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What To Do If You’ve Been Date Raped or Drugged

Date rape is becoming disturbingly common.  I’ve been getting more and more calls from women who’ve been the victim of this crime.  The scariest part is that a woman won’t always know when she has been a victim of date rape because she might wake up the next morning and have no memory or physical symptoms.   A woman might be completely unaware that she has been victimized until the day she discovers she’s six months pregnant.   

In this article I will:

  • Explain  what date rape drugs are and how they work
  • Describe the symptoms 
  • Offer advice on how to protect yourself
  • Share some myths about date rape drugs
  • Tell you what you can do if you think you’ve been victimized

Most date rape drugs are tasteless and odorless and dissolve quickly as clear liquid in your drink.  The designated driver (the one drinking only soda) should be careful because date rape drugs work in all types of drinks.  Here’s what you need to know about date rape drugs and also how to protect yourself:

What are date rape drugs and how do they work.  There are three:

  • Rohypnol.  Also known as roofies and forget-me pill, this drug is used around the world as an anesthetic before surgery.  It is a white pill that you can’t see when added to liquid, and it also has no taste or smell.  Some have a blue core which turns clear liquid blue when its added to liquid.  It’s a powerful sedative and muscle relaxant that can cause amnesia and loss of consciousness, even more so when added to alcohol.  It’s effective after 30 minutes and continues to cause effects for hours afterward.
  • Gamma hydroxybutryic acid (GHB).  Also known as liquid E, liquid ecstacy, G-riffic, cherry meth, this drug is widely known as “the date rape drug”.  It usually comes in liquid form and can be made at home; it is also tasteless and odorless.  GHB is a hypnotic depressant that causes, at the least, drowsiness and at the worst, coma.  Effects begin as early as 15 minutes after ingestion and can last up to 6 hours. When combined with alcohol, GHB can also cause death.
  • Ketamine.  Also known as k-hole and Special K, this drug is used around the world as an anesthetic for surgery.  It is tasteless and odorless and is available in powder or liquid form.  Its effects are felt quickly and can last 30 minutes to an hour.

Symptoms of Being Drugged:

There are many possible symptoms, and the list below is not exhaustive.  Always have a buddy keep an eye on you when you’re out drinking or at a party.  If you’ve been drugged, your buddy may notice that you went from happy and tipsy to something like “wasted.”  Your buddy might notice that you have “never been this drunk before.”  Here are the symptoms:

  • Loss of muscle control
  • Difficulty moving
  • Feeling drunk
  • Problems talking or slurred speech
  • Nausea
  • Loss of memory
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Vomiting
  • Numbness
  • Memory problems

[Read: Is my 15 year old son liable for child support?]

How to protect yourself:

There are several ways to protect yourself and the list below will sound like common sense because it’s pretty obvious.  If you stop to think about it, you would probably come up with these ideas yourself.  The key is to remember to do them!  

  • Always get your own drink and watch it being made
  • Never accept a drink from someone, even someone you know
  • Be aware that bartenders can slip something into your drink
  • Don’t drink something you’ve left unattended
  • Stick with your friends
  • Find a friend or call someone you trust to come get you the minute you start feeling “not right”

Myths about date rape and date rape drugs:

Date rape is a serious public health issue.  It impacts teenagers, college students, and other adults.  Teenagers especially seem to have little information about this, even though date rape drugs abound in high schools.  Here are common myths about date rape and date rape drugs.  None of these are true:

  • You won’t get pregnant
  • You won’t get an STD
  • The designated driver can’t be a victim.  ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE.
  • Only women are victims
  • Date rape drugs aren’t deadly
  • You are at fault for an assault. ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE.

What to do if you think you’ve been victimized:

  • Go to the emergency room immediately. 
  • Report the incident to the police.  Call the police from the hospital.
  • Make sure the hospital tests your urine for test for drugs
  • Don’t clean up any evidence of the rape, both on your body or in your surroundings
  • Seek emotional support

If you have been drugged and raped and have discovered you’re pregnant, I can help.  Call me anytime 24/7 for more information and support. Remember, you aren’t alone.

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Are you pregnant and thinking about adoption for your baby? I can help. You can send me your questions about adoption or ask me to send you more information. Your communication with me is always confidential, and you’re never under any obligation to do an adoption. I’m here to help, not to pressure you or tell you what to do.


Megan Cohen, Birth Attorney

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