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STUDENTS in Liverpool were last night being taught how easy it is to fall victim to date-rape drugs.

The use of drugs like GHB, also known as liquid ecstasy and sleeping drug Rohypnol, is the fastest growing crime against women in Britain.

More than 800 cases have been reported in the past year.

A campaign by the University of Liverpool to highlight the dangers was launched at the Guild's club night on Mount Pleasant.

Students who did not keep an eye on their drinks all night found a brightly coloured straw had been sneaked into their pint or bottle bearing the words "Do you know what's in your drink?"

University welfare officer Jo Lazzari said: "We do think it's something that's happening across the UK. Last year we had a couple of unofficial cases so we know that it's happening in the Merseyside area.

"We would just like to try and get awareness of the issue raised.

"I think there are about 40 different kinds of drug that have been used in date rapes but GHB and Rohypnol seem to be the most easily accessible.

"What we really need is for it to be an offence for people to be carrying it around on their person."

Victims of date rape drugs are rendered unconscious for up to six hours.

A Merseyside Police spokeswoman said only a handful of cases had been reported.

She added: "We wholeheartedly support anything that raises awareness and minimises drug date-rape."


CAUTION: Jo Lazzari with one of the warnings left in students' drinks
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 23, 2002
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