WWL>Topics>>2-25-14 2:10pm Angela: on rape drugs

2-25-14 2:10pm Angela: on rape drugs

Feb 25, 2014|

Angela talks with Dr. Peter Winsauer of the LSU Health Sciences Center and WWL-TV medical reporter Meg Farris about the danger of "rape drugs."

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

The explosive allegations against former saints player Darren Sharper. On drugging and rape in women has brought up several issues. But the one you're gonna discuss today is about the drugs allegedly used the combination of the sleep aid with alcohol and morphing. Joining us to talk about it is doctor Peter Winston our professor of pharmacology. And L issues Health Science Center school of medicine. And meg fares are wonderful channel for medical reporter a dear friend. And who has done all kinds of stores and certainly one on this and I appreciate both of you being here very much meg. Meg a year. Meg was there. Element. Shall join us in the second okay. Doctor wins our. It really was a shocking story on many levels but I think. Especially since in the number of women who are now sort of popping up giving the same MO. For the for the newspaper reader and a television watcher beyond the shock of someone. And again it's just allegations. Who. People had so much respect for. Then it came down to. What are you talking about Ambien. And alcohol and -- So I wanna talk about those drugs first but let's start with the Ambien which is fairly common. Sure that can actually be obtained over the counter. But not really over the Connors in the drugstore but certainly you can. Right away for a sample and you can obtain samples through the mail. And then if you are satisfied with that -- can go to your physician and he can prescribe that drug for you. For Ambien is how far -- how many levels down does ambient AQ. Well as many know it's what's classified as a sedative -- not -- used for the treatment of insomnia. And it is a particular type of drug from a larger class of drugs called them and so dies of teens. Which are used for a whole variety of uses muscle relaxation. Anti anxiety affects -- -- -- and effects and even anesthesia. So the fact that it comes from the class of drugs that can be used for anesthesia means that these drugs. Can produce anesthesia at certain doses as well. So are other sleep aids and as powerful. Or they just different. Well it's kind of in between what you would obtain over the counter which tends to be an antihistamine. In most us over the counter sleeping aids contain a drug called -- then -- mean. Which is Benadryl. And as many people know who've taken a Benadryl for their allergies. It produces sleepiness and so therefore it's used in many over the counter particularly PM formulations. Anything that's considered -- PM formulation Excedrin PM those kind of things generally contain. This diet and -- it mean which is an antihistamine that produce some level sleep so that's sort of your top level. The next level are these drugs like Ambien which is called so open to him is the generic name. Which produces a little bit more sedation. And a little bit. Higher level of sedation that that people used to to get some sleep and and sleeping aids how are very difficult drugs to study. Because once people find something that helps them sleep they don't wanna give it out in other words no one's willing to say OK I just won't sleep tonight so. The problem is is that all sleeping -- habit forming. Once people find something that helps them sleep. Then they're gonna take it and take in -- and so. It's very difficult to study physical dependence on these drugs vs just habit forming properties of these trucks. But so Ambien with alcohol. Because many of these women said -- that it takes to drink. Right alcohol and Ambien alone so that's. That has to do with how the drugs actually work in the brain. One of the things that alcohol does is it works on one of the major inhibit -- narrow transmitter or substances in the brain that produce. Sleep and in addition and things like that because many as many people know to fall asleep commonly. They need to inhibit their brains and thoughts many people -- can't sleep because I'm constantly thinking of things I can't I'm distracted by XY or Z. And so if you can slow the brain down a little bit that helps you become sleepy. And so a property of all of these drugs is that they tend to slow the brain down as a result of slowing to bring down people become sleepy. Well they ate at bats because they work on this substance in the brain this narrow transmitter that produces that in addition. And the problem with many sleeping aids and alcohol as they both work on that same substance and by both working on that same substance. You get much more of that substance that narrow transmitter than you would normally get. I want so. In other words one and one doesn't equal two in this case one and one may equal more than that one and one equals five C you get but what is -- super additive effects. More than additive effects. So. It's a combination of things one thing is is that both alcohol and Ambien work on the same substance in the brain. And then you sort of have one on controlled. So how much alcohol -- your cat you what is your dose about -- all of these effects tend to be dose dependent. A small amount of the drug will produce a little