I pit the asshole who drugged my wife

Last Wednesday, my wife went to a bar in a nearby major city to see a band she likes. She went with some friends, but they flaked on her and left early. She stayed because she enjoyed the music. I didn’t go because I had an early trip on Thursday morning. (I drive a motorcoach for a charter company. I can’t just be drowsy at work and muscle through it. People could die.)

When she left home on Wednesday evening, everything was fine. She was cheerful, pleased to be going out with friends, and looking forward to the music. She called to let me know she got to the place okay (it’s a bit over an hour away from our home and the weather was worsening throughout the evening). She sent me a few flirty texts during the evening, which is perfectly normal when she is out having a good time. Her last text to me was when she asked me to call her.

So I did. When she answered, she was hysterical. She was crying and saying that she couldn’t go home; the bar’s staff was preventing her from leaving because she was too drunk to drive. She said “they are watching me.” She kept apologizing to me and saying what an awful wife she is being. First of all, due to a gastric surgery from several years ago, my wife cannot drink very quickly. She can (and does) get a bit tipsy, but she can’t really get falling down drunk without some real concentrated effort. Also, she is a happy, flirty drunk, not an hysterical and apologetic one. Her behavior on the phone was completely unlike her – drunk or sober.

Still, I was thinking that we must be dealing with having too much to drink, so I told her just to go back inside and enjoy the music. There’s nothing to do about alcohol except to wait it out. The band was scheduled to play for another hour and a half, so there should be plenty of time. She was still hysterical and apologizing and otherwise not acting like herself at all.

So, we decided to call our son, who lives about thirty minutes away from where she was. He and our daughter-in-law ventured out to get her and her car. At some point, someone called the police because my wife was wandering around the entertainment district looking for her car when she obviously was not in any condition to drive (her not finding her car being a good indication of that). When my son arrived, the police were talking to her. I believe that whoever called the police saved my wife from further harm, even though the cops were more interested in tossing her in the drunk tank than investigating an assault. I suspect the people/person watching her had to abandon his efforts when the police showed up and wouldn’t leave until my son arrived.

My wife was still altered the next morning. She was not in possession of her usual faculties until around supper time on Thursday. Again, this is not at all her typical reaction to having too much to drink. She does not remember leaving the bar or the thirty-minute phone conversation we had. She barely remembers getting into our son’s car or arriving at his house.

Clearly, some unknown thing happened to her. She has bruises where she believes she fell down while wandering around. Her clothes were on properly and there is no evidence of a sexual assault. We’re thankful for that.

So, to the asshole who did this to her, I hope you rot in hell. If you’re so hard up for sex that you have to drug a woman, then you need to find some other release. Find a prostitute if you must. But what you did is beyond any measure of human decency. You do not deserve to live among civilized people. Go fuck yourself.

I don’t know what happened here, and people do drug women at bars so that’s an obvious possibility. However I think GHB is the most common “date rape” drug, and it doesn’t cause symptoms very similar to what you describe, part of why it is effective at being used as a date rape drug (and why it was a popular drug of abuse in weight lifting gyms I used to frequent in the 90s–when it was sold over the counter in liquid form as a workout supplement), is it causes relaxation, reduction in inhibitions and euphoria. If it made people scared and anxious it wouldn’t be great as a tool for rapists to drug unwitting women. That being said any drug can affect people differently.

The reason I point this out is there are plenty of medical incidents that can cause the symptoms you describe, has your wife been to a doctor to discuss this incident? You’d want to make sure an underlying health issue didn’t come to the forefront and that you guys are overlooking that possibility.

I will second that. Not that she couldn’t have been drugged - that’s possible. But because my parents have a friend whose severe mental illness started sort of like what is described. Out of character acts, time lost, paranoia. And it came out of the blue to a woman in her 60s. Get her to a doctor.

And of course, wishing all the best and hope this is a one off experience of “that was unpleasant”

This is a horrible thing to have happened. But I second the proposal that she must be checked out by a doctor. Not just a cursory checkup, but a thorough examination, possibly by a neurologist to include and MRI.

I am so sorry… dear God she and you all must have been terrified. I’m glad so many people stepped up and intervened. Please do report back and let us know.

