‘Dating wisdom’ for Advent

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

One of the worst times to become a victim of date rape is the Advent season. Last week’s column was about date-rape drugs (DRD).
First, it is the season of preparation for the birth of the Son of God. And, the worst preparation one can do is to spend careless nights out with friends and be in vulnerable occasions of risk.

Second, it is the season of the family with the anticipation of the Holy Family becoming whole with the arrival of the Lord Jesus Christ. Insisting to be with friends, instead of spending more time with one’s family, and using recreational substances in clubs and drinking joints, shows a rebelliousness that simply opposes the submissive obedience of Jesus to the will of His Father.

Third, it is folly to choose risking the depression of regrets in a season of festive joy. To become victim by accident is understandable. To fall to predators out of hard-headed deafness to parental guidance is an evil consequence unfortunately deserved.


The intention to prey on innocent people, often in the guise of pleasure and adventurousness, is an intention that can only flow from evil. If good people can be found in good numbers, evil people abound more. The Lord was born, not among saintly people, but among evil ones. So anyone who expects otherwise is courting a fatal naïveté.

DRDs are circulating in underground markets with drugstores as the culprits’ outwitted sources. The predators move around in the darkness, awaiting naive preys. Each shot of spirits you have in your hand may be mixed with DRD. The dim lights, the deafening noise of disco music, the gang incessantly talking, and alcohol level in your blood increasing… you will not even notice how the DRD finds its way to your shot.

So far, there’s been groundbreaking progress in detecting DRD in drinks. The first came from Drink Safe Technology; a simple cardboard drink coaster that becomes blue when a drop of the drink with gamma hydroxybutyrate and ketamine hit it and rubbed with your finger. It was released in the United States around Christmastime in 2002 at 7-Eleven. I am not sure if local 7-Elevens have this item in their displays.

The second breakthrough came from DrinkSavvy, in the form of color-changing glassware and straw. In the presence of either the two substances mentioned above or Rohypnol, the straw turns red and the cup shows red strips. After its launching in 2013, these products hit the United States in June 2014.

While disposable detectors like these come handy during emergency situations, relying upon them will be a mistake. These products are quick fixers of something that should change first: risky social behaviors. Technologies like these may fail at times. Relying on quick-fixes over behavioral modifications is a delusive overconfidence rife with fatal consequences. Prevention is most effective with avoidance rather than with overconfidence.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 17, 2014.


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