Date Rape Drugs

Drug-Facilitated Rape

For decades, perpetrators have misused sedatives in order to incapacitate individuals during a sexual assault. Alcohol has been used by perpetrators for years, but more recently reports have identified several other substances used in drug-facilitated rapes, including gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), scopolamine, burundanga, and ketamine. These drugs may come in varied forms such as powder, pill/tablet, or liquid. Depending on the type of drug and its form, sedating substances may or may not have a noticeable color or odor.

Individuals may react differently to sedating substances depending on the dosage, their metabolism and sensitivity to the substance, and the presence of alcohol and/or other drugs. There are several telltale signs that an individual may be under the influence of a sedating substance:

  • impaired judgment
  • lowered inhibition
  • dizziness confusion
  • drowsiness
  • impaired motor coordination
  • impaired memory
  • unconsciousness   

If an individual appears extremely intoxicated after consuming a non-alcoholic beverage, or only a small amount of alcohol, they may have unknowingly ingested one of a number of substances. Depending on the substance and the presence of alcohol and other drugs in the person's system, more dangerous and sometimes life-threatening side effect may occur.

If you or a friend feel dizzy, confused or have other sudden, unexplained symptoms after drinking a beverage, call a family member, friend, the police, a doctor or 911 for help in getting to a hospital.

What to Do if You Suspect You Have Been Drugged and Sexually Assaulted

  1. Get to a safe place and call a sexual assault hot-line.
     
  2. Determine whether or not you would like to report the incident to the police. If there is any chance that you do want to report the assault, you should not shower, bathe, douche, change clothes or straighten up the area until medical and legal evidence is collected as these actions will destroy evidence.
     
  3. If you want to report the assault, you may phone the police prior to going to the hospital to have medical evidence collected. The hospital staff is required to inform the police if a survivor of a violent crime comes to the ER. This does not mean, however, that you MUST report the crime.
     
  4. Regardless of whether or not you choose to report the assault to the police, you should go to a hospital for treatment of external and/or internal injuries, tests for pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases, and support services.
     
  5. Request a urine test to detect the presence of sedating substances as quickly as possible. Chances of getting proof are best when the sample is obtained soon after the substance has been ingested, but the test can be reliable on a sample obtained up to 72 hours later. The test is free.

Reduce the Risk of Drug-Facilitated Rape

Do not leave drinks unattended. Do not take any beverages, including alcohol, from someone you do not know well and trust. At a bar, accept drinks only from the bartender or server. At parties, do not accept open container drinks from anyone. Be alert to the behaviors of friends. Anyone appearing intoxicated may be in danger. Anyone who believes they have consumed a sedative-like substance should be driven to the hospital emergency room or should call 911 for and ambulance. Try to keep a sample of the drink for analysis.

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