Women: Be Aware of the “Date Rape Drug”!

Date Rape Drug - Substance AbuseThe date rape drug, also known as Rohypnol, is used by sexual predators in non-consensual sexual acts. This is an interesting twist on the usual meaning of “substance abuse,” as in this case the so-called drug abuser is an unwitting victim, rather than someone who elects to use the substance in question by choice.

Such sexual assaulters slip the offending drug into their targeted victim’s drink when she isn’t looking. Since the drug is colorless and odorless, the victim won’t know that she has been drugged, and when the substance begins to work, will feel disoriented, confused and weak. Women are left defenseless and they aren’t able to recall what happened to them, which is why this is the drug of choice for sexual assaulters’ substance abuse.

Date Rape Drug Rohypnol

Rohypnol is the brand for benzodiazepine. This extremely powerful tranquilizer works almost like Valium or Diazepam, but is much stronger. It causes sedation, muscle relaxation and short-term amnesia. The sedation effect kicks in about 20-30 minutes after the drug is ingested and can last for several hours. This is more than enough time to take the victim to another location and for a sexual assault to occur.

This drug is also known by various street names, such as Roofies, Ruffies, Rophies, Roche, Rib, Rope, La Roche, Roachies, Mexican Valium and Forget Me Pill. It is even more dangerous because this drug is inexpensive, costing anywhere from $1-5 per tablet, and fairly easy to obtain.

Unwitting Substance Use: How to Spot Rohypnol

Rohypnol comes in the form of a tiny tablet that can easily be dropped into a drink. The pill dissolves in any beverage and has no taste and no odor. When taken with alcohol, this drug can bring about extreme disorientation and memory loss of about 8-12 hours. Victims usually feel nauseous the day after receiving Rohypnol. This drug is also highly physically addictive.

Constant Vigilance Can Save Substance Use Targets

Substance Abuse - Date Rape DrugIt is difficult to detect whether or not you have been a victim of maliciously intended substance use after imbibing a drug-spiked drink. However, you can avoid becoming a victim by following these important tips:

  • Never leave your beverage unattended. Always hold it in your hand in front of you. If you need to go to the toilet, finish your drink first or discard it.
  • Drinks sold in sealed containers are safer compared to mixed drinks.
  • Keep watchful eyes on the person pouring or mixing your beverage, whether or not it contains alcohol.
  • Don’t take a drink from anyone that you don’t know well.
  • Don’t drink anything from a punch bowl or other shared source.
  • If someone wants to buy you a drink, go with him or her to the bar to accept the beverage. Again, carefully watch the person giving you the drink.
  • Get used to having a “buddy system” when you go out to bars, clubs or parties. Go with one or several friends, so that you can all keep an eye on one another.

Unfortunately, there are many sexual predators that utilize substance use by administering drugs such as Rohypnol in subduing their victims. If you attend a party, or go out with friends for drinks to a club or bar, always watch your drink carefully. A date rape drug will make you unable to fight back against or even remember the details of a sexual assault, making it difficult or even impossible to identify an assailant.

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