Widgets Magazine

New Vaden service offers testing for drugs given without consent

Vaden now offers free testing for students who think they may have ingested drugs without their knowledge or consent. This service comes in light of several sexual assault incidents and conversations on campus that are linked to drug consumption.

Vaden director Ira Friedman referenced the issue of sexual assault on campus as the impetus for providing this service.

“We’ve heard questions from students more recently, within the last year, as to whether they’ve been given a substance that they didn’t intend to ingest,” Friedman said. “Students have asked us and we’re now thinking that it’s good to put it out there that we’re able to answer the question, at least to some more scientific degree than in the past.”

The service was piloted in the spring but it is officially being offered for the first time this quarter. According to Friedman, although Vaden is not currently reporting exactly how many tests have been administered to date, he did state that “very few” have been ordered.

A student’s clinician must refer him or her for the urine test, and results will be available within three weeks. The samples are sent to a clinical laboratory outside California to be tested.

Depending on how soon the sample is collected after consumption, a variety of drugs or substances, such as alcohol, medications or recreational drugs, may appear in the test results.

If certain drugs are found in the results or if there is suspicion that a student is the victim of a crime, the clinician must submit a report to law enforcement.

Friedman also encourages students to file a report with the University if it is confirmed that they were given a drug without their consent. He cited students’ well-being as a priority for Vaden.

“We’re providing this service because we want students to have the information, to answer their questions and to give them piece of mind,” he said.

Contact Sarah Moore at smoore6 ‘at’ stanford.edu.