Date Rape

Dear Dr. B: What is a date rape? What are the drugs involved in date rape? How can one avoid date rape?

Answer: Date rape is a drug-facilitated rape or sexual assault. This occurs when a substance is administered to a person which lowers his or her sexual inhibition and increases the occurrence of unwanted sexual intercourse.

Rape is common with an estimated lifetime risk of up to one in four for women. About 25 per cent of the 1400 women who contact the Canadian Sexual Assault Centre each year report that drugs were a factor in a rape.

Most of the drugs used for this purpose have no color, smell or taste and can easily be mixed with different kinds of drinks without the victim’s knowledge.

Drugs most commonly used in date rape are alcohol, marijuana, benzodiazepines, cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, GHB (gamma hydroxybutyric acid), Rohypnol (flunitrazepam), and Ketamine (ketamine hydrochloride).

Alcohol is involved in most of the cases of date rape.

According to an article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, of 2003 urine samples submitted by rape treatment centers across the United States within 72 hours of a suspected drug-facilitated rape, GHB was detected in three per cent of the samples and flunitrazepam in less than one per cent; alcohol was detected in 69 per cent of the samples, marijuana in 18 per cent and cocaine in 5 per cent.

GHB (also known as liquid ecstasy, grievous bodily harm, and scoop) comes in a liquid form with no odor or color. It also comes as a white powder and as a pill. Rohypnol (similar to valium but very potent is also known as love drug, Roofies, ruffies, roche, R-2, rib, rope) is a pill and dissolves in liquids. Ketamine is a white powder.

What are the consequences of date rape?

Rape inflicts serious consequences on the victim. These include psychological problems, infection, and unwanted pregnancy. People who have been raped may present, immediately or later, to a family physician or to an emergency department.

The patient requires immediate attention regarding safety, management of injuries, forensic examination, and emergency contraception. And there is a risk of sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea, chlamydial infection, HIV, and herpes.

How can I protect myself from being a victim of date rape?

Vigilance is the key word. Drink your beverage slowly, keep an eye on your drink when mixed and obtain a fresh one after leaving the drink unattended. Don’t accept drinks from other people, except trusted friends. Do not share drinks.

If you think that you have been drugged and raped then go to the police station or hospital right away. Get a urine test as soon as possible. The drugs can leave your system quickly. So do not urinate before getting help. Do not douche, bathe, or change clothes before getting help. You will destroy the evidence you need to find and convict the offender.

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One Reply to “Date Rape”

  1. Doctor: Thanks for warning youngsters about date rape. Do you have any solid references involving just marijuana? I believe it’s simply not true. She would be forced either with or without pot. Pot is NOT a date rape drug. IMHO

    S.L. Spurr, Pharm.D.
    Maryland 2015

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