What Are Date Rape Drugs?

Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault (DFSA), more commonly called “date rape,” is any sexual assault in which a perpetrator uses drugs to his or her advantage. Drugs and alcohol impair an individual’s ability to think, move, and communicate clearly. Some of these substances even cause the victim to pass out or fall asleep. These mind-altering substances are often used by rapists to incapacitate their victim(s) before a sexual assault.

In one study, 62% of women who reported sexual assault had drugs in their systems.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/rapes-assisted-by-drugs-or-alcohol-are-all-too-common/

Consent and Sexual Assault

The term “sexual assault” includes any and all forms of unwanted sexual contact. If one party does not consent, cannot consent, or was coerced into consenting, a sexual assault took place. Drugs, alcohol, and unusual circumstances do not excuse or remove the fact of sexual assault. Sexual assault is still sexual assault even if:

  • The victim could not consent because of drugs or alcohol.
  • The perpetrator was drunk or high.
  • The victim willingly consumed drugs or alcohol.
  • Somebody other than the perpetrator gave drugs to the victim.
  • The perpetrator and the victim have had consensual sex in the past.
  • The victim might have consented if he or she had been sober.
  • The victim and/or perpetrator were fully clothed.
  • The touching was non-penetrative
  • An attempted rape was interrupted.
  • The victim and perpetrator are dating or married.

Nothing that the victim says or does ever justifies sexual assault, whether or not drugs are involved. Sexual assault is only ever the fault of the perpetrator, never the victim.

Alcohol

Alcohol is the most common substance used in DFSA. The rapist might sneak alcohol into a victim’s non-alcoholic beverage, or the rapist might take advantage of a victim who has been drinking willingly. Alcohol works on the central nervous system, lowering inhibitions and slowing down the individual’s ability to think. Eventually, alcohol consumption can make a person lose control over his or her movements. In larger amounts, alcohol can also cause a person to pass out. Rapists at clubs, parties, dates, and other social situations will exploit those who are incapacitated by the effects of alcohol.

If you have an addiction to alcohol or any other drug, call 800-492-QUIT today.

Other Date Rape Drugs

The most common date rape drugs include Rohypnol (roofies), benzodiazepines (sleeping pills), GHB, and Ketamine. A rapist who uses these drugs will usually slip the drugs into a person’s drink while that person is looking away. The tastes and colors of these drugs are easily masked by most drinks, which means that the victim may not realize that he or she has been drugged until the substances take effect. While these drugs all have different chemical properties, they have similar impacts. They limit a person’s ability to fight off an attacker by making the person lose control over his or her physical and mental state.

How Do I Know if I’ve Been Drugged?

If somebody gives you drugs without your consent, you may notice several of these effects as the drugs enter your bloodstream:

  • Your limbs feel heavy.
  • You’re slurring your speech.
  • You’re confused, or your thoughts are slow and foggy. You may feel like you’re in a dream or that you have no control over your reality.
  • You’re nauseated.
  • You’re extremely sleepy.
  • You have dizziness or vision problems.

If you ever experience any of the above symptoms, get help as soon as possible. Talk to the bartender or a person you trust, or call 911.

The day after being drugged, you may wake up feeling hungover or sick. You may have limited memories of the night before. If you wake up and suspect that you’ve been drugged, call 911 or get to the nearest hospital as soon as you can.

Are Date Rape Drugs Addictive?

Yes, date rape drugs can be addictive. In addition to their use in DFSA, these drugs are also sometimes used recreationally. With repeated use, the brain can develop a dependence on these drugs. With dependence, a person’s brain and body get used to the drugs, and this person will feel that he or she can’t function without them. These drugs also have the potential for tolerance, which means that the individual will require larger and larger doses to achieve the same impact.

Getting Help

If you have been sexually assaulted, or if you think you might have been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE.

If you have an addiction to DFSA drugs or any other type of drug,

contact Rehab Info at 800-492-QUIT. Help is available. You don’t have to overcome your circumstances alone.
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