Ask a counsellor

Date rape drugs refer to any drug that can be used to assist in the commission of a sexual assault. This can include alcohol, street drugs and ‘club drugs’.

The most common is Alcohol, as it can loosen inhibitions, dull common sense, and – for some people – allow aggressive tendencies to surface.

Other date rape drugs include Rohypnol (Roofies), GHB (Liquid Ecstasy) and Ketamine (Special K). All three of these drugs can cause visual disturbance, drowsiness, confusion, dizziness, motion difficulty, breathing problems, disorientation, trembling, hallucinations, convulsions, decreased inhibitions, amnesia, coma, and even death.

Why Rohypnol, GHB and Ketamine are used in Date Rapes

  • They are easy to administer. (Stir and dissolve.)
  • Most date rape drugs are colourless, odourless, and tasteless or have a taste that can be masked so that they can easily be slipped into a victims drink without the victim noticing.
  • When victims begin to feel the effects, they often leave and are caught alone and vulnerable.
  • If victims ‘come to’ during an assault, the drugs render them totally helpless and unable to do anything.
  • When victims are raped, they doubt the assault because of the impaired memory of it.
  • These drugs can cause you to lose all ability to make decisions. They can also make it hard to remember what happened.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted or suspect you were given a date rape drug, contact your nearest Sexual Assault Centre or medical facility as soon as possible.

Risk-Reducing Behaviours

  • Do not accept a drink from anyone you would not trust with your life. Remember, any stranger or casual acquaintance could be suspect. Even those people who are mixing or pouring drinks.
  • NEVER leave a drink unattended. Do not give someone a chance to put drugs in your drink.
  • If your drink looks cloudy, has small chunky pieces, tastes salty or tastes different than it normally does DO NOT DRINK IT.
  • Date rape drugs can kill. If you are feeling sick or dizzy while out socially, go to someone you KNOW and TRUST or phone 911.
  • It is important that you go to the hospital even if you are not sure. DO NOT DRIVE YOURSELF. A blood sample can be collected to determine if you have ingested one of the date rape drugs.
  • Never leave alone. NEVER. The intent of date rape drugs is to get you isolated and then assault you.