sedation. A larger amount of the drug will produce more sedation and and sort of third a combination of these shows. Can produce and additive or more than added to combination so trying to determine exactly what the effects are going to be. Is the dangerous aspect to the use of these drugs even -- prescribed use can be dangerous because someone may go out. For dinner and have a glass -- -- are cocktail or two or three cocktails and come home and and say well I'm Norman had difficulty sleeping summit take my ambient. And that will produce a very heavy -- sedation that's much greater than the effect produced by Ambien alone again because you have alcohol. And the Ambien working on that same substance in the brain. Meant you had a comment yeah I did Angela and and -- doctor -- our husbands current. Anesthesia. And I think for most people although some people do have memories during surgery. When you go under anesthesia you don't remember what happened in the OR. And what's so fascinating if you can explain this to people is. Your brain doesn't have the ability to form memories so you're the type of amnesia if someone is to argue with. A combination of these drugs. Right one of the. Characteristics. Of these drugs and the substance in the brain that produces the brain inhibition. Is that it's also involved in the creation of memories. So. And and we also have to remember that these substances are often used as anesthetics for their ability to produce amnesia. So oftentimes if for example you're going into the Dennis to have fewer wisdom teeth extracted. You'll get one of these drugs -- is administered eyes he. In order to produce that sedation because the doctors don't want you to remember. The trauma associated with having your wisdom teeth pulled or if you're going in for surgery these drugs are often given TU. Before you go into surgery to relax you to produce muscle relaxation to prepare you for the surgery. So what's interesting is is that. This is a dose dependent effect small doses -- maps tend to inhibit memory but larger doses well. And I think most people know. That alcohol can produce blackouts well that's another name for decreasing your ability to remember thanks so. These drugs produce something that's called and tarot create amnesia retrograde amnesia as I like to say is something that the fugitive -- The future it can't remember who we is he can't remember where he lived he can't remember. Who is married to well that's that's retrograde that's a memory for things in the past. And -- grade amnesia is your ability to form memories so what. That's memories formed while your on the drugs so the drugs prevent you from your ability to. Form memories. So one of the reasons that these trade drugs have been used illicitly is date rape drugs unfortunately. Is because. -- prevent the person from remembering. What actually happened and that becomes a terrible trouble. Problem for. Lawyers and prosecution of individuals who have used these drugs illicitly. And Angela I was gonna say you know just as a warning to -- people who could be potential victims people may have heard. Of rohypnol the I guess original if you will date rape drug. That the makers of that actually. I'm changed it chemically said that if it's put in alcohol or in a drink it would change the color of the drink making it may be blue or cloudy so you have a warning. But this new combination. That we are hearing was used Ambien morphine in alcohol. It doesn't give you that you know color or cloudiness warning to a person that your drink has been tampered with. I want everyone to stay with us and certainly if you're out there listening and you ever had an experience. We've gone to a bar you've gone to a party if had a drink and you don't remember anything. Give us a call and share -- with this but stay with us as we continue to talk about it I'm Angela under the WL. -- the allegations against former saints player Darren Sharper of drugging and rape in women has brought up the issue once again. Of -- combination of drugs with alcohol and what can happen. And it just made us all more alert and on I'm so delighted that meant fairest channel -- medical reporter and doctor Peter Winston our who's a professor of pharmacology. An L issues Health Science Center school of medicine. Are here to really. Talk about this because meg you brought up something very interesting. We all understood after awhile about these roof fees I think that was the -- ever heard of you know the date rape drug. Maybe -- war. Drugs before them but that's the one that sort of blew up in our faces. Oh my gosh this could happen he could be at a party he could be at a bar and somebody could slip through this drug and -- -- saying his. That the manufacturers. Now have put him. An ingredient of that drug that if it's put in a drink will change colors so you're warned correct and and thank heaven for that. But I think that what we're learning about the he was using a sleep aid Ambien. Of course with alcohol and then morphing. So I'm going to now ask doctor -- our. -- First well how does one -- Right that's very difficult together unless you have -- connection of some sort -- no physician who's willing to prescribe you morphine. Morphine is unusual to see out in the in the public because it doesn't. Have very good oral efficacy as we say in pharmacology