Drug Facilitated Assault

What is Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault?
Drug-facilitated sexual assault occurs when drugs are used by an assailant to lower a victim’s resistance to the assault. After such an assault, a victim may often be woozy, disoriented, and uncertain of the events s/he has experienced. Alcohol and other drugs (including “Date Rape Drugs”) are used in drug-facilitated sexual assault.
What are “Date Rape Drugs”
Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine, are examples of illegal drugs whose effects include memory loss, blackouts, visual disturbances, dizziness, and general confusion. They are known as “date rape drugs” although they can be used to facilitate a sexual assault whether the situation is a date or not. Assailants place these odorless, tasteless and colorless drugs in their victims’ drinks in order to incapacitate them so they will not be able to resist the assault. Many victims wake up with no memory of the attack or events leading up to it.
Common Drugs Used In Sexual Assault
Rohypnol:
Rohypnol (the brand name of flunitrazepam) is commonly referred to as Rufies. Rohypnol has been called a “date rape drug” because of its use in sexual assaults. Rohypnol usually takes effect within 15-30 minutes after ingestion and can last from 4-72 hours.
Effects include a drunken appearance (drowsiness, light-headedness, dizziness), fatigue, memory loss, slurred speech, lack of motor coordination, amnesia, impaired judgment and coma. The effects of Rohypnol are intensified when the drug is mixed with alcohol.
Street Names for Rohypnol: Ruffies, Roches, Roofies, Forget Pill, R-2s, Wolfies, Roofenol, Roach, Ruffles
GHB:
Gamma Hydroxybutyrate is a clear liquid, but it may also come in a white grainy powder. It is a central nervous system depressant. GHB has similar effects to those of Rohypnol; dizziness, confusion, drowsiness, inebriation, stupor. It is also absorbed as quickly as Rohypnol.
Street Names for GHB:
Grievous Bodily Harm, Liquid X, Liquid Ecstasy, Liquid E, Easy Lay, Vita-G, G-juice, Georgia Home Boy, Energy Drink
Other Drugs:
There are several other substances used to facilitate sexual assault. Although not as widely used as Rohypnol and GHB, they are still weapons used to render victims helpless. Some of these substances are Ketamine, Clonazepam, Scopalamine, and Foxy.

You can protect yourself by:

  • Not accepting drinks (alcoholic or nonalcoholic) from someone you do not know. A good rule of thumb is to get drinks yourself.
  • Not drinking from a punch bowl or any type of open container.
  • Always keeping an eye on your drink. Don’t put the drink down and leave it, even to go to the bathroom or to greet a friend on the other side of the room. If you are at a crowded bar, you can even ask for a lid for your drink.
  • Paying attention to the taste and color of your drink. If it tastes salty, becomes flat, or appears discolored, throw it out, as these can be signs of GHB or Rohypnol.
  • Being suspicious of eyedroppers, mouthwash bottles, and bubble solutions as they are often used to transport GHB.
  • Looking out for your friends. If your friend appears disproportionately drunk for the amount of alcohol she or he has consumed, pay special attention to their behavior and do not let him or her wander off.
  • Telling your friends where you are going and with whom.
One drug most women don’t think about is alcohol. Although alcohol is a legal substance it can be equally dangerous when used in excess and in the wrong environment. Many times rapists look for a victim who is too inebriated to be able to fight them off. Alcohol impairs judgment and creates and risky environment for men and women.