What do date-rape drugs mean?
Date-rape drugs are substances that if ingested make it easier for someone to rape or perform any sexual activity. The activity is without another person’s (man/woman) agreement (sexual assault). Date-rape drugs are especially reportedly used at dance clubs and rave parties, so they are named club drugs.
Date-rape does not necessarily occur on a date, although the name suggests so. An attacker could be anyone you have just met or even someone you have known for a while and might not be in a relationship.
Usually, alcohol and certain medications are used as date-rape drugs. Date-rape drugs or alcohol may be put into your drinks without you knowing it. The victim may become confused, have trouble defending against unwanted sexual contact, or be unable to remember anything about the incident. Additionally, they can be used while committing other crimes such as robbery. In the United States, nearly 11 million women have been raped while drunk or drugged.
What are club drugs and types?
Several drugs or medications are used to overpower a person to forget an incident. These drugs are colorless, tasteless, and odorless; therefore, these are easily added to any flavored drink without the victim's knowledge. The following drugs are commonly used as date-rape drugs:
Any type of drugs including marijuana, cocaine, prescription, or over-the-counter drugs such as antidepressants, tranquilizers, or sleeping pills aid to overpower a victim or make them forget an assault.
- Gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB): It is an antidepressant that psychiatrists commonly prescribe to treat a sleep disorder. It is also known as an easy lay, Georgia homeboy, liquid ecstasy, Gib, G-riffic, scoop, soap, salty water, liquid E, grievous bodily harm, liquid X, organic Quaalude, or fantasy. It is available in a colorless or odorless liquid, white powder, or pill form that might give your drink a slightly salty taste. If mixed with sweet fruit juices, it can mask the salty taste.
- Rohypnol (flunitrazepam): This is a strong sedative, and it easily dissolves in any alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage. It is also known as Mexican valium, circles, R2, rope, forget-me pill, roofies, ruffies, la rocha, roche. It is not available in the United States legally. In some countries, it is used as anesthesia before surgery. It is available in a small round and white pill form that dissolves in liquid. Newer pills are oval, and green-greyish in color, which gives a bright blue color to drink and turns it to a cloudy form. If it is dissolved in cola or dark beer you will not notice it.
- Ketamine: It is available with nicknames such as Special K, vitamin K, and cat valium. It is used by veterinary doctors as anesthesia and is available in a white powder or liquid form. Researchers are studying their effect on people with severe depression. Similar to GHB ketamine is quickly digested by the system; therefore, it is very difficult to detect it in a screening test.
- Alcohol: Many attackers use one of these three drugs along with alcohol to boost the drug effect.
What are the side effects of club drugs?
Gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB): The effects start in 15-30 minutes and last for three to six hours. It is very potent. Even a very small amount can have a big effect, and it is easy to overdose. You may feel relaxed, drowsy, dizzy, and sleepy. It may cause
- Memory loss.
- Slow heartbeat.
- Slow breathing.
- Breathing problem.
- Comatose state.
- Vision problems.
- Unconsciousness (black-out).
Rohypnol: Its effects usually start within 30 minutes and peak about two hours after you take it; it can last for several hours. Even 1 mg of this can affect you for 8-12 hours. In high doses, it may cause
- Loss of muscle control or relaxed muscle.
- Memory loss.
- Loss of inhibitions.
- Trouble standing.
- Slurred speech.
- Drunk feeling.
- Slurred speech.
- Vision problems.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Stomach problems.
- Loss of consciousness (black-out).
Ketamine: Its effect starts within 30 minutes and lasts an hour or two sometimes, even for a day or more. This drug makes you feel disconnected and detached from reality and the environment. You may have
- Hallucinations or feel woozy.
- Upset stomach.
- High blood pressure.
- High heart rate.
Alcohol: It usually affects your brain within a few minutes. Alcohol by itself can also keep someone from defending themselves or disconnecting from their surrounding. Alcohol may make you relaxed, chatty, and confident and you may have
- Unstable emotions.
- Loss of body control.
- Memory loss.
How will I know if I have been drugged?
Every club drug shows different symptoms. However, there are certain common symptoms that might indicate that you have been drugged such as follows:
- Sudden nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or weakness
- Loss of memory
- An altered state of mind or altered behavior such as sudden aggression
If you notice that you or a friend has been drugged, seek medical help immediately. A doctor will screen your system for drugs using a rape kit. Your doctor may ask for a urine sample. If you still have remnants of the drink, save them for analysis.
Date rape drugs can be screened up to 72 hours after the incident. However, it is optimally done within 24 hours. Many of these drugs get digested by the system very quickly; therefore, it becomes hard to detect.
These drugs are so powerful that it affects your system very quickly without knowing. The time of its effect may vary depending upon the type of drug or alcohol. Some drugs with alcohol become stronger and may cause serious health issues or even death.
Office on Women’s health: https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/date-rape-drugs
NIH on drug abuse: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/what-are-date-rape-drugs-and-how-do-you-avoid-them
University of Michigan Medicine: https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/uq2448
Amherst police department Massachusetts: https://www.amherstma.gov/1001/Date-Rape-Drugs
Foundation for drug free world: https://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/prescription/rohypnol.html
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