I have a coworker whose husband was suddenly disoriented with really odd symptoms; turned out it was just chemical imbalances. Easily taken care of, and as long as he stays on meds (very low dose of different salts, but I never asked details), he’s fine.

Their attitude was “Whew, if he hadn’t had that episode we wouldn’t have known until he went disoriented behind the wheel!”

That’d be less infuriating than thinking someone drugged your wife (and you’d save the money you’d have spent arming your Straight Dope posse).

GHB and Rohypnol can indeed cause agitation and aggression. That’s what happened to a former student of mine, a quiet young EMT who went out for drinks with colleagues after work and was later arrested in a mall parking lot, highly agitated, smashing windshields, and stark naked. All this was VERY much out of character for him. He had no memory of what happened, and it was not the beginning of any sort of mental illness, though he was pretty traumatized for a long time. The theory is that the drugged drink was meant for someone else. (It was his first and only drink of the evening.)

I’m not suggesting this is necessarily what happened to the OP’s wife, just that it shouldn’t be ruled out. And I definitely agree a trip to the doctor is in order.

I’m sorry this happened to your wife, OP.

I think I would have gone to an ER for a blood test. At least, you could either rule in/out if it were a drug.

That sounds scary as hell. I’m glad your wife is ok now and that your son was close enough to get her. Have you complained to the bar? I know it’s hard for them to watch drinks, especially on busy nights, but if they get a series of complaints it might alert them to an ongoing problem.

My sympathies to your wife.

I mean…it is possible she simply drank too much. I’ve been drinking long enough to see people (or experience myself) drinking the wrong combination of stuff too quickly on too empty a stomach or whatever and get completely (and uncharacteristically shitfaced). Particularly if they aren’t used to drinking a lot that often.

I’ve always been a bit skeptical of the “I was drugged” scenario. Basically, it presumes they were targeted by a random stranger who showed up to a bar or nightclub with the premeditated intent to spike their drink with a debilitating drug. That perpetrator somehow managed to pull this off without the target or any of their friends or the establishment’s staff noticing. And all with the objective to…what…render the target confused, incoherent, and hysterical for the next 12 to 24 hours?

The ‘most popular’ date rape drug is, and always has been, alcohol. Several of my female friends were very careful about watching their glass, and that was primarily because they were concerned about people slipping hard liquor into their drinks.

However, I have no reason to disagree with the OP that the behavior of the victim was not consistent with her normal behavior when drunk.

Maybe a slipped Forget-Me-Now, but hopefully not too late for the Roofie Circle.

Anyway, that completely aside - OP - have either you or her been to that bar before? Curious if the joint might have some baggage. Agreeing with the poster that this should be brought to the establishment’s attention. And thirding (fourthing?) a thorough check-up with doc.

Almost certainly way too late for a doctor visit to do much good now, except for looking for any long-term damage. She should have been whisked to an Emergency Room immediately at the time.

Thank you for the replies, comments, and expressions of concerns. I truly appreciate it.

Some background: our marriage has experienced some stress due to a variety of situations, primarily the passing of my father-in-law (who lived with us) in January and my taking a job that requires a lot of time away from home. My wife has gone from always being around people to her dad being gone and her husband coming and going at strange times. Part of my initial response to Wednesday’s events was couched in that perspective. I thought that part of what was going on was a combination of drink and my leaving for a two-night trip on Thursday morning.

Her job has always created some new stress in my wife’s life, so that is a factor. There’s been a lot going on. In the past eighteen months, we have experienced significant changes to our lives. Each one would be a major event by itself. Not all of the changes are negative (my retirement from school teaching, for example). But they’ve all been significant.

My wife is not a subscriber to the “she was drugged” camp. However, she has no better explanation. I wish that I had personally responded better, but that same stress affects my judgement as well.

We have been to this particular bar before. It is in an entertainment district in an upper middle class suburb of Austin. This was my wife’s third visit to this particular bar to hear this particular band. I was with her on her second visit. It is neither a dive nor the fanciest place I’ve ever been.

I wish that we had pushed for an ER visit at the time, but we didn’t. I’ve suggested going to the doctor now, but with it being so far after the fact, there doesn’t seem to be a reason to do so. However, she will be visiting a counselor (LPC) that we have seen before. We will likely begin seeing her again for help smoothing out this current rough patch (that has nothing to do with Wednesday’s event, whatever it was). We are both committed to adjusting to and enjoying our new lives together with me in a new career (that I’m really enjoying and meets our financial needs) and the loss of her dad (mom died in 2019). There’s lots of stuff going on.

