Date Rape Drugs

What are date rape drugs?

Date rape drugs are any kind of drug that’s used to aid someone in committing sexual assault or rape. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks can be spiked with date rape drugs, and it can happen at clubs, bars and parties. The effects of date rape drugs depend on a number of factors, including your size, weight, and the amount or combination of drugs used. If you were to consume these date rape drugs, you may become unconscious or unable to defend yourself or remember what happened during the time the drug was in your system. 

Types of Date Rape Drugs

Three common types of date rape drugs used in the U.S. are GHB, Rohypnol (also known as “roofies”) and Ketamine. These drugs are powerful and fast-acting. Once you swallow one of these date rape drugs that’s been put in your drink, it can take effect either immediately or within a half hour. You may not know that your drink has been spiked with one of these drugs until you start to feel the side effects—like dizziness, nausea, confusion, sleepiness, or a drunk feeling—because these drugs are often clear in color, odorless, and tasteless.

Aside from these drugs, alcohol is the most common drug used to commit any type of sexual violence like sexual assault and rape. Someone might add alcohol to a non-alcoholic drink or add more alcohol to an alcoholic drink to make it much stronger. Don’t assume that you can always taste the alcohol in your drinks. If your drink is sweet or has strong flavors, the taste of alcohol can be masked.

Any kind of drug that impairs your thinking, consciousness, or mobility can be used against you, including marijuana, cocaine, molly/MDMA/ecstasy, or sleeping aids (like Nyquil or Ambien). 

How to Prevent Being Drugged

  • Don’t accept drinks from strangers or leave drinks unattended. If someone offers you a drink, go to the bar with them
  • Don’t share drinks or drink from a communal punch bowl that someone else has prepared
  • Buy your own drinks and know what you are drinking
  • Don’t drink something you did not open, or see opened or poured
  • When holding your drink, hold it from the top so it covers the opening. If anyone wants to slip something in it, it’ll make it much harder to do so without you noticing.
  • If you’re unsure about your drink or if you think it tastes strange, stop drinking it. In some cases, GHB can taste salty, although this taste is often masked by the taste of a drink.
  • If you’re going to use illegal substances, buy a tester kit and don’t accept free drugs at a party
  • Always have a friend join you at parties. There is safety in numbers.
  • Let someone know you’re supposed to be home at a certain time and where it is you plan on going that night.

What to Do If You Think You've Been Drugged

If you think someone has put a date rape drug in your drink, immediately tell someone you trust or call the police. If you’re in a public place, you can also tell the bartender, waitress, manager or security staff.

You might not realize that you’ve been drugged until several hours, or even days, after it happens. If this is the case, it is still important to tell your doctor that you suspect you’ve been drugged. They can check for the presence of certain drugs through urine or blood tests within 24 hours. Depending on the circumstances, a doctor or the police may ask you to take a sexual assault kit (or series of tests to determine if you may have been sexually assaulted while you were drugged). You may not have realized that you were assaulted. To find out more about sexual violence and assault, please review the Sexual Violence article.

Date Rape Drugs and the Law

Although certain drugs like Ketamine are legal in the U.S. for medical purposes, they’re tightly restricted and should not be used to drug someone against their knowledge. Roofies are illegal in the U.S., and in every case, sexual assault and rape are illegal.

Information in this article was provided by:

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