Date Rape Drugs

Alcohol

Scared to report or get help because you were drinking underage at the time of the assault? UW-Madison cares more about you getting help than about getting you in trouble. Check out the Responsible Action Guidelines here: http://students.wisc.edu/alcoholinfo/resp_action_guide.html

According to the UW Police Department, about eight of every ten acquaintance-assaults reported by UW-Madison students involve alcohol. Alcohol is never an excuse for sexual assault, and assault is never the victim's fault, regardless of whether she or he has been drinking. However, it is important to be aware of situations that could become dangerous.

Alcohol can make a situation more dangerous because it:

  • Impairs judgment and clouds thinking. This makes it harder to recognize a risky situation in time to get out of it.
  • Interferes with clear communication. You may be unable to say “no” confidently, clearly, and loudly. The other person may not notice, may find it easier to ignore you, or may use his or her own drunkenness as an excuse afterwards.
  • Reduces inhibitions. People will do things when they're drunk that they might not do if they were sober.
  • Makes people more emotional. Someone who is drinking may be more aggressive. Conflicts may arise more easily, escalate quickly, and be harder to resolve.

For all these reasons, sexual assault is much more likely if one or both people have been drinking. It helps to be aware both of how intoxicated you are as well as how impaired your partner or other people around you are.

You should also be aware that alcohol affects men and women differently:

  • Women get drunk faster. Because women are generally smaller than men, they can become equally drunk after consuming less alcohol.
  • Women stay drunk longer. Different levels of sex hormones in women and men cause men to process alcohol more quickly.

A potential attacker may encourage you to drink in order to make you an easier target for sexual assault. Be wary of someone who constantly offers to refill your drink or who keeps encouraging you to drink faster. There are several other things you can do to help reduce your risk of being a victim of alcohol or drug-related sexual assault.

Chloral Hydrate

Chloral hydrate is a sedative used as a treatment for insomnia, a surgical sedative, and a post-surgery pain reliever. It is also sometimes taken recreationally or used as a date rape drug.

It is more dangerous in combination with alcohol. Alcohol greatly increases chloral hydrate's sedative effects. Chloral hydrate may be obtained with a prescription and is also easily made using common household chemicals. It is legal by prescription only.

Street Names:

  • Mickey
  • Mickey Finn
  • Knockout Drops

Prescription chloral hydrate comes in capsules of different doses. Homemade chloral hydrate is a clear liquid with a bitter taste.

Someone using chloral hydrate in a sexual assault would probably try to mix the liquid into your drink, possibly by breaking open a capsule.

Liquid chloral hydrate takes effect 15 to 30 minutes after entering your body. Effects last several hours, depending on the dose and on combination with alcohol. Alcohol greatly increases chloral hydrate’s sedative effects.

Chloral hydrate can make you:

  • Drowsy
  • Slur your speech
  • Stagger
  • Struggle to breathe
  • Struggle to swallow
  • Dizzy
  • Very weak
  • Nauseous/vomit
  • Have diarrhea
  • Get a rash
  • Have an irregular heartbeat
  • Hallucinate
  • Have convulsions
  • Unconsciou
  • Die

Clonazepam

Clonazepam (benzodiazepine) is in the same drug family as Rohypnol and produces the same sedative effects. It is marketed by F. Hoffman-La Roche (makers of Rohypnol) under the brand name Klonopin as an antiseizure and antipanic drug.

It is more dangerous in combination with alcohol. Alcohol intensifies the effects of Clonazepam and mixing the two can result in severe damage or death.

It is legal by prescription (unlike Rohypnol, which is illegal to use, possess, or distribute in the United States). Brand names are Klonopin (U.S.) and Rivotril (Australia and Mexico). Street names include Roofies and "the dollar date."

Klonopin (La Roche's brand of Clonazepam) comes in small, colorful pills with K-shaped perforations through the center. Klonopin is available in doses of 0.5 mg (orange), 1 mg (blue), and 2 mg (white). Dosages are marked on the pills. Clonazepam in general may be a pill or a yellow powder.