And that’s really the thing. If a date-rape drug is what happened, then to hell with that guy. He had no way of knowing how just the drug itself would impact her life. Even though nothing worse happened, this is a headache she did not deserve.

It’s my understanding that “mixing drinks” doesn’t make you any drunker than staying with the same drink. It’s the amount of alcohol you consume, and how fast you drink it, that matters, not whether you started the evening with a rum & coke and later switched to wine.

It takes less than a second to drop a pill or slip a few drops of liquid into someone’s drink. I’ve seen cautionary videos demonstrating how it can be done while handing a bill to a bartender over drinks sitting on the bar. Or while those nearby are on their cell phones. Here’s one such video showing how fast and easy it can be.

Effects vary. Some people just get really strung out and develop amnesia. Others get agitated. Yeah, there are people get a kick out of controlling someone’s mental state–that’s not new. Others like the idea of rendering someone unable to give informed consent and having amnesia so they can’t give police any info on the rapists.

As Mike Royko said about drinking and minimizing a hangover: “First, stick with the same drink you started with. By that I mean if you started the evening drinking champagne, beer, and frozen daiquiris, stick with champagne, beer, and frozen daiquiris the rest of the evening.” :slight_smile:

At any rate, in my prodigious drinking days, it made no difference other than mixed drinks not offering you a good gauge of just how much alcohol you’re drinking and if you’re not used to shots, they can sneak up on you before you notice. Or if you’ve started on something like beer, switching to shots in a more unhibited state can cave you pounding those faster than your body can deal with it.

To the OP: Sorry to hear about this incident, and I’m glad your wife is better now. And not that it matters much now, and not to minimize or cast doubt on your observations, but I do believe the most likely explanations are that she simply drank too much, too quickly, especially given the background stresses you mention. My wife for mother’s day at my parents got passed-out drunk in a way I have never seen her before – I stopped drinking in November and my wife had largely followed my lead. She was out of practice and she did not eat much that morning. Within two hours of ingesting wine and hard selzers and having a good time with my sister in law, she had to be taken to the guest bedroom where she collapsed for a few hours, interspersed with some vomiting, all extremely uncharacteristic for her. I have known her for almost fifteen years and had never seen her like that. But, knowing she was in a controlled situation, we at least had the knowledge that she clearly didn’t have anything other than alcohol (she doesn’t take any other type of medication or recreational substances that might suggest something else at work.) So the reaction is not necessarily incongruent with severe unexpected intoxication. What I might be worried about is what other posters have said: an underlying neurological condition coming to light. This does not exclude some slipping a Mickey into her drink, but that would be low on my probabilities chart.

If it is something neurological, she’s had an incident. If its a one off fluke, then you don’t need to worry about it. If something like this happens again, you are aware that it might be neurological and not an externally induced altered state, and you can get her to the hospital.

Going to the doctor anyway can establish within her medical records a date of first incidence. It will likely be a “wow, strange…” sort of doctors visit, but the doctor might order some tests and may be able to see something after the fact. But its her body, so she gets to decide if she wants to pursue the medical angle.

If someone drugged her…absolutely to hell with that guy.

Of course. What I mean is if a person’s typical night of drinking consists of a few glasses of wine with dinner or even just hanging out for hours sipping beers, they might not realize how much alcohol they rapidly consumed if they suddenly throw shots or hard liquor or that giant fancy frozen drink that’s actually mostly alcohol.

It just seems like a ballsy move to me in that it’s very “high risk” for the perpetrator. Like they have to not get caught spiking the drink, then figure out some way to get their intended target away from the scene while they are coherent enough to leave without a scene but incoherent enough to not realize what’s going on.

Pre-pandemic we were out having a few drinks, sitting at a table near the bar. My gf went to the ladies room. Curious about what my gf was drinking, I picked up her glass and took a quick sip.

When my gf returned from the bathroom, a woman intercepted her on the way back to the table. I learned that the woman told her I had handled her drink. At first I was pissed off, thinking I was being accused of horrible behavior, then I realized the woman was a potential hero.