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What did you drink? That's a good question.
Do you think you know the answer? Have you been watching your drink? That's one step in protecting yourself from drinking something containing harmful drugs, such as date rape drugs. But you should now ask yourself, did you even know the person you took this cup from? In school it is a safe bet that no one would be giving out anything hazardous to your health, except possibly some food from the food court. But if you were so quick to consume this drink, what would make you act differently at a party, especially after you already have a few? These is a very serious and potentially scary idea.
Please continue reading on to find out more about date rape drugs, their effects, how to avoid them, what to do if you you think that you have been a victim of a date rape drug and what it was that you actually drank.
What are date rape drugs?
Date rape drugs include GHB, Rohypnol, and Ketamine and can be used to incapacitate someone for the purpose of committing a crime, usually rape. GHB is usually found in a liquid form that is colorless, odorless, and tasteless even when mixed with just water. It has the street name of liquid extacy, liquid x, scoop and easy lay. It is usually distributed as a sodium salt in powder or tablet form commonly dissolved in water. Rohypnol is a potent tranquilizer in a pill form that dissolves quickly and easily in water. Street names for this drug include roofies, rope, ruffies, R2, ruffles, roche, and forget-pill. Katamine is another form of date rape drug that is commonly used as an animal tranquilizer. It comes in liquid, powder, or pill form. On the street it is commonly refered to as 'K' Special K, Vitamin K and Ket.
Of these drugs, Rohypnol is the only one not legal in the United States. It is legal in Europe and Mexico though and continually smuggled into the United States. With these drugs being legal, it would be easy for someone to gain control of one of these drugs and then gain control of you.
What are the effect of date rape drugs?
Most often the victims appear very intoxicated, which may be inconsistent for the amount of alcohol consumed. Some of the other symptoms can include relaxation, drowsiness, dizziness, black outs, dream-like feeling, problems breathing and seeing, motor-skill problems, hallucinations, out of control feeling, out of body experiences, and confusion. All of these symptoms make it very easy for someone to take advantage of someone under the influence of a date rape drug. The main symptom that appeals to rapists is the inability to recall events while under the influence of the drug. Many victims report feeling "foggy" the next day. They feel they can't focus or that they are operating in a "hazy" world.
How can I protect myself from being a victim?
There are a few key things that you can do to greatly reduce the chance of this happening to you. First of all do not under any circumstance accept drinks from other people as well as share drinks with other people. Make entirely sure you keep your drink with you at all time, even when you go to the bathroom. Also make sure this drink doesn't come from a punch bowl or other large, commonly available containers. These may already contain drugs in them. The drinks you do have make sure you open the containers themselves. When you plan to go to a party make sure you have a non-drinking friend with you. Having someone else there that is in the right state of mind is helpful on many levels. Not only can they safely drive you home, they can also keep an eye on you and any suspicious behavior of others. Often due to the nausea or lightheadedness, victims usually want to go outside and get some fresh air. This is a ideal time for a perpetrator to move in. Having someone you trust go with you in situations like this could help save you from your own vulnerability.
What should I do if I feel like this has happened to me?
First of all you should know that it is NOT YOUR FAULT. Regardless of whether or not you took precautions, this happening is not your fault. If you or someone you know thinks they have been drugged, they can obtain a test in one of our local hospitals up to 72 hours after the incident. GHB leaves your body in 12 hours though so acting in a timely fashion is very important. If you can help it, do not urinate before getting help. Do not douche, bathe, or change clothes before getting help as these can give evidence of the rape. Feeling of shame, guilt, fear, and shock are normal feelings. Feel free to call a crisis center or a hotline to talk with a counselor if you need, that is what they are there for. You can also talk to a counselor at Health Services by calling and setting up an appointment.