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Warden Message

Rise of "Date Rape" Drug Use in Zambia

March 11, 2011

In recent months, the Embassy has received several reports of the use and attempted use of "date rape" drugs on unsuspecting females in a variety of bars and restaurants in Lusaka. 

There are several "date rape" drugs on the market, and these are easily purchased or obtained in Zambia.  Common symptoms of these drugs are: drunken feeling, loss of consciousness, memory problems, confusion, dizziness, excessive sweating, nausea, and loss of motor skills.  Rapists use the drug to render a victim easier to attack.

If you believe you have been a victim of a "date rape" drug attack, seek medical attention immediately.  The Embassy maintains a list of medical professionals on our website:

How can I protect myself from being a victim?

  • Don't accept drinks from strangers.
  • Open containers yourself.
  • Keep your drink with you at all times, even when you go to the bathroom.
  • Don't share drinks.
  • Don't drink from punch bowls or other common, open containers. They may already have drugs in them.
  • If someone offers to get you a drink from a bar or at a party, go with the person to order your drink. Watch the drink being poured and carry it yourself.
  • Don't drink anything that tastes or smells strange. Sometimes, the date rape drug GHB tastes salty.
  • Have a trusted, nondrinking, friend with you.
  • If you realize you left your drink unattended, discard it.
  • If you feel drunk and haven't drunk any alcohol - or, if you feel like the effects of drinking alcohol are stronger than usual - get help right away.

U.S. citizens can obtain Embassy updates by checking the U.S. Embassy, Zambia web site (  You can also obtain global updates at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website where you can find the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts and Country Specific Information for Zambia.  If you do not have Internet access, you may contact the call center for updates--1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except federal holidays). 

If your contact information has changed, please update your information with the Embassy via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) ( - formerly known as the Internet Based Registration Service (IBRS).  It is important to include your current phone number and current email address where you can be reached in case of an emergency.   

U.S. Embassy
Ibex Hill Road
Main switchboard number: 0211-357-000
For emergencies after hours: 0211-357-000 or 0966-877-805
American Citizen Services Queries: