What are date rape drugs?

Date-rape drugs are substances that make it easier for someone to sexually assault or rape another person usually by making the victim unconscious.

By Brad Nakase, Attorney

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Sexual assault with date rape drugs

When date rape drugs are involved, especially if the victim took date rape drugs recreationally and was sexually assaulted, it is common for victims to themselves. However, you were unable to consent, meaning that the offender took advantage of you and the blame rests solely on them. If you or someone you love is a victim of sexual assault, please contact our sexual assault attorney for a confidential and free consultation.

What drugs are use for date rape drugs?

Date rape drugs are substances used to incapacitate individuals for the purpose of committing sexual assault or rape. Some common ones include:

  1. Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam): A sedative-hypnotic drug known as “roofies,” often colorless, tasteless, and easily dissolved in drinks.
    What does rohypnol tastes like? Rohypnol, a sedative, is tasteless and odorless when dissolved in a drink, making it hard to detect.

  2. Ketamine: A dissociative anesthetic that, when used in high doses, can cause sedation, amnesia, and immobilization.
    What does ketamine tastes like? Ketamine is bitter and has a distinct chemical taste, often described as metallic or medicine-like by those who have ingested it.


  3. GHB (Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate): A central nervous system depressant that can induce relaxation, drowsiness, and memory loss; often produced in liquid form and added to beverages.
    What does GHB tastes like? GHB, a central nervous system depressant, can be salty or slightly bitter, often masked in a drink due to its diluted form.

  4. Alcohol: While not classified specifically as a date rape drug, alcohol abuse can significantly impair judgment, coordination, and memory, making individuals vulnerable to exploitation.

These substances, when used without consent or knowledge, can render individuals unable to resist or remember an assault. It’s essential to be cautious of accepting drinks from strangers or leaving beverages unattended to prevent potential tampering. If there’s any suspicion of drink tampering or feeling unusually intoxicated, seeking help immediately is crucial.

What is drug-assisted sexual assault?

When date rape drugs or alcohol are used to compromise a person’s ability to consent to sexual activity, resist an assault, or even remember the assault. Diminished capability is a legal term that refers to sexual assault, and the definitions and charges can vary from state to state. Due to the victim’s inability to understand what is happening and be able to avoid an assault, the drug and alcohol will be taken into account, whether the drug or alcohol was administered by the offender or not.

Drink spiking with date rape drugs or alcohol can, unfortunately, happen when offenders try to inhibit a victim’s ability to fight off a sexual assault or render them completely unconscious. Sometimes, victims will be left unable to remember the sexual assault. Anyone can drug a victim, even somebody they know and trust.

How are date rape drugs or alcohol used in sexual assault?

There are two kinds of sexual assault where date rape drugs or alcohol are used. Either the offender administers date rape drugs or alcohol without the victim’s knowledge, or they take advantage of someone who is under the influence of either date rape drugs or alcohol that they have knowingly taken. Either one is a crime, and neither is the victim’s fault. The blame falls squarely on the offender as they took advantage of you in an incapacitated state.

When an offender date rape drugs a victim, it results in the victim being in a more pliable state, so it is easier to coerce and assault them. A variety of substances are used in this type of crime though alcohol is the most common. This could mean making them intentionally strong drinks or adding alcohol to a non-alcoholic drink. Date rape drugs that don’t change the color or taste of a drink are also popular such as ketamine, Rohypnol, ecstasy, and GHB. Otherwise, sleeping pills, muscle relaxants, and tranquilizers could sedate a victim.

What it feels like if you’ve been drugged

The effects will vary depending on the drug; in some cases, you might not even notice that you have been drugged. If you notice these symptoms in yourself or other people, then there is the possibility that you or they have been drugged, and you should seek out someone you trust.

  • Nausea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Losing control of your bladder
  • Feeling drunk even if you haven’t had any alcohol, or not as much alcohol as it seems.
  • Dizziness, blurry vision, or disorientation
  • Feeling suddenly hot or cold
  • Waking up with large chunks of missing memories

How to preserve evidence

Many date rape drugs that can be used in sexual assault leave the system quickly, so it is important to act fast if you think you have been drugged. The best option would be to get to a hospital immediately and ask for a sexual assault forensic exam. The National Sexual Assault Hotline will help you find a hospital that can give you an exam if you need to. If you cannot make it to a hospital immediately, you can save your urine in a clean, sealed container in the fridge until you can get a sexual assault exam.

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