it's not very effective when taken orally so. Most of the time you you have to administered by injection to get its best effect because. Most of it is metabolize very rapidly by the liver so to have that out there and and taken orally. Is not an effective means so it's rare to see it out in the public. Domain like that. For both of you who may have done more reading -- -- -- it was like a cocktail in essence. The combination of these. Elements drugs correct so I. I think and may be making comment on this but that -- that did too dangerous aspect of this to me is that. People think that because it it's a prescription drug or that it's it's been marketed by drug companies that the drug is necessarily safe. And that is just not the case there are all kinds of medications that become more dangerous when combined as a cocktail. Or when used at a larger dose than they're supposed to be used. So. That that becomes -- that becomes a huge problem and so that that the public needs to understand that combining these drugs becomes a very dangerous thing. And that certainly alcoholic drinks on their own can act as solvents for drugs. Try and also doctor I mean as you well know when you get a prescription from a doctor. It is exactly -- to what you need your body weight the time you take it you have no idea how much this person who wants to do you harm. Is throwing him this this cocktail it could be. And off the doctor went -- as you taught me that could. Make your brain not tell your your diaphragm your your Norris to tell your body to -- take the next breath I I -- it meant that's an important point is when I first read this I thought. How did these people live. Right there is. And the worst case scenario is that there would be a life threatening respiratory depression in other words one of the effects for example both morphine. And these sleep aids particularly the -- and I as a teens. Is that they work in the brain and by inhibiting the brain inhibit the respiratory centers in the brain which is telling your your body and your diaphragm to -- And so if if you inhibit the brain it's going to stop telling your body can debris. And that is a very dangerous thing and and again because you get these super additive effects when you combine these drugs as a cocktail. You are really increasing the likelihood of of dying as a result of respiratory depression so there's this possibility that the person could go to sleep and really. Truthfully not wake up now that's a worst case scenario. Doctor Wentz are -- that one of the interesting things. We all know the feeling of you you have a little bit too much drinking you start to get that that certain feeling. You know when somebody has has when it's over and beyond. And talk about that short window that you have when you're still conscious. But you're aware that your speech is being -- you're getting drowsy sit dated it's more than just an alcoholic. Drink and you have a short window to tell your friends or someone you trust. Help because once it goes beyond. If your golf. Right ethnic. Most of that it if you people -- pay attention to. Testimony of most of the victims who. Suffered a date rape or been involved in any kind of drugging incident. They realize that the amount of alcohol consumed should not have produce that big an effect oftentimes they'll feel dizzy. -- extraordinarily. Sleepy. And that is the time in Winston to alert someone that you're feeling terrible and that someone should take you home someone should attend you. Those are very important. That's have as you mentioned a very important time we have a short window before your brain is inhibited to the point where your respiration is starting to decrease. And where you're no longer able to form those memories of what happened. Because we all know that there's a point and and these drugs produce something called conscious sedation. That you are still able to walk around do things respond to commands but you cannot form their memories of what you're doing. So if you look on the manufacturers. Insert for Ambien for example it will say. Sleep blocking as one that adverse effects from taking Ambien people may not remember sleep clock so someone can get up in the middle of the night. Go eat a sandwich from the refrigerator ham sandwich from their refrigerator and not remember that they did that and go back to -- And it will take someone else to remind them hey did you realize you got out you know night he ate ham sandwich announcing now I had to do that I slept like babies last night. So it again that's that ability of the drugs to prohibit. Didn't the memory of that event but the person is still able to keep it up out of bad walk over to the refrigerator open that door. So there's a part of the brain that's less affected. Then the part that is creating the memories and they're still motor coordination. Person so that they can get up locked the refrigerator. Actually each to do all those things associated with that. But yet they're not gonna remember that so there are. Different effects across the brain of these -- drugs some areas are going to be affected more than others the sleeping aids tend to produce a large effect on memory. And in some cases that's the therapeutic effect vs the adverse affect these the same drugs are prescribed for different things. If you're taking