DEAR ABBY: I'm 17 and recently made a very bad decision. I'm sure you and your readers have heard of "ruffies," the "date-rape drug." This drug has a very dangerous potential. I was at a party last weekend and decided to try one.
All the stories you've heard about not remembering anything are completely true. You have absolutely NO control over what you do, or what's done TO you. I was very lucky, because I was with someone I can trust -- my boyfriend, who loves me and would never hurt or take advantage of me. Unfortunately, not every guy is like that.
My memory of that night is totally blank. I could have been everyone's toy for the night and not have known it. Luckily, I wasn't, and I learned from my mistake. Please, girls out there, learn from my experience. Don't let it happen to you. -- ANONYMOUS IN FLORIDA
DEAR ANONYMOUS: If your mind is totally blank, how do you KNOW nothing happened? If there's the slightest doubt, see a doctor to be sure you are OK.
According to the Rape Treatment Center, Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, Calif., the following is what young women can do to protect themselves from drugs like Rohypnol ("ruffies") or GHB:
-- Don't drink beverages that you did not open yourself.
-- Don't exchange or share drinks with anyone.
-- Don't take a drink from a punch bowl.
-- Don't drink from a container that's being passed around.
-- If someone offers you a drink from the bar at a club or a party, accompany the person to the bar to order the drink, and watch the drink being poured. Carry the drink yourself.
-- Don't leave your drink unattended, especially when talking, dancing, using the rest room or making a phone call.
-- Don't drink anything that has an unusual taste or appearance, like a "salty" taste or unexplained residue.
-- If you realize that your drink has been left unattended, discard it.
-- Don't mix drugs and alcohol. When drugs are mixed with alcohol, the results can be lethal.