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A brief overview of two date rape drugs

 

ROOFIES

Rohypnol, or flunitrazepam—commonly known as “roofies”—is an illegal drug complicit in many rapes in America. Assailants dissolve a few tablets of roofies in a drink and give it to an unaware victim. The victim drinks the contents and begins to feel the effect of the drug within a few minutes. Among other effects, roofies is a sedative and muscle relaxant that also causes amnesia. When used with alcohol or other drugs, the effects are even more rapid. People who use it often pass out or become so dazed that they cannot remember or control what is going on around them. To other people, the victim will appear to be heavily intoxicated. Assailants often will rape or sexually assault a victim once they have become affected by the drug, since the unconcious victims will not be able to protect themselves. Victims may wake up in an unfamiliar or dangerous situation after the drug loses its effect.

Taken often enough, roofies can be both physically and psychologically addictive, with severe withdrawal symptoms. Roofies can even be fatal, especially when mixed with heroin, GHB, or “easy lay,” a different illegal drug with similar effects.

Other common names for rohypnol include circles, Mexican valium, rib, roaches, roach2, R-2, roopies, rope, ropies, and ruffies. A slang term for being affected by the drug is being “roached out.”

To avoid being drugged, never accept a open drink from someone you don’t know well. Keep your drink near you at a bar or club to prevent someone from slipping a drug into it. While roofies is usually colorless and odorless, it may have a bitter taste when dissolved in alcohol. When placed in a light-colored drink, however, it will turn the beverage blue. The drug may also form small chunky pieces in a drink. Be aware of what you are drinking while in these situations. People under the influence of alcohol or drugs are absolutely incapable of giving sexual consent. Even if the person says he or she willingly gives sexual consent while drunk or drugged, it is still considered rape if that person has sex with another individual.

SPECIAL K

Ketamine Hydrochloride—also known as Special K and Vitamin K—is a powerful drug often found in raves and similar atmospheres. People who take Special K experience a trance-like state accompanied by dizziness, hallucination, increased senses, and even unconsciousness.

Special K has been associated with rape across the country and world, much in the same way roofies has been. As with all drugs and alcohol, a person on Special K is never capable of sexual consent, no matter how clear-headed they appear. Sexual contact with someone on drugs or alcohol is rape.

SOURCES

The following sources were used for this article review:

Kathryn S. Smith cCYS

Smith, K. (2002). "A brief overview of two date rape drugs." S. Hamilton, MA: Center for Youth Studies.

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