Never Share This One Thing With a Stranger, Police Say in New Warning

·3 min read

Sharing is caring, as the old adage goes. Sharing toys as kids is one of the first lessons we learn, and as adults, we do our best to share what we can with friends and acquaintances alike. Sharing with strangers, on the other hand, can carry hidden dangers. Police have just issued a new warning about one thing in particular you should never share with someone you don't know. Read on to find out what you'll want to keep to yourself from here on out.

READ THIS NEXT: Never Go to the Bathroom at a Bar Without Doing This First, Police Warn.

It's important to be cautious with people you don't know.

As we age, the fear of "stranger danger" tends to subside, leaving us more likely to strike up a conversation with someone we don't know at a bar. It's exciting to get to know someone new, and most of these encounters range from innocuous to pleasant, but that doesn't mean strangers can't pose a risk.

While the Rape, Abuse&Incest National Network (RAINN) estimates that perpetrators of sexual violence most often know their victim, roughly 19.5 percent of these assaults are committed by a stranger. Now, police have warned about one way you could be putting yourself in danger, highlighting one specific social activity that may appear benign—but sometimes isn't.

Criminals have found a new way to administer date-rape drugs.

If you regularly use e-cigarettes or vapes—or even just recreationally indulge—you'll want to heed a new warning from the Barnstable, Massachusetts police department.

Victims are no longer just having their drinks spiked, but could now be drugged through vapes and altered e-cigarettes, the department warned in a Facebook post on June 14. Authorities addressed the public after receiving another report of a patron feeling the effects of date-rape drugs at a Massachusetts bar.

"As a result of the ongoing investigation, information has been developed that the method of ingestion of these drugs may not just be drinks, it is possible that the substance is being delivered via altered 'vape' cartridges," the Barnstable police wrote on Facebook.

RELATED: For more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Don't share vapes with strangers, and keep a close eye on your drink as well.

Drugs like Rohypnol (or "roofies"), GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid), and ketamine are often used to spike people's drinks—but now, police say they could also be ingested through a vape. These drugs are colorless, odorless, and tasteless, and they are commonly referred to as "date-rape drugs," as they are used to subdue and disorient victims without their knowledge.

In light of this, Barnstable police urged citizens not to use or share vape cartridges with strangers, and to also keep an eye on drinks.

Make sure that your beverage is always covered if left unattended, as police in Boston, Massachusetts also recently reported an increase in drink-spiking activity. Drink spiking was also reported at bars on Cape Cod ahead of Memorial Day weekend, Barnstable police said.

To keep yourself protected, police recommend having a friend, family member, or someone you trust watch your drink when you head to the bathroom. You can also opt to purchase different "creative inventions" that keep your drink covered, which are available for purchase on sites like Amazon, Walmart, and Etsy.

There have not yet been any reported assaults tied to vapes.

The Barnstable Police Department confirmed that there have not yet been any assaults reported, as of June 14, but authorities are urging people to remain vigilant.

Anyone who has information about individuals or establishments that may be selling or distributing the altered cartridges are asked to come forward.

READ THIS NEXT: If You Find This on the Ground, Don't Pick It Up, Police Say in New Warning