it for insomnia no or let's say you're using one of these drugs is a pretty anesthetic. And terror -- amnesia that's produced is a great thing you don't want your patient to remember those things. However if you are taking these drugs as an anti anxiety agent. And you when you get up in the morning or after a night nights of sleep when you use one of these drugs -- -- -- you can't remember -- your keys -- Or where the left the garage door open -- the stove on it becomes a problem again. Many of these drugs all have an effect on memory it's just a matter of ghosts and how their combined with other drugs to -- to the extent of that. And then what if the drug is actually be used for. We're gonna continue this discussion right after this we're gonna join the newsroom now and John names. Doctor Peter -- our opera fester pharmacology at LSU's Health Science Center school of medicine and that Ferris talking about. These date rape combinations and his -- drug anymore it's a combination. And doctor you were talking about the and a seizure affect. Of the Ambien the alcohol the morphine and I just wonder. If somebody were hypnotized. Do you think they could retrieve those memories forces they never got. Yes that's an interesting thing oftentimes anesthesia gets compared to hypnosis but the data are pretty convincing to show that. It's very difficult to get somebody to do something under hypnosis that they would not normally otherwise too another Reggie under hypnosis you can't tell someone go murder somebody Ryan. The person will not do that because there's enough. Cognition. Over what's being asked that they won't do that so. -- it's very difficult to get people to do things that they wouldn't normally do and and that's slightly different from anesthesia where. You really have no control over it because the drugs have affected the brain in such a way that you don't have an organized thoughts except for a so that anesthesia and hypnosis are quite different. Things but it was somebody I was on under the influence. Could you hypnotize them to get that memory or is the chemical reaction in the brain to make the memory did it never happened right. Putting him on the spot here and we -- in Canada. That's a difficult question because. Really once that's a very uncommon situation because. Once the person is an -- ties or is it is produced some sort of conscious sedation then hit the hit. Hypnotize them really isn't required the person is are ready following commands to a certain X. On an island -- forming -- all of these women have said you know I had a drink and I remember nothing. And I had a drink in part -- when I woke up my part of my clothes were gone. That kind of thing is there any thing that could help retrieve that blank. Period of time like by the police no OK unfortunately not. You know Angela one of things not I wanted to mention is. There's always going to be these predators and they're always going to be able to get drugs illegally. And always want to prey on women and yes even some man. And so what what concerns me is that women not only need to be aware of that we're all been told don't leave your drank on the table when you go on the dance for. Don't -- drink something that a strangers giving you. You know don't take a bottled water even you know that's already been opened by someone and he didn't see you didn't see it -- you can see that chain. But I guess what concerns me as well is. And the CDC has statistics on this is more and more young women are binge drinking. You know certain amount of times a month when they go out. When you binge drink number one if your teenager. Your -- not fully developed until your about your mid twenties so you don't have the capability to make. I'm a 100% you know good choices anonymous do but even less so but then it you've been binge drinking you you almost have no capability. Of protecting yourself and an -- I just want you know people took to realize and think about that twice before they go out and do that that is there's a lot of harm that can happen out there. Absolutely and you're actually right in. We do we've recently done thing on binge drinking and all of a sudden it's reared its ugly head in this in the -- country and the numbers are startling. Offer for men and women out of colleges in particular about -- it sort of blue lot. But let's go back to the combination of the drugs is their anything that would that might have alerted mega talked about how the -- now have colors on them. But that the taste or voter. Of of an Ambien morphine in a drink with that. Might it says -- this taste funny but smells funny there's certainly. The possibility. With -- fees in particular our core of the -- and as it -- they tend to. Make it drink tastes very bitter that that the drug itself has a very bitter taste so that it should be distinguishable from a normal alcoholic drink. Again I think where to start is to say shots -- are probably the worst possible. Drink to do because. Again alcohol conserve as a solvent for the drug or vehicle for the drug can rapidly dissolved. The drug. Where's that probably wouldn't be true it saved the alcohol was next with. That's a soft drink or something like that it would probably be less. Less soluble and that and that substance so I think shots and that probably should be avoided I think that. It would