CSU is teaming up with Larimer County in a Predatory Drug Awareness Campaign to send a message to students the week before spring break.
The Drug Enforcement Agency reports that drug-facilitated sexual assaults are on the rise nationally.
CSU’s Department of Art and Center for Drug and Alcohol Education responded by having graphic art students design posters on the topic of date-rape drugs. Larimer County decided to utilize some of the posters in the Predatory Drug Campaign.
“Use of predatory drugs is on the rise nationally. We’d rather be proactive than reactive,” said Pam McCracken, director of CSU’s Center for Drug and Alcohol Education.
Professors’ Phil Risbeck and John Gravdahl assigned the poster project for an advanced graphic art class last semester. The posters were hung in the Lory Student Center Art Lounge in December and students voted to determine the winners.
Robert Black, Jason Barfknecht and Katie Getzelman, the student winners, will have their posters exhibited all week long in Larimer County schools, Old Town and Campus West restaurants and bars.
“Protect your drink. Protect yourself. Protect your friends.”
This slogan displayed on the winning CSU posters is a simple message that students can take on spring break, McCracken said.
The Predatory Drug Awareness Campaign is targeting students the week before spring break because some may choose to travel to unfamiliar places where their inhibitions may be let down and they may not be clear on where to go for help in the case of a drug related assault.
“Everybody knows college kids are going to party. The more information they have on how to do it safely the better off they are,” said Nate King, civil engineer major and a resident assistant in Allison Hall.
GHB, Ketamine and Rohypnol are the target drugs of the campaign because they are most often used in drug-related rape.
GHB is clear and odorless when dissolved in drinks, it metabolizes quickly in the body and causes memory impairment.
Victims of predatory drugs are told to seek the immediate help from a friend and go to the emergency room or contact their local police right away upon suspecting drug effects, which may include sudden intoxication, dizziness or sleepiness.
GHB is in and out of one’s system in a relatively short period of about twelve hours. Poudre Valley Hospital does not test for predatory drugs unless requested and the testing can be relatively expensive, McCracken said.
“Men talk about being victims of this sort of thing, too,” she said. “It is not only women who are victims.”
The campaign will come to the Lory Student Center Plaza on Tuesday from 11:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m. Volunteers will hand out more information and raise awareness.
A Predatory Drugs Town Hall Meeting will be held in the Durrell Center Red Carpet Room on Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. The meeting is open to all Larimer County residents and is meant to inform the community about the dangers of predatory drugs in a local context and how to take action if you become a victim of a drug facilitated sexual assault.
“We want people to be aware that this kind of thing is happening out there and that they need to look out for each other – even in places we consider safe.” McCracken said.