Seirra Fowler, assistant director of wellness and health promotion for the Student Health Center, said roughly five students have reported allegedly being drugged while out at Tigerland since the start of the fall semester.
“I believe [Tigerland] is a target due to the high concentration of student activity,” she said. “I think everyone should be concerned about safety.”
Soriero said he visits Tigerland regularly and never expected to become a drugging victim — especially not the night of the Florida game, when he was not drinking excessively.
He said he gave a random man money to buy red bulls and vodka for him and his girlfriend. Though the couple was supposed to share the first drink, Soriero somehow got that one to himself.
After two more drinks and an argument with his girlfriend, Soriero left the bar to head home. He said his actions between midnight and 8 a.m. were a “blur.”
“Apparently, I was very reckless and belligerent,” Soriero said. “My now-ex-girlfriend said I was stealing people’s shirts, I broke through my front door, [I] apparently drove that night and my car mirror was ripped off. Even my toaster was almost snapped in half, but I have no recollection of any of that.”
Soriero said he believes his then-girlfriend was the intended target of the drugging, which cost him $400 worth of monetary damages and a short-term emotional toll.
For three days after the incident, Soriero said he did not eat or sleep and was constantly nervous and timid.
“It kind of just weighs on you. It messes you up a bit,” he said. “It was scary. … I’m not going to lie, it took me a while to get back to normalcy.”
On Oct. 19, the Monday after the drugging, Soriero received a drug test at the Student Health Center to prove to his girlfriend there was a reason for his actions that night. The results showed Benzodiazepine in his system.
According to WebMD, “benzos” are prescribed tranquilizers used to treat conditions such as anxiety and insomnia, assist with alcohol withdrawal and control seizures. Two popular benzodiazepines are Valium and Xanax.
When Soriero told friends about his experience with date rape drugs that week, two of them confessed they had also been drugged at Reggie’s previously.
Soriero also posted about the incident on the LSU Class of 2018 Facebook page to warn other students. He received a message shortly after from a woman who confirmed having benzos in her system after being drugged at JL’s Place on wine night Oct. 20.
According to the Office on Women’s Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, most date rape drugs produce side effects associated with alcohol intoxication, such as muscle relaxation, dizziness and memory problems.
Fowler said alcohol is the most common date rape drug, as it is often consumed by free will. Other forms of date rape drugs include gamma hydroxybutyrate, more commonly known as GHB, rohypnol and ketamine.
GHB takes effect after 15 minutes and can last up to four hours, while rohypnol’s effects can be felt within 30 minutes and can last a few hours longer. Ketamine is the fastest-acting of the three drugs, according towomenshealth.gov.
Fowler said students should watch their drinks as they are made should and not leave them unattended. Staying with a group of trusted individuals is another preventative tactic students should consider, she said.
“We have discussed [the reports] with LSUPD, who has taken additional steps in education and patrolling in [the Tigerland] area,” Fowler said. “The Lighthouse Program and the We’re Committed program are constantly doing programming related to prevention and safety, as well as promoting being an active bystander.”