Boston

A Northeastern Student Has Started a Push to Make Testing for Date Rape Drugs Easier

A Massachusetts state senator, inspired by a story posted on TikTok by a Northeastern student, has filed a bill that would establish a protocol for date rape drug testing in all hospitals

NBC Universal, Inc.

A Northeastern University student’s TikTok could soon make it easier for anyone in Massachusetts to get tested for date rape drugs. She posted on social media about her frustrating experience getting denied at a local hospital and it caught the attention of a state lawmaker who is now trying to help. 

Brinly Meelia still remembers that night last October when she went to a house party and woke up the next morning with a strong feeling her drink had been drugged. 

STAY IN THE KNOW

icon

Watch NBC10 Boston news for free, 24/7, wherever you are.

icon

Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.

“It was the first time I had ever experienced this and I just wanted to know what drug was in my body,” Meelia said. 

However, finding out exactly what drug was in her system was far from easy. After several urgent cares referred her to area hospitals, she went to the emergency room at Massachusetts General Hospital. She said after waiting a few hours, she was told she could not get tested because she had not been raped or sexually assaulted. 

“They said I couldn’t since there was no criminal activity involved. Tell me why drugging someone isn’t considered criminal activity,” Meelia said in her TikTok. 

Her video about her experience went viral. Not only did it reach MGH, where hospital officials have recently implemented changes, it also caught the attention of a state senator. 

“Frankly, it was horrifying,” Sen. Paul Feeney (D-Foxboro) said. 

The video motivated Feeney to file a bill that would establish a protocol for date rape drug testing in all hospitals, whether or not a sexual assault has occurred. It would also make resources available to patients who think their drink has been drugged and establish a task force that would track confirmed spiking incidents. 

“Because we can’t change what we can’t measure and if we’re not offering the right test to victims in their time of need, then we are not accurately measuring this problem,” Feeney said. 

Meelia, who is a public health major at Northeaster, said she could not be more on board with the idea. She is also hoping some of the 28,000 people who liked her TikTok will show up to hearings and help get the bill passed.

“Even to be able to speak at a hearing would be really cool because so many people have these stories,” Meelia said.

Last spring Boston police issued a warning about reports of drink spiking and urged victims to come forward after an apparent uptick in incidents. Police told the NBC10 Investigators that these types of incidents often go unreported.

Contact Us