Date Rape Drugs

Date rape drugs explained and de-mystified.

In recent years a new kind of rape threat has reared it's ugly head at parties, on campuses and in nightclubs - so called "predator" or "date rape" drugs. What exactly are date rape drugs? Technically speaking, any substance that renders you incapable of saying no or asserting yourself and your needs can be used to commit rape. This can include things like alcohol, marijuana or other street drugs, designer or club drugs like ecstasy, over-the-counter sleeping pills and antihistamines, even cold medications. However, the term "date rape drug" usually applies to the drugs Rohypnol, Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate (GHB) and Ketamine Hydrochloride.

Why do these drugs make effective date rape drugs? There are many factors that make these drugs desirable to sexual predators. The drugs are virtually undetectable; they are tasteless, odorless and colorless. All traces of the drugs will leave the body within 72 hours of ingestion and are not found in any routine toxicology screen or blood test - doctors and police have to be looking specifically for them and they have to look quickly! Date rape drugs are easily slipped into drinks and food and are very fast acting. They render the victim unconscious but responsive with little or no memory of what happens while the drug is active in their system. The drugs also make the victim act without inhibition, often in a sexual or physically affectionate way. Like most drugs, date rape drugs render a person incapable of thinking clearly or of making appropriate decision. This makes for a very passive victim, one who is still able to play a role in what is happening but who will have no clear memory of what happened after-the-fact. Without any memory of events the victim is often unaware that they have even been raped, and if they are aware or have suspicions they make very poor witnesses.
So how do you know if you have fallen victim to a rape using a date rape drug? It is difficult, but not impossible. First, there are some very clear signs that sexual activity has taken place even if you have no memory of actually "doing it." (It is important to note here that if you have had sex but can not remember doing it or offering consent you have been raped under the law, whether a date rape drug has been used or not.) Signs that a sexual assault has taken place can include; soreness or bruising in the genital area, soreness or bruising in the anal area, bruising on the inner and/or outer thighs, bruising on the wrists and forearms, defensive bruising or scratching (the kind that would occur during a struggle), used condoms near you or in nearby garbage containers, and traces of semen or vaginal fluids on clothes, body or nearby furniture. Since people who have been slipped a date rape drug appear to others to be very intoxicated, an extremely reliable sign that you have been raped using a date rape drug is gossip from others about your behavior or the behavior of those around you. Aside from indications of sexual activity, other clues that a date rape drug may have been given to you include: feeling "hung-over" despite having ingested little or no alcohol, a sense of having had hallucinations or very "real" dreams, fleeting memories of feeling or acting intoxicated despite having taken no drugs or drinking no alcohol, no clear memory of events during an 8 to 24 hour period with no known reason for the memory lapse, and stories from others about how intoxicated you seemed at a time when you know you had taken no drugs, medications or alcohol. Short of being told that you have been given a date rape drug, there is no way to be sure without medical testing. If you suspect that you have been given a date rape drug you need to get to a hospital quickly and you must request that you be properly tested. The drugs can be found in your system if you act quickly. If you suspect that you have been raped using any one of these drugs go to a hospital and request a preliminary rape exam with testing for date rape drugs. This is the only way to know for sure.
Steps you can take to decrease the risk that you will become a date rape drug victim.


The introduction of date rape drugs into mainstream culture has put a very powerful weapon in the hands of sexual predators. Rapes can be easily committed behind a foggy haze of intoxication often leaving the victim oblivious to the fact they have been assaulted. It is a frightening thought that begs the question: "What, if anything, can be done to stop a person from falling victim to a rape using a date rape drug?" There are some simple behavior modifications you can make to ensure that you do not fall prey to a rapist armed with a date rape drug. To protect yourself always follow these simple rules:
1.Don't accept open drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) from others who you do not know or do not trust; this includes drinks that come in a glass.
2.When in bars or clubs always get your drink directly from the bartender and do not take your eyes off the bartender or your order; don't use the waitress or let somebody go to the bar for you.
3.At parties, only accept drinks in close containers: bottles, cans or tetra packs.
4.Never leave your drink unattended or turn your back on your table.
5.Do not drink from open beverage sources like punch bowls, pitchers or tubs.
6.Keep your eyes and ears open; if there is talk of date rape drugs or if friends seem "too intoxicated" for what they have taken, leave the party or club immediately and don't go back!
If these behavior modifications don't feel like enough protection, or if you don't think you can follow these rules on a given night, you do have another option. There is a brand new defense against date rape drugs that has recently been approved for use in North America; it is a simple and inexpensive test kit that can be used to detect the presence of date rape drugs in drinks. The so called "Drink Safe Technology" is actually a package of drink testing strips or coasters that work like those litmus paper strips you use in Chemistry class. The strips and coasters change color when they come in contact with a date rape drug. The strips fit in your purse or pocket and can be used quickly and discretely. To find out more about "Drink Safe" visit the website at http://www.drinksafetech.com.
Learn more about the three most common date rape drugs including how they effect you and what they look like.