Aside from its prescription use, Clonazepam is sometimes used to enhance the effects of heroin and other opiates. Clonazepam use in date rape has risen as Rohypnol has become harder to get and easier to detect in drinks. Pills are available on the black market for as little as $1 each.

Clonazepam may take effect more slowly than Rohypnol and other date rape drugs. Blood levels of Clonazepam are highest between 1 and 4 hours after ingestion. Alcohol intensifies the effects of Clonazepam and mixing the two can result in severe damage or death.

Clonazepam can make you:

  • Disoriented
  • Aggressive
  • Nervous
  • Lose your judgment
  • Incoherent
  • Lose your inhibitions
  • Nauseous
  • Dizzy
  • Drowsy
  • Lose consciousness
  • Have amnesia
  • Hallucinate
  • Struggle to breathe
  • Enter a coma
  • Die

GHB

GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) is a depressant originally developed in the 1980s as a surgical anesthetic. GHB has recently become popular as a club drug and a date rape drug.

It is most dangerous when combined with alcohol. Alcohol greatly aggravates the effects of GHB and decreases the amount it takes to seriously harm or kill someone.

It is very unpredictable. Most GHB on the market is homemade, and there is huge variation in potency and purity between batches. The difference between an intoxicating dose of GHB and a dose that will cause seizure, coma, or death can be as small as one to two grams, or less than half a teaspoon of liquid GHB. It is illegal to possess or sell GHB in the United States.

Street Names:

  • GHB
  • Georgia Home Boy
  • Grievous Bodily Harm
  • Great Hormones
  • Gook
  • Gamma 10
  • G
  • Vita-G
  • G-Juice
  • Liquid G
  • Liquid X/Ecstasy/E
  • Easy Lay
  • Bedtime Scoop
  • Scoop
  • Soap
  • Somatomax
  • Cherry Meth

GHB is usually a colorless, odorless, clear liquid. It sometimes is in a crystalline white powder form or a capsule. GHB may be tasteless but usually has a subtle salty flavor.

GHB is hard to detect when mixed into a drink; also, someone who has spiked your drink may try to explain away any noticeable salty flavor. For example, he or she may call it an "energy drink."

GHB usually takes effect within 10 to 20 minutes. The effects are most intense for the first hour and a half, but milder effects may last up to four hours after the drug gets into your system. Intensity is unpredictable and depends on potency, dosage, and interactions with other drugs. Mixing GHB with alcohol, other depressants such as Rohypnol, anticonvulsants and anti-allergy drugs can cause severe or fatal reactions.

GHB can make you:

  • Disoriented
  • Lose your inhibitions
  • Giddy
  • Drool
  • Dizzy
  • Nauseous
  • Delusional
  • Drowsy
  • Incoherent
  • Have amnesia
  • Lose consciousness
  • Struggle to breathe
  • Have a seizure
  • Enter a coma
  • Die

Related drugs

Gamma-Butyrlactone (GBL). — GBL turns into GHB in your body, so the two drugs have similar effects. The main difference is that GBL is effective in lower doses. This increases the risk of overdose and of severe interactions with alcohol. Other names include Renutrient, Renewtrient, Revivarant, GH Revitalizer or GHR, Blue Nitro, Blue Nitro Vitality, Remforce, and Gamma G.

1,4-Butanediol (1,4-B). — Your body converts 1,4-B into GHB. Since GHB has been declared illegal for possession or sale, many drug companies have substituted 1,4-B in products such as sleeping aids. Its effects are similar to those of GHB, but there are two key differences. First, the effects of 1,4-B last longer because its conversion to GHB is gradual — it acts like a time-release GHB dose. Second, 1,4-B more often causes physical symptoms such as vomiting and nausea, which are greatly aggravated by alcohol use. 1,4-B has a much stronger, more chemical taste than GHB. Other names include Tetramethylene, BDO, Pro-G, and Thunder.