be also why is that if it has any kind of a different taste -- center. He should be wary of it don't be afraid to set the drink a side to say or even if you've locked away and I think. Another mistake is we tender attribute this only to young people but I think -- Women of all ages men of all ages need to be. Wary. A tainted drank it I talked to a colleague the other day who said I didn't would you know she's. My age or older and set I didn't think about leaving drink behind on the table while I went dancing -- and someone said when we got back to the table we had to throw that -- it's been you know on guard and that's probably the case for. People of all ages they need to avoid leaving their drinks someplace where somebody could put something in it. For illicit purpose. As the motive could be just you know walked retake your person your wallet not to bring you somewhere else. And you know performer sexual act but doctor Wentz are -- ask you to -- to go out of your scope of pharmacology because you're very very Smart Smart man. Do we know the profile of why. Does a predator why would someone do this type of act I mean. Is it is that the power is it because they they can't get sex somewhere else they wanna do that or global problem. Already have sexual partners so too we know the profile of of someone to look out for. This is. We win they I realm of expertise. Make that your weren't otherwise but I just thought I don't I don't know I thought maybe quit buying your knowledge you might that show Angela again I did I did talk to a psychiatrist about this is not okay very curious and one of the answers was yes it's a power and of course if you drug somebody there without power but the more important thing wise. That. Especially someone who's you think has tons of girlfriends very attractive as -- at what is the problem. Is -- a subconscious fear of women. And so when you think about that. That woman who has been drugged. Is you know it is like in a dead state can't say no can't tell him what to do exactly would you know right can't know rejection nothing. This this person would have no fear. Of that. Right I mean one of the things that's fairly well known that I can't comment on is that. And and and a mistake off and that he individuals who are on unfamiliar with this type of person would say is that. Well they are attractive why -- why is it that they have to do this. But the important point here is that it is not the sexual act this little this has nothing to do with sex it has to do with control. And because and we'd be just sedated to control issue it really has nothing to do with the sex the sex is sort of an. The act that manifest that control but it is not a sexual act. Let me ask you a violent it's a vial vile attacks during much of violent act. When a woman is or person is under the -- under these drugs. Would not the movement and the manipulation of their body. Wake them up. That's a great question and hit it that is again a dose dependent thing and and depends upon a cocktail. It depends upon how much the brain was inhibited. There are some people who have come out of that sort of anesthesia. State to say -- I I remember him taking my pants up for a member. Her taking her pants or something like that. Well that is a function of jokes. The deeper the anesthesia at the deeper the anesthetic like effective drugs the last they're going to members -- It it's really happenstance whether or not they're going to come out of it at that time in which they can remember things. Why -- exactly just like if you were -- having in the replacement. Think about the you know the manipulation. And the what's going on -- in the kind of surgery and the patient won't wake up math. But that is very very controlled and you think about as we were talking earlier. Really in a sense how lucky these women -- that they did wake up. Absolutely absolutely okay everybody stay with us were not done and if you have any thoughts on this give us call at 260187. Financial under the W well. Our guest today doctor Peter Winston our professor of pharmacology at LSU and mixed bearish channel four's wonderful medical reporter. And now we have a call Julie. Thank you. I was wondering you pick Atlanta. When someone wakes up and that's happening and then they go to parties and yet through. Typically. -- -- -- -- what the authorities. -- -- shell out in a toxicology. Report op art like how it lacks. A well. What they were given. That's a great question it depends upon the drug what drug was used to in combination with the alcohol for example. And then whether or not and part of what -- -- asking is whether or not that drug which show up on a standard Cox toxicology screen that would be run by hospital for example. It again that depends upon the drug. Some are around for very long time summer around effort for short periods of time certainly Ambien is around for the entire night's sleep so most people would say it's going to be around for. -- eight to sixteen hours. Alcohol on the other hand is metabolize differently than these drugs and it's going to last actually much longer as well so -- policies in your system quite a bit longer. So because it's metabolize by a different set of enzymes in the body so. These drug should be around if if the reports occur within a reasonable amount of time. You should be