“Date Rape” Drugs

date rapeUnfortunately, so called ‘date rape’ drugs are increasingly common both here and abroad. They come in a variety of forms – most common is Rohypnol and although difficult to legally obtain in the UK they are sold as sleeping pills in most other countries with the exception of the USA.

Rohypnol has physiological effects similar to Valium (diazepam) but is approximately ten times more potent. The tablets are white, scored on one side, with the word “ROCHE” and an encircled one or two (depending on the dosage) on the other. They are sold in pre-sealed bubble packs of one or two milligram doses and is often dissolved in an unsuspecting victim’s drink. When dissolved most “date rape” drugs are undetectable.

You can’t see them; you can’t smell them; and you can’t taste them.

Attackers will use this drug because it makes their victim unable to resist a sexual attack. When slipped into an alcoholic drink, Rohypnol takes effect within ten minutes after ingesting. The victim may feel dizzy and disoriented, simultaneously too hot and too cold, or nauseated.

They will want to leave the safety of the club or bar they are in so as to get back to their home or hotel and this is when the attacker will strike, acting like a Good Samaritan helping someone who has had too much to drink to a taxi.

These drugs usually take full effect within thirty minutes, peaks within two hours, and can persist for up to eight hours. They can induce a blackout with memory loss and a decrease in resistance. Usually victims experience difficulty speaking and moving, and then pass out. Such victims have no memories of what happened while under the drug’s influence. Frighteningly, the age range of victims is varied from teenagers to senior citizens.

Other ‘date rape’ drugs include Clonazepam (known as Klonopin in the USA and Rivotril in Mexico), Ketamine and GHB (gamma-hydroxybutrate). All have similar effects to Rohypnol. None of them have any taste, odour or colour and dissolve in liquid without a trace.

To avoid becoming a victim of rape under the influence of these drugs, here are a few suggestions for staying aware and alert:

1) Be wary about accepting drinks brought to you from anyone you don’t know well or long enough to trust.

2) If you are accepting a drink, make sure you have seen it poured by the bar staff or that it’s from an unopened container which you open yourself.

3) Don’t put your drink down and leave it unattended, even to go to the toilet, as this is an ideal opportunity for your attacker to strike.

4) Notify other females you know about the effects of these dangerous drugs and if you think that you have been a victim, notify the authorities immediately.

 

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