Kootenay college makes date rape drug-testing kits available in campus bookstores
Selkirk College is selling the kits in an effort to address sexual violence
Students at a college in the Kootenays can buy textbooks, school supplies and now date rape drug-testing kits at on-campus bookstores.
Selkirk College is selling the kits as part of the school's effort to address sexual violence.
"The idea came from a student who came to me early in the semester and suggested that might perhaps be something that would be useful for other students," said Leslie Comrie, the healthy campus advisor.
"I thought it would be a very helpful thing to add into the other initiatives that we offer."
Widespread stories of spiking
The Check Your Drink kits come with five test strips that give an immediate result when dipped into a drink.
It tests for the anesthetic ketamine, as well as GHB, which acts as a muscle relaxant and causes short-term amnesia when paired with alcohol.
Comrie doesn't have numbers on the prevalence of drink spiking in the Kootenays but said anecdotally that it's on students' radar.
"Probably every second young woman that I speak to has either had an experience or knows somebody who has had an experience of having their drink spiked," she told Chris Walker, the host of CBC's Daybreak South.
Women are more often the target of date rape drugs, Comrie said, but she's also heard experiences of men's drinks being spiked.
The kits are currently for sale at the Castlegar campus bookstore and are being brought to Selkirk's other campuses in Nelson.
Comrie emphasized that the kits are a tool to be used alongside other safe practices like not leaving drinks unattended and going out with a group of friends who watch out for each other.
"[The kits] are not a bulletproof vest. They're something to add to your, hopefully, already existing arsenal of ways in which you watch out for yourself when you go to bars and nightclubs," she said.
With files from Daybreak South