Date Rape Drugs and Dangerous Liaisons

Date Rape Drugs” are a class of odorless and tasteless drugs that can easily be slipped into a person’s drink, incapacitating them, and making them extremely vulnerable to sexual assault.

Rohypnol, GHB and Ketamine are three drugs that come to mind in this category, though both law enforcement and victim’s advocates argue that alcohol, the substance most associated with sexual violence, should also be included.

Date Rape Drugs - Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine

The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), the world’s largest anti-sexual assault organization, reports that there’s a sexual assault every 107 seconds in the United States.

According to Kansas State University, it’s estimated that as many as 84 percent of women who have been victims of sexual assault knew their assailants, and that a staggering 57 percent of rapes occurred on a date.

Drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) is a very serious matter. Understanding this class of drugs is an important precautionary step.

What are the Most Common Date Rape Drugs and Side Effects?

Rohypnol, often referred to as “roofies,” is a powerful sedative. This drug is not legally available for prescription in the U.S., and being in possession of it signals the intent of crime. Most commonly found in small, white round tablets, it dissolves quickly in liquid and becomes invisible. Victims begin to feel the drug’s effect within 10 minutes. Rohypnol also causes:

  • Victims to feel intoxicated, have difficulty walking and may develop slurred speech
  • Impaired judgment
  • Deep sedation that lasts as long as eight hours
  • Potential respiratory distress
  • Blackouts that may last as long as 24 hours

 

GHB, which stands for gamma hydroxybutyrate, is a sedative that acts on the central nervous system. Sometimes referred to as “liquid ecstasy,” it is typically a colorless, odorless liquid with a slightly salty tang. GHB is legally prescribed for the treatment of narcolepsy, but because of its use as a date rape drug, it comes with a patient registry monitored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Combined with alcohol, GHB is particularly dangerous because the two depressants can quickly cause overdose. The effects can be felt within 10 to 20 minutes. GHB can also cause some of the following:

  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Feelings of relaxation and euphoria, leading to dis-inhibition
  • Hallucinations
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Memory loss
  • Withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, sweating, tremors and insomnia

 

Ketamine is an anesthetic that’s most widely used by veterinarians to tranquilize animals. Going by the street name “Special K,” ketamine comes in either a liquid or white powder form. At high doses, users can hallucinate as well as go into what is referred to as a “k-hole,” where they are unable to move or communicate, and feel very far away from their body. Because it can incapacitate a person, it’s been used as a date rape drug. Ketamine can also cause some of the following side effects:

  • Dangerously reduce heart rate and respiratory functions at high doses
  • Impair motor function
  • Amnesia
  • Learning ability
  • Elevate blood pressure
  • Depression

Employing good judgment and taking precautions can limit a person’s risk of being assaulted in this manner. For instance, if a drink has been out of sight, even for a moment, don’t finish it. Get a new one. If ordering from a bar, watch the bartender open or mix your drink, and in a party setting, avoid drinking from punch bowls or pitchers where it’s unclear what they’ve been made with.

Products offered through sites like drinksafe.com sell test kits that indicate whether a drink has been spiked with GHB or ketamine, as well as tamper-deterrent “reverse coasters” that cover the top of a glass. Finally, limiting the amount of alcohol you drink helps keep you fully aware of the environment.

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Date Rape Drugs and Dangerous Liaisons
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Date Rape Drugs and Dangerous Liaisons
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Date Rape Drugs like Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine are odorless, tasteless drugs slipped into a person's drink, making them vulnerable to sexual assault
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Inspire Malibu
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