Date Rape Drugs

date-rape-drug

There are three main date rape drugs: GHB, rohypnol and ketamine. These drugs are clear, odorless, usually in liquid form, and have such a slight taste that it may go unnoticed, especially in flavored drinks.

Because GHB can induce loss of memory it is one of the most popular date rape drugs. Victims do not remember clearly what happened. Other common effects include visual problems, dizziness, drowsiness, and a dream-like state. Once the intial effects start to wear off (within about 15 minutes) people often feel nauseated and may start vomiting. GHB can be produced using common ingredients at home, which makes it cheap and easy to come by for sexual predators. Repeated exposure, as well as higher doses, can cause seizures, slow heart rate, breathing problems, coma, and even death. GHB is legal only in very specific cases of narcolepsy.
Rohypnol can also cause amnesia, blackouts, and confusion. Many victims of Rohypnol mistakenly thing they are just extremely drunk because it causes slurred speech, decreased motor skills and visual distortion, and other symptoms associated with drunkenness. One may experience a drop in blood pressure or extreme sleepiness. Stomach problems are very unpleasant side effects of rohypnol. Roypnol, though used in Europe and Mexico as an anesthetic, it is not legal for any use in the United States.

Ketamine, or “Special K” is a hallucinogen which can make the entire experience of date rape even more scary. Sight and sound are often distorted, and a loss of sense of time and identity may occur, giving the sense of having an out of body experience. Ketamine temporarily immobilizes muscle control. Most victims remain conscious, but feel out of control because they can’t move. Ketamine can also cause nausea, trouble breathing, convulsions, coma and death. Ketamine is legal as an anesthetic mainly for used in veterinary care of animals. Therefore most ketamine is actually stolen from veterinary clinics.

It is important to take precautions to avoid being a victim of date rape drugs:

  • Do not accept drinks from other people. Ever.
  • Open all containers yourself. Always.
  • Keep your drink with you at all times. If it is out of your sight, even briefly, get a new one.
  • Avoid getting your drinks from a punch bowl. These can easily be spiked.
  • Try to bring a friend to help you avoid lapses in judgment.

If you think that you might be a victim of date rape, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. Go to the hospital immediately, as date rape drugs go through your system fairly quickly.

  • Do not go to the bathroom prior to seeking help. You will need your urine to be tested.
  • Even though you may feel unclean, do not bathe or douche prior to getting help.
  • Do not change your clothes. All of these things provide evidence.
  • Get counseling. You can ask the hospital to refer you, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE or 800-787-3224 (TDD).