Prescription sleep aid Ambien is newest date rape drug

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — It’s no secret that men and women across the country experience trouble getting enough sleep. Many of them are using various types of sleep aids, such as Ambien.

“Ambien has actually show to be more potent than they thought,” said one Cahaba Heights pharmacist Jim Parekh.

As such, sexual predators are now using Ambien cocktails to know out victims in bars and clubs.

Parekh says Ambien alone can cause memory loss and hallucinations.

When it’s combined with alcohol and potentially other drugs, it could be catastrophic.

Former New Orleans Saints defensive back Darren Sharper has been in the news recently. He’s accused of lacing women’s alcoholic drinks with Ambien and morphine and then raping them.

According to retired narcotics officer Trinka Porrata, who now runs a non-profit to raise awareness about such crimes, Ambien is not out of a criminal’s reach, despite being a prescription drug.

“It’s easy to have it, and you’re at least in possession of it legitimately, as opposed to drugs that are illegal, such as GHB in most cases,” Porrata said. “Rapists tend to use what is most accessible. What works for their specific desires.”

Porrata advises anyone going out to a bar or club to not only keep your drink in sight, but be aware of someone offering you a specialty drink you haven’t tried before.

2014 WIAT-TV CBS42

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