WILMINGTON -- A New Hanover County woman says she has no doubt someone slipped a drug in her drink while recently out in downtown Wilmington. Rape prevention educators say this is a real threat locally and it's happening more often than it's being reported. Courtney Ryan set out for a fun night out with girlfriends. It didn't turn out that way. "My friend went to the bathroom and I just remember her coming back and handing her drink back to her and that's the last thing I remember of that night," Ryan said. "The next thing I remember is waking up Sunday morning and I was still not normal, I still felt drugged and I went into the bathroom and I was sick." Ryan remembers turning her back on her drink only once throughout the night, which she thinks may have invited someone to make a move. Her husband Kevin picked her and friend up downtown and at first just thought his wife was extremely drunk. Kevin Ryan said, "She was unresponsive, had no equilibrium, loss of all motor skills, lost the ability to community effectively." Ryan says drinking has never caused her to act that way. She said she had four drinks in the four hours she was out. "The what-ifs could happen to another girl, and that's what scares me the most, anything can happen and it's really, really scary." Rape prevention educator Shemekka Miles said, "It's prevalent and it's here and it's real and more people need to get an understanding of what's going on and the dangers of it." The Coastal Horizons Rape Crisis Center had six suspected or confirmed drug facilitated rapes reported to them in November and December of 2007. To help prevent this Miles is working closely with several downtown bars. Among other things, bouncers and bartenders are trained to place coasters over unattended drinks. The Reel Cafe is one of the establishments on board. Reel Café bartender Jay Jenkins said, "Just looking out for the groups of ladies and things like that, so they can go out and have a good time and not worry so much about that and help educate them as well about not leaving your drink unattended." While Ryan was one of the lucky ones -- and was not assaulted -- she doesn't want what she went through to happen to anyone else. "Just because something sexually didn't happen wrong to me, doesn't mean I still wasn't violated," Ryan said. Ryan is so concerned about this incident she created a blog for people to anonymously write in about similar situations: http://stopdrugrape.blogspot.com/.
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