Date Rape Drugs


Drugs sometimes collide with social situations in dangerous ways. Make sure your teen knows about date rape and the common drugs used to facilitate this act so they can protect themselves and friends when at a party or club. For more resources on date rape drugs, call us.

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What Is Date Rape?

Date rape is a nonconsensual sexual act between two or more people who know each other. In the case of date rape, the perpetrator and the victim choose to spend time together and have a relationship, perhaps as a good friend or even in a romantic way. Date rape is a form of acquaintance rape, which occurs between people who are merely acquainted, like neighbors or coworkers.

Although statistics reveal a high number of date rape scenarios — studies show 13.3% of college women say they have been forced to have sex in a dating situation — the number of victims in the same population who report these cases of sexual assault stays relatively low — only 20% of female student survivors age 18–24 report to law enforcement. Many people believe they cannot be raped if they actively choose to be in a romantic relationship like a marriage or domestic partnership with someone, however this is not true. Consent must be given every single time a couple has sex. If it isn’t, it’s rape.

Date rape is a felony. Because it involves forcing someone to perform a sexual act they don’t want to, the perp can be prosecuted for their actions. One or more drugs are often used to facilitate the sexual assault. Date rape can occur at parties and nightclubs where it’s easy to distract a victim, as well as in a private place like the victim’s home.

The targets are often younger people, mostly high school- and college-aged men and women. Studies show girls ages 16 – 19 are at the most risk — four time more likely than any other gender and age combination — to be victims of sexual assault or rape. But men are affected too — statistics reveal male college-aged students are 78% more likely than male non-students of the same age group to be a victim of sexual assault.

How Are Drugs Used In Date Rape?

Similar to how date rape is nonconsensual, consuming date rape drugs is also nonconsensual. Sexual assault victims are often slipped drugs unknowingly to make them more vulnerable and easier for the perpetrator to attack.

Certain drugs have become popular over the years for their debilitating effects. These drugs often cause amnesia, dizziness, sleepiness, immobility, confusion and memory loss — they render the victims unaware of their surroundings and unable to protect themselves. Alcohol is the most common date rape drug because it’s typically already available in abundance at parties. Mixed with other date rape drugs, it can amplify the effects.

Most “date rape drugs” (or “knock out drugs”) come in liquid or powder form, making it easy for someone to slip it into their victim’s drink without the person noticing. These drugs are usually colorless, odorless and tasteless, which also makes it hard for the victim to tell they’re taking drugs.

What Are Common Date Rape Drugs?

The most commonly used date rape facilitator is alcohol — whether on its own or combined with another drug. Other illicit drugs used for date rape are:

  • Rohypnol — referred to as roofies and R2; illegal in the U.S., but prescribed legally in Europe
  • GHB – (or gamma hydroxybutyric acid) referred to as cherry meth and scoop
  • Ketamine – referred to as cat valium, vitamin K and special K)
  • Ecstasy – referred to as Molly, X and E
  • LSD – referred to as acid

As these drugs have become more known for use in date rapes, some pharmaceutical companies have made changes to their product in an attempt to help the potential victim. For example, the manufacturer of Rohypnol recently changed the pill so when it’s dissolved into a drink the liquid turns blue. This change isn’t foolproof though — the blue color may only be visible in light-colored drinks, and generic Rohypnol does not have this tamper-resistant feature.

Symptoms of Date Rape Drugs

If your teen has been drugged at a party, they may experience certain symptoms including:

  • Dizziness
  • Immobility
  • Unconsciousness
  • Impaired judgement
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Detachment from one’s body (the feeling of watching yourself from outside your body)
  • Difficulty staying awake
  • Black-outs
  • Memory loss

It can take mere minutes after being drugged to start feeling the effects, and they may last for 3 – 4 hours.

It can be very hard for a victim to determine whether or not they were sexually assaulted because these drugs impair the memory. What’s worse, most date rape drugs are fast-acting and therefore leave the system quicker. By the time your teen realizes they may have been assaults, the drugs may no longer be in their system. At that point, it would be difficult to prove drugs were a factor.

However, there are some signs that may give you a clue as to whether your child was taken advantage of. If your teen remembers feeling any of the symptoms above, and is experiencing any of the signs below, they may have been attacked:

  • Feeling very drunk, even if your teen had very little or nothing alcoholic to drink
  • Waking up hung over, disoriented or unable to remember parts or all of the previous night’s activities
  • Remembering having one drink, but an inability to remember anything afterward
  • Noticing unexplained bruises, cuts or pains
  • Feeling as if they’ve had sex, but not remembering the act
  • Noticing their clothes are missing, torn or put on incorrectly

What if My Teen Believes They May Have Been Sexually Assaulted?

It’s very important to get help immediately if your teen has been or thinks they may have been raped. Statistics show sexual assault victims are 3 times more likely to suffer from depression, 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide, 6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol and 26 times more likely to abuse drugs. Seeking professional help after the incident can greatly mitigate these effects.

If your teen or one of their friends has been raped, or thinks they may have been raped, they should:

  • Call the police to report the rape. The police will walk them through next-steps. Many victims feel embarrassed afterwards and don’t want to report the incident, but avoiding reporting will only help the perpetrator get away with their crimes and possibly assault more people. Data shows 98% of sexual assault perps never spend a day in jail because the vast majority of incidents — 68% — go unreported.
  • Go to the hospital for a rape kit exam. Collecting a rape kit will help authorities obtain essential evidence to prosecute the attacker. It’s important not to wash, shower, douche or change clothes between the incident and when the rape kit is collected.
  • Seek counseling. Call the national rape crisis hotline (1-800-799-SAFE) to talk to someone immediately. They may be able to refer a local counselor.

Does Your Child Need Drug Abuse Treatment?

As you know, common date rape drugs can be abused recreationally by teens looking to get high. If you find that your child has experimented with any drugs, it is imperative that you speak to a professional immediately. Your child’s doctor is a great place to start — they can determine if addiction is present.

If it turns out that your child is suffering from substance addiction, some form of teen rehab treatment will likely be necessary. You have a number of options, and we can help you sort through them and pick the one that will work best for your family.

Addiction doesn’t rest until it has taken everything. Your child’s future, their health and even their life. You must act now. We at TheRecoveryVillage.com have significant experience helping parents like you, whose teenagers have dealt with substance abuse. Give us a call for free assistance in handling this situation. Our addiction advisors are professional, discreet and experienced. Just reach out — we’re here for you.

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Date Rape Drugs
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Date Rape Drugs was last modified: June 14th, 2017 by The Recovery Village