Community Crime Bulletin — Urging Caution After Alleged “Drugging” incidents

To: UCSC Community

From: Nader Oweis, UCSC Chief of Police

The UC Santa Cruz and City of Santa Cruz Police Departments are investigating a number of reports from female students that their drinks at recent parties may have been “spiked” with unknown drugs. 

These “drugging” incidents are extremely serious:

•  In at least one of the incidents, the victim reported that she had been sexually assaulted.

•  Drugging victims can experience unusual levels of intoxication, become sick, and in some cases, even lose consciousness.

If You Think You May Have Been Drugged

•  Seek immediate medical attention.
—  Call 911 or ask a friend to transport you to the nearest facility offering medical care.
—  There is no predictable way that a person will react to a drug or to know the dose that was given. In some instances these drugs can be fatal.

•  Report the incident to law enforcement.  They are available to help you.  
—  The UC Santa Cruz Police Department can be reached at 911 or 831-459-2231.
—  The City of Santa Cruz Police Department can be reached at 911 or 831-420-5800.
—  Whenever possible, attempt to contain any evidence for later analysis by police.

•  Get support. Being victimized in this way can be a difficult experience and there is confidential support available through the following resources:
—  Counseling and Psychological Services: 831-459-2628;
—  Caitlin Stinneford, Violence Prevention Educator: 831-459-2721; 
—  Stephanie Milton, Women's Center Director: 831-459-2072;

What To Do If You Think Someone Else Has Been Drugged

•  Be an active bystander. If you see someone who appears unable to care for themself, please step in and help.

•  Seek immediate medical attention. Call 911 or transport the victim to the nearest facility offering medical care.

•  Speak up if you know about a specific incident. The police and other staff on campus are here to support you.

Safety Tips

•  Designate a sober driver.

•  Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Eat foods high in protein and fat, such as cheese or nuts.

•  Set a drink limit and stick to it. Know when you’ve had enough.

•  Be aware that drugs can be placed in any kind of drink and that many drugs are colorless, odorless and flavorless.

•  Never leave your drink unattended. If you have to go to the bathroom, either finish your drink or throw it away.

•  Beverages that come in sealed containers (unopened cans or bottles) are much safer than mixed drinks.

•  If you order a mixed drink, watch the person who mixes it.

•  Do not take any open beverages, including alcohol, from someone you do not know well and trust.

•  Never drink anything out of a common punch bowl. Avoid beer bongs, chugging, and drinking games.

•  If someone offers to buy you a drink, go up to the bar with them to accept the drink.

•  Subscribe to the "buddy system." Always party with one or more friends, and keep an eye on each other.

•  If someone begins to appear "too drunk," get them to a safe place. Always leave together.