Some men inhale or suck these drugs from women’s breasts or are added to food, drinks.
Stephen Kamau*, 30, counts himself lucky to be alive to tell his story of surviving drink spiking at a club in Ruaka, during his 30th birthday.
For the past week, he has nightmares as he keeps seeing faces of the women who spiked his drink at the club.
Their wicked smiles have refused to go away. He recalls bits and pieces of what happened and his submissive compliance to whatever the women told him.
“One fine, polished woman approached me and offered to buy my friend and I a bottle of whiskey that retailed at sh6,000. She looked harmless,” Stephen recounts.
If a window of opportunity appears, they say, don’t pull down the shade.
This saying has never rung truer to Stephen who even offered to pull a chair for her to join them.
“Oh, we are two. Pull another one for my friend,” she said. He pulled two chairs and the friend joined their table.
Hardly did he know that the women had something up their sleeves — a drug that reduces you to a zombie obediently operating under their command by giving her your ATM card and PIN, or taking her to your home.
Sometimes the drug can kill if given in overdose.
“I remember having crippling back and chest pains and going outside the club to get some fresh air,” he recounts.
“I was staggering, my vision was blurry, I lost the feeling in my legs, my head was spinning as if I was about to faint. I felt terrible!”
Stephen after spending 30 minutes outside the club, he walked back.
“I distinctly remember saying ‘I think I’ve been spiked’ four or five times in a slurred speech,” he adds.
“Oh!huyu amelemewa apelekwe nyumbani (He is too drunk take him home),” the bouncers replied.
Stephen woke up after 14 hours of sleep to a shock of his life.
“I woke up clothes, my laptop, my phone, my tv set and shoes were gone. They withdrew money from my ATM and even fulizad,” he narrates.
Stephen reported the case and it is currently under investigations. He is on medication.
His friend is still admitted in the hospital. Their case has been taken up by the DCI.
Which drugs do people use to spike drinks at social venues?
For Stephen, the drug that was used on him is called Rohypnol.
These drugs are in the form of tablets and can be crushed and snorted up the nose or dissolved in a liquid prior to drinking.
Also known as bugizi, rape drug, forget me drug, circles or lunch money drug it is a colourless and odourless pill.
It retails at Sh850 at local chemists and online pharmacies.
The pill is preferred for its colourless and odourless characteristic when added to drinks or food.
The liquid form can also be applied to women’s breasts and sucked by men.
A police source who asked for anonymity says criminals prefer to have them in powder form for ease of spiking.
“The pill is grounded to powder and can be added to drinks or food without one noticing for it’s colourless and odourless,” he said.
According to Dr Faith Mwangagi, the drug causes sedative effects.
The action of the drug is experienced 20 minutes after administration and can last for six to seven hours.
For some, the effect can last for 12 hours or more after administration.
“The action of Rohypnol appears in 20 minutes after administration and lasts six to seven hours,” she said.
If wrongly administered she said it causes slurred speech, inability to concentrate, poor coordination, dizzy feelings, lack of inhibition, nausea and amnesia.
Rohypnol may also be used with other drugs of abuse, such as alcohol or cocaine for various effects.
Rohypnol can increase the intoxication of alcohol or may be used to lower the irritability and anxiety linked with excessive cocaine use (binging).
Dr Geoffrey Mutuma says Valium at lower doses helps ease pain, reduce anxiety and relax muscles.
He said short term use is generally safe and effective.
When misused it causes some to sleep and feel out of touch with their surrounding.
“Valium is a sedative. It relaxes muscles but if misuses it makes one oversleep,” he said.
He said Valim does not kill when used in overdose but instead makes one sleep for even two days.
Ketamine helps sedatives work and may help people need fewer addictive painkillers, like morphine after surgery or while caring for burns.
When misused, ketamine can change your sense of sight and sound.
“You can have hallucinations and feel out of touch with your surroundings and even from yourself, “Mutuma said.
He said Ketamine can make it hard to speak or move, and it’s been abused as a date-rape drug.
He said its overdose does not kill.
It can reduce bodily sensations, prompting a floating feeling which can render you immobile – an experience which is sometimes referred to as “entering a k-hole” in instances when the drug is taken recreationally.
It can also provoke hallucinations, panic attacks and memory loss.
The effects can begin after five minutes of taking the drug and a “trip” normally lasts between 30 minutes and several hours.