Rohypnol Fact Sheet

Everything you need to know about this dangerous date rape drug.

What are the street names?
Rophy, Ruffles, Roofies, Ruffies, Ruff Up, Rib, Roach 2, R2, R2-Do-U, Roche, Rope, Ropies, Circles, Circes, Forget It, Forget-Me-pill, Mexican Valium.

What is it?
A prescription sedative/depressant belonging to the Benzodiazepine family of drugs - it is produced worldwide by Hoffman-La Roche, Inc. The generic name for Rohypnol is Flunitrazepam. This drug is not manufactured or approved for use in North America but can be found as a street drug. The drug comes in pill form in .5, 1 and 2 milligram dosages. It is tasteless, colorless and odorless and can be crushed and added to any drink, including water, without detection. In the late 1990's as an answer to Rohypnol's popular use as a date rape drug, the manufacturer voluntarily changed the formula to change color when it comes in contact with liquid, but it is still easy to find in it's original generic formulation. Repeated use of the drug can lead to dependency.

What are the effects?
The most common effects include; disinhibition and amnesia, excitability or aggressive behavior, decreased blood pressure, memory impairment, drowsiness, visual disturbances, semi-consciousness, dizziness, confusion, stomach disturbances, and urinary retention.

How quickly does it act on/leave the system?
It is quick acting, with noticeable effects occurring within 20 minutes of ingestion. Mixed without alcohol the effects last 8 - 12 hours, with alcohol the effects last longer, up to 36 hours. After ingestion it can be found in the blood stream for 24 hours and in urine samples for 48 hours.

What does it look like?
The pills are small and white with a split-pill line on one side and the word "ROCHE" with the number 1 or 2 in a circle stamped on the other. They are quickly dissolved in liquid especially when crushed first.

Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate (GHB) Fact Sheet

Everything you need to know about this dangerous date rape drug.

What are the street names?
Easy Lay, EZ Lay, Liquid Ecstasy, Ellie, Clear X, Liquid X, X-rater, XTC, Chemical X, Liquid Dream, Scoop, Scoop Her, Get-Her-to-Bed.

What is it?
It is an odorless, colorless, liquid that acts on the central nervous system as a depressant/anesthesia. It was banned in the United States in 1990 under the Samantha Reid Date-Rape Prohibition Act of 2000. It is also illegal in Canada and many parts of Europe. It is not produced or manufactured by any pharmaceutical company; instead it is made in illegal drug labs or by amateur chemists in their homes. It can be easily made with common and readily available ingredients and novice chemistry skills and the recipe is easy to find. Making, possessing and/or using this drug is illegal.

What are the effects?
The most common effects include: euphoria, amnesia, intoxication, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, amnesia, visual hallucinations, hypotension, brady-cardia, severe respiratory depression, and coma. In lower doses the most common side effects are: drowsiness, nausea, and hallucinations. In higher doses the most common side effects are: unconsciousness, seizures, severe respiratory depression, and coma. Since the drug is not standardized it is impossible to be certain what dosage you are taking or being given and accidental overdose is a distinct possibility.

How quickly does it act on/leave the system?
GHB begins to take effect 10 - 15 minutes after ingestion. The effects last for 3 - 6 hours when taken without alcohol and 36 - 72 hours when mixed with alcohol or other drugs. In very high dosages unconsciousness, or even coma, can occur within 5 minutes.
What does it look like?

It looks exactly like water

Ketamine Hydrochloride Fact Sheet

Everything you need to know about this dangerous date rape drug

What are the street names?
Special K, Super K, K, OK, KO, Vitamin K, Kid Rock, Ket Kat, Make-Her-Mine.

What is it?
A legal drug sold as a veterinary sedative or hospital grade anesthesia and goes by the brand names KetasetĀ® or KetalarĀ®). It is in the same family of drugs as PCP (phencyclidine). When used in humans the drug acts as a dissociative anesthesia; it renders the user vaguely aware of, but comfortably detached from, all bodily sensations.

What are the effects?
The most common effects include; delirium, vivid hallucinations, cardiac excitement, mild respiratory depression, confusion, irrationality, violent or aggressive behavior, vertigo, ataxia, slurred speech, delayed reaction time, euphoria, thinking, altered body image, analgesia, amnesia, and coma.

How quickly does it act on/leave the system?
This depends on how it is ingested. When taken orally or nasally the effects take 10 - 20 minutes to be realized. When taken intravenously the effects are instantaneous. The effects last less than 3 hours and the drug is detectable in the system up to 48 hours depending on the method of ingestion. Since it is often mixed with other mind-altering drugs, like heroin and cocaine, many people do not ever realize they have been given this substance.
What does it look like?

In undiluted form it looks like an off-white powder, in diluted form it looks like slightly cloudy water.
 



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