Ketamine

Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic, a drug that causes you to feel separated from your body. Other examples are PCP (angel dust) and nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Ketamine is primarily used as a veterinary anesthetic. It has also become popular as a club drug and psychedelic, and is sometimes used as a date rape drug.

It is legal by prescription only. Ketamine is sold illegally at parties for $25 to $50 per gram and is available more cheaply in bulk from medical suppliers.

Street Names:

  • K
  • Special K
  • Vitamin K
  • Lady K
  • Ketaset
  • Ketalar

Ketamine usually comes in a liquid that is then cooked into a white powder for snorting. Liquid ketamine may also be injected into muscle tissue or swallowed. Someone using ketamine in a sexual assault would probably try to mix liquid Ketamine into your drink.

Ketamine takes effect about 10 to 20 minutes after swallowing. Effects are most intense for 1 to 2 hours.

Ketamine can make you:

  • Light-headed
  • Numb
  • Feel disconnected from your body
  • Hallucinate
  • Unable to communicate
  • Shiver/tremble
  • Dizzy
  • Drowsy
  • Have difficulty seeing things
  • Moody
  • Nauseous
  • Vomit
  • Have nightmares
  • Have a headache

Rohypnol

Rohypnol (flunitrazepam) is the most well-known date rape drug. Such negative publicity has pushed F. Hoffman-La Roche, makers of Rohypnol, to make it easier to detect. The new pills will turn light-colored drinks bright blue and turn dark drinks cloudy; they will also dissolve more slowly and leave chunks.

It is still important to be cautious at parties and clubs. It will take time for the new formula to completely replace the old pills on the black market, and other “date rape” drugs may be used which are nearly undetectable in drinks.

Rohypnol is not available by prescription and has become harder to obtain illegally. For this reason, Clonazepam, a prescription benzodiazepine with similar effects to Rohypnol, has become a popular substitute for use in date rape.

Rohypnol is a sedative in the same drug family as Valium and ten times as strong. It is manufactured and sold abroad by F. Hoffman-La Roche as a surgical anesthetic or sleeping pill.

It is more dangerous in combination with alcohol. Alcohol intensifies the effects of Rohypnol and mixing the two can result in severe damage or death.

Possession, use, and distribution of Rohypnol are illegal in the United States. Rohypnol is smuggled into the United States and is available on the black market for as little as $4 to $5 per pill.

Street Names:

  • The Date Rape Drug
  • Roofenol
  • Roofies
  • Rophies
  • Ruffies
  • Roachies
  • Roaches
  • La Rocha
  • Roche
  • Roach-2
  • R-2
  • Rope
  • Rib
  • Pappas
  • Potatoes
  • Whiteys
  • Dulcitas
  • Negatives
  • Minuses
  • Circles
  • Stupifi
  • Shays
  • The Forget Pill
  • Mind Erasers
  • Mexican Valium
  • Trip-and-Fall
  • Poor Man's Quaalude
  • Lunch Money

Rohypnol comes in a round, white pill that is a little smaller than an aspirin. One side reads "Roche" and has a circled 1 or 2; the other is marked with a cross or a single groove. In liquids, Rohypnol dissolves to become odorless, colorless, and nearly tasteless. However, F. Hoffman-La Roche has responded to Rohypnol's use in sexual assault by changing the formula.

Rohypnol is sometimes used as a club drug. Someone using Rohypnol in a sexual assault would most likely try to dissolve it in your drink.

Rohypnol usually takes effect within 10 to 30 minutes. Effects peak in about 2 hours and last 8 to 10 hours. In high doses or combined with other drugs such as alcohol, effects can last up to 24 hours. Alcohol intensifies the effects of Rohypnol and mixing the two can result in severe damage or death.

Rohypnol can make you:

  • Disoriented
  • Aggressive
  • Nervous
  • Lose your judgment
  • Incoherent
  • Lose your inhibitions
  • Nauseous
  • Dizzy
  • Drowsy
  • Lose consciousness
  • Have amnesia
  • Hallucinate
  • Struggle to breathe
  • Enter a coma
  • Die