able to determine what the drug was either with a standard tax green or with something that's called high performance liquid chrome photography HP LC or. Something like that. It -- him -- -- typically done by someone goes hand and. Expect it to happen and it goes through all the -- have the procedure. Which. A multi year -- a bottle. Where everything got so. That both Eric Eric Eric warrant that they. Normally aren't here. Right right normally blood is John fairly quickly after that now this is not -- I don't. I'm not president emergency rooms I don't know the exact protocols for that they have nurses and trauma centers for that. But normally blood is John fairly quickly afterwards particularly win the victim describes. The potential use of drugs for that. And then the blue blood is sent off for attacks green and if something doesn't show up in the initial tax green that the person is adamant that there were drugs involved and it can be sent for further analysis. If that person request that. What do you aren't cash -- anything. Again depending upon the drug and how it's metabolize to in many instances yes in some rare instances now. But it certainly could should be able to find in blood and and many more commonly used drugs would show up in here and as well. You know -- if you were lucky enough to have access to the glass that you drink out there might be residue. To say that laughs absolutely that was that would be of a very wise idea so that the exact drug could be. Characterized that would be. That would be important those of the marvels of science thank you very much too -- for the call. Kick and we talked doctor about perhaps some other. Other combinations that could cause issues. Sure there -- all kinds -- As I mentioned to you during the break they're all kinds of drug interactions that are problematic for people. I think anything that gets into the brain and in any degree to produce things like sleepiness. Or anti anxiety. Agents. Certainly antihistamines. Of the first generation type ticket into the brain. Yeah you are at risk for drug combination or or or drug combination effects. So he's talking Benadryl an and a glass of wine absolutely absolutely I think that anybody who's who's taken there and -- mean. Or or Benadryl for their allergies and then had a the glass of wine would find themselves far more sleepy then if they only had that class decline along. What about drugs such as and I know that we're getting off subject a little bit but people who weren't on heart medication -- high blood pressure. Those kinds of drugs people take every day. And then today. Sure there common interactions with for example the stimulants there are many people who abuse stimulants. For example that cocaine would be an example of a stimulant or amphetamines a lot of medications for attention deficit disorder. Our attention deficit hyperactivity disorder sold illicitly. In colleges. In and workplaces in their used his quote cognitive enhancer is. Those would be very problematic for someone with a blood pressure problem because stimulants will increase your blood pressure so. That's a very sort of common drug interaction cardiovascular effects and but he has a cardiovascular effectiveness taking stimulant has to be very. Careful with that -- in -- and July and and -- -- the people who died from this. Is a cnnfn which style all an alcohol can destroy you. Right exactly because. That's actually a very specific fact and the liver so normally see dimension is metabolize to a toxic but cattle like. Which is not normally a problem 'cause he gets produced in such small levels that the body can handle the problem is is that if you are also drinking alcohol. That alcohol inhibit the liver. Then potentially could have its erratic maneuvers something like that but inhibit the liver and then that toxic but cattle like from the -- management can build up and cause serious. I'm liver damage and you can die organ failure and an actually -- Or call one particular incidence where there was somewhat of a chronic back pain. But they were an alcoholic and so they were taking acetaminophen all the time for the chronic back pain. But continuing to drink and that person dying of liver failure. I I want to thank doctor Peter went -- and wanna think meg fair share always such a wonderful friend -- think this is a very important topic and I've learned a lot. And I'm never gonna put a blast down the hook up. Thank you very much we'll be right back. Doctor rob Peter -- tower again professor of pharmacology teaching us a lot we need to know. I think Quinn final message really has to be about drug combinations first and foremost that. You know use of prescription drugs can be dangerous just because it comes in a pharmaceutical he wrapped. Container doesn't mean it's safe certainly when you start combining it with alcohol and other substances like that they're going to be very dangerous. And people are gonna have a short amount of time to react to those combinations particularly when involves an a drink. Where somebody slipping something eliciting your drink. I think you have a very short period of time and you need to act quickly and and take care of yourself and find someone to take care of yourself -- is a problem in society now. Words of wisdom thank you for joining us. Next in the next hour Mardi Gras.