Typical Drugs Used in Sexual Assault
Be aware - there are several substances linked to drug-facilitated sexual assault.
In addition to alcohol, the drugs most often implicated in the commission of drug-facilitated sexual assaults are GHB, Rohypnol and Ketamine, although others are used as well. These drugs often render victims unconscious - an effect that is quickened and intensified when the drugs are taken with alcohol. A person also may become a victim after taking such a drug willingly. Because of the sedative properties of these drugs, victims often have no memory of an assault, only an awareness or sense that they were violated.
These drugs make it easy for a sexual predator to gain control of victims whom are incapable of resistance:
- Predators do not have to use physical force.
- Predators do not have to threaten victims.
- Predators do not have to be concerned about a victim's screams that may attract attention.
Drugs used in sexual assaults typically are distributed at raves, dance clubs, and bars, but they are increasingly being sold in schools, on college campuses, and at private parties. Some of these drugs also are purchased via the Internet while others, particularly prescription benzodiazepines, are often found in homes.
GHB: Gamma hydroxy butyrate or Gamma hydroxybutyric acid
A clear liquid, GHB is a powerful central nervous system depressant used illicitly for its euphoric and sedative effects. Street names include Cherry meth, Everclear, Fantasy, Gamma-O, Georgia home boy, Grievous bodily harm, G-riffic, Jib, Liquid E, Liquid X, Organic quaalude, Salty water, Scoop, Sleep, Sleep-500, Soap, Vita-G.
GHB can cause "short-term amnesia" which means you may not be able to remember what happened to you while you were under the influence of the drug. The effects of the drug can be felt 15-20 minutes after taking it. The effects are different for each individual, but can include nausea, dizziness, confusion and heavy drowsiness. People have lost consciousness, slipped into a coma, or died, due to GHB. It is impossible to predict the effects of the drug because so much of it is "homemade" by individuals and the actual dosage is often unknown. The difference between a "high" and a trip to the hospital is a fine line. As with most drugs, the risks increase when mixing GHB with other drugs or alcohol.
Rohypnol is a powerful benzodiazepine, estimated to be up to 10 times stronger than Valium. Street names include the Forget-me pill, Forget pill, Landing gear, La rocha, Lunch money drug, Mexican valium, Mind eraser, Pingus, R-2, Reynolds, Roach-2, Roaches, Roachies, Roapies, Robutal, Roofies, Rope, Ruffies, Wheel, Wolfies. Rohypnol is a small white tablet that can be dropped into drinks to dissolve. The tablet is usually crushed into powder to better dissolve. It can also come in liquid form, but that is rare.
A person will feel the effects of Rohypnol in about 20-30 minutes. A person who is drugged will feel drowsy, dizzy and disoriented (it is almost like being very drunk). Speech is affected, as are motor skills like balance and coordination. The health risks increase when mixed with alcohol, including the possibility of coma or death. A common side effect of being drugged with Rohypnol is the memory loss that often occurs. People who have been drugged report not being able to remember anything that happened to them for long periods of time (4-10 hours). It is usually during this time that the predator who has drugged the person violates her or him sexually.
Ketamine: Ketamine hydrochloride
Ketamine, is a non-barbiturate, rapid-acting disassociative anesthetic used on both animals and humans. Street names include K, Ket, Special K, Vitamin K, Vit K, Kit Kat, Keller, Kelly's day, Green, Blind squid, Cat valium, Purple, Super acid, and Super C.
Users sometimes call the high caused by Special K, "K hole," and describe profound hallucinations that include visual distortions and a lost sense of time, sense, and identity. The high can last from a half-hour to 2 hours. Overt effects can last an hour but the drug can still affect the body for up to 24 hours.