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What are Date Rape Drugs?

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You may have heard of “date rape drugs” before but not quite understood what they are. Date rape drugs are any drug that is used to make sexual assault and rape easier for the perpetrator to commit.

Drugs and alcohol can make victims less able to fight back and confuse them about what is happening. In many cases, date rape drugs render the victims of sexual assault unconscious. Nearly 11 million women in the US have been raped while drugged, drunk, or high.

We need to point out that just because these drugs care called “date” rape drugs does not mean they happen only to people on dates. These drugs can be used by intimate partners, acquaintances, members of the clergy, or someone you just met.

What are the Most Common Date Rape Drugs?

There is no single date rape drug. Any type of drug that can be used to overpower a victim or make them not remember the assault can be considered a date rape drug, including:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Prescription or over-the-counter drugs such as:
    • Antidepressants
    • Tranquilizers
    • Sleeping aids

There are also more powerful drugs used for these purposes, such as:

  • Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol)
  • Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB)
  • Gamma-butyrolactone (GBL)
  • Ketamine

This set of drugs is commonly referred to as “club drugs” because they are often used at bars, clubs, parties, etc. In most cases, these drugs are used in conjunction with alcohol, making their effects even more pronounced.

How are Date Rape Drugs Used?

There are various ways people use date rape drug. In many cases, they are slipped into a person’s drink without them knowing. In other cases, a person is given a drink that is stronger than they realize or a drug that is not the one they think they are taking.

What Happens to the Body After Ingesting Date Rape Drugs?

Different drugs affect people in different ways, and not everyone’s body reacts to them in the same way. The effects of these drugs can be powerful and happen quickly. How long the effects last depends on the dosage and whether or not it was mixed with other drugs or alcohol. Date rape drugs and alcohol can make a person:

  • Dizzy
  • Slur their speech
  • Have trouble moving
  • Have muscle control problems
  • Feel nauseous or vomit
  • Have a very fast or slow heartbeat
  • Feel sleepy
  • Have trouble breathing
  • Unconscious

People who have been given date rape drugs often have trouble thinking and making decisions. In many cases, they cannot recall what happened while they were on the drug.

What Should I do if I Think I’ve been Drugged and Raped?

If you suspect that you were given drugs and raped, you need to get medical care as soon as possible. Call 911 or have someone you trust to take you to the hospital or doctor. Do not try to bathe, douche, urinate, wash your hands, change clothes, brush your hair or teeth, eat, or drink before you go to the doctor. You want to preserve any evidence of a sexual assault that can be collected through a rape kit.

Ask the hospital or doctor to test you specifically for date rape drugs. Some date rape drugs leave the body very quickly, so the sooner you can get tested, the better. You can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline confidentially at 1-800-656-4673. If you are curious to explore your legal options under civil law and the possibility of recovering damages, contact us. Our personal injury lawyers in Orange County offer free consultations.