the disturbing area of what have been 'fashionably' labeled as 'date rape drugs'. Over the last few years I have been asked about these drugs on a regular basis, together with speaking with young women who have fallen victim to them. I hope that this article is of interest to you and provides you with some additional information with regard to these drugs and how to steer clear of them.

If you are wandering past a newsagents any time this month you may wish to pop in and run your eye over an article in this months Cosmopolitan magazine on stranger rapists. I was asked to help put the story together and will probably be working on a few other articles with them down the track so let me know what you think.

As we are now smack bang in the middle of the eighth month of the year I hope that 2001 has been a good one for you and that the second half of the year treats you well. OK folks I'll sign off and leave you to peruse the info we have put together for you, keep the emails coming in, keep smiling and be happy.

Thanks for your support.
Take care, your friend


QUOTE OF THE MONTH
'A voyage of discovery does not have to begin with new lands, but rather seeing with new eyes.'
- M.K (Thanks Marianne)


DATE RAPE DRUGS

The sedative 'rohypnol' is often trendily referred to as the 'date rape drug'. Although, in my experience, it is not overly common to hear of any actual incidents involving the drug there is no doubting the 'reputation' it has amongst those who have heard of it. Having said this, due to the nature of rohypnol, you could argue that those who have been affected by it might well have no memory of the incident.

Rohypnol and another brand, Hypnodorm both contain flunitrazepam and are prescription drugs that are used as sedatives. The most common medical application of flunitrazepam is in the treatment of insomnia where it is used to induce sleep. As with any drug of this nature, when in the wrong hands, it can be used maliciously. Added to its sedative qualities, although relatively insoluble in water, it is readily soluble in alcohol at which point it becomes colourless, odourless and tasteless. The obvious problem here is that in a party/night-club environment it can easily be administered to an individual without their knowledge.

Since November 1999 Rohypnol tablets have been coloured blue, making clear liquid turn blue and coloured liquid turn murky, improving delectability.

The direct effect of imbibing a sedative in alcohol can be many and varied depending on a number of factors such as; The amount of drug taken, (just one 2mg tablet can induce deep sedation), the amount of alcohol that has been consumed, the amount of time the drug is in the body, together with the metabolism of the individual concerned. Having said this, the most common reaction to the drug, and of course the very reason that it is administered under such circumstances, is the onset of deep sedation and with it total inability to resist any unwanted sexual activity. Another common side-effect is temporary amnesia or memory impairment which of course prevents the victim from having any recollection as to what happened to them whilst under the influence of the drug.

So there you have it - an extremely powerful sedative that is soluble in alcohol and becomes totally undetectable which causes deep sedation and memory loss. Any wonder they call it the 'date rape drug'!

The most commonly asked question with regard to rohypnol and its ilk is - 'How do you know if it has been put in your drink if you can't taste it, see it or smell it?' - The short answer to this question is - you don't know. You will, however, become aware of it once it is in your system.

A doctor, who obviously has far more knowledge on the subject than myself, has provided the following list of things to look out for.

Effects of flunitrazepam

Having consumed alcohol be aware of:

* Onset of a feeling of tiredness/sleepiness.
* Dizziness, disorientation, confusion, unstable on your feet, agitation, or change in state of mind.
* Any unfamiliar/rapid reaction you would not usually associate with drinking alcohol.
* These reactions can occur within ½ an hour - 2 hours after taking the drug.

This depends on the amount of alcohol you have consumed - the greater the amount, the greater the effect of the drug. Also, although some of the symptoms are similar to those of being drunk, the symptoms associated with flunitrazepam are of a rapid onset half an hour to two hours after ingestion. So when the drug takes effect most people are aware of a rapid change in their mental and physical state as opposed to the more gradual effects of alcohol.
The obvious danger of a drug of this nature is that you are totally unaware that you have taken it until it takes effect. This highlights the need to be cautious when in and around social environments where such a drug may be present. Be wary of accepting drinks from people you don't know and avoid leaving your drink unattended.
Although it may be difficult to ultimately protect yourself against this type of situation a little bit of awareness and commonsense can go a long way.
If you can't get to medical assistance under your own steam, get to somewhere where there are people, preferably those you know and can trust. Tell them what may have happened and ask for medical attention.


That about sums up my knowledge on the 'date rape drug'. Thankfully, as I mentioned earlier, this is not a particularly common occurrence, but forewarned is forearmed.

The bottom line is if you suspect that you have fallen victim to this type of situation, if possible, get to somewhere where there are people, preferably those who you know and can trust. Tell them what has happened and ask to get some form of medical attention.

As always please feel free to email any questions or additional information on this subject via the link in the Q & A section of the newsletter.


