Local News

'Rape Pill' a Danger to N.C. Women

Posted July 30, 1996

— July 31, 1996 - 4:05 p.m. EDT

North Carolina women are being warned that widespread use of the drug Rohypnol, also known as 'roofies', has been reported in New Hanover County.

It's called the 'date-rape drug' because it is used by some to cause women to lose consciousness and control.

College students and other young women, according to police, are at particular risk.

Student Jennifer Gautreau (below, left) says she is very much aware of the drug's presence in Wilmington.

Police say the drug has made its way from Mexico up the east coast, and that it is cheap and easy to come by.

Detective Russ Fales (below, right) of the New Hanover County Sheriff's Department says the drug is dangerous.

Wilmington's rape crisis center has been hearing about the drug for months. Bea Schomp, (below, left) director of the center, says women are finding that it's difficult to remember what happened to them when the drug is slipped to them.

Fales says the key is for women to be alert and aware.

Kristy Wooten (below, right) is also a college student in Wilmington. She says even armed with precautions, she doesn't feel safe.

Police say they have reason to believe Rohypnol will make its way to the Triangle soon.

The drug is available legally in 64 countries for the treatment of sleep disorders. It is not legal in the U.S.

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