FACT Vs FIB. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
FIB - Men rape because they are sexually frustrated and want to satisfy a sexual urge.
FACT - Rapist commit rape to satisfy their desire to feel powerful and to compensate for a perception on inadequacy, not because they are sexually frustrated. Rapists select their victims based on a belief that they are vulnerable, not because they are sexually attracted to them.


Q & A FROM YOU THE CREW

Q. I've heard that there is a veterinary drug that is used in 'date rape' situations that causes the victim to become sterile, is this true?

A. I too had heard a bit about this drug that was supposedly used by vets to sterilize horses so I did some research to find out a little more. All of my inquiries came back with the same result - there is no such drug in circulation, it appears to be nothing more than a rumour started via email that has done the rounds.

Q. Don't you think it would be a bit of an over-reaction to call an ambulance to a party just because your friend seemed a little affected by drugs or alcohol? What if she was just drunk?

A. What if she wasn't? What if the symptoms that you assumed to be caused by alcohol were actually caused be an over-dose of a particular drug? Are you sure that you can identify the difference between somebody who is drunk and somebody who has been drugged? Drugs such as strong sedatives could send your friend into a coma, I don't believe going to a hospital or calling an ambulance is in anyway an 'over-reaction'. How would you feel if you chose to do nothing - but you got it wrong?

Q. What is the main difference between the effects of alcohol and those of 'date rape' drugs?

A. Although the symptoms are similar the fundamental difference is that once these drugs get into your system the effects come on immediately as opposed to the effects of alcohol, which are far more gradual.


KEEP IT UNDER YOUR HAT
Although there is a popular misconception that offenders such as serial rapists must be 'mad' or 'mentally deranged' in reality this is not the case. A recent study reported that less than 1% of sex offenders who claimed to be mentally insane were in fact found to be insane when examined by psychiatrists. It would appear that this claim is more often a last ditch attempt to prevent being sent to prison as opposed to a genuine medical condition.


JUST A THOUGHT

Without doubt one of the essential keys to achieving success in life is your ability to be persistent. When faced with adversity - press-on, and when all seems lost - don't give up. The following extract is simply entitled - 'Don't Quit':

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit,
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a person turns about,
When they might have won had they stuck it out.

Don't give up though the pace seems slow-
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup;

And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out -
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,

It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.


DISCO DAN THE LADIES MAN
A couple of timely tips from old Dan to bear in mind when your out and about:

"As mentioned in this months feature article, always be a little careful at those parties and night clubs when it comes to accepting drinks from guys your not too sure about, and leaving your own drink unattended. Date rape drugs are nasty things and a bit of awareness can go a long way."

"Remember - guys don't need much encouragement to believe 'their in' when it comes to girls. There's nothing wrong with being friendly, just be aware of how the guy is reading the situation."

"The most common thing said in hindsight by young women who have been through a date rape situation is - 'He seemed like such a nice guy, it wasn't until we were on our own that I realised I had made a big mistake.'"


FROM YOU THE CREW

Over the past few months I have been getting a lot of inquiries and feedback about my book, 'How dangerous men think'. I mention at the end of my seminars that if you have gained valuable information from the course you may well wish to expand and reinforce this knowledge by reading through the book and having it on hand as an ongoing reference. With this in mind I thought you may be interested in reading some of the letters I have received from those who have read it:

Dear Brent,

I just had to send you an email to say thank you for your excellent book 'How dangerous men think', I bought it this morning and have just finished reading it - five hours later!
Congratulations on a very readable, informative book that doesn't speak down to its reader and explains why some men behave the way they do.
Your 'dog on the couch' story had me laughing out loud in recognition but it also explained so much so effectively.
I appreciated your honesty and liked your down to earth style.
For me at least you have achieved your goal of empowering and educating the individual so that if I am presented with a dangerous man I now feel that I have the knowledge to assess the situation and not just freeze with fear.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

J.B

Dear Brent,

I love to read, I read lots of different types of books, usually alternating between fantasy and biographies. There used to be only three books that I could say honestly changed my life - now there are four.

I read your book last night in two hours flat! Thank you for doing something that will truly make a difference to the world. I'm going to tell all my friends to buy a copy.

Regards,
K.T

Dear Brent,

I have to write and say that I was completely blown away by your book. After reading your interview in the paper I immediately went out and bought it, read it from cover to cover and thought it was brilliant.
Thank you for finally writing something worth reading about this crime. I have never read a better researched book that actually says - "Hey! You do have an option. Wake up and see what you can do."
I've already told all my girlfriends about this book and as an editor of our company's magazine, am writing a review on it as we speak.

Kind regards,

G.T


PEARLY ONES FROM THOSE WHO'D KNOW
"Don't forget that the quality of your life will be determined by the quality of the people in your life."

"Never ask a barber if you need a haircut."

"Our thoughts determine our responses to life. We are not victims to the world. To the extent that we control our thoughts, we control the world."


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