Research has found that 75% of all acquaintance rapes involve drugs and/or alcohol. This is a huge number that emphasizes how important it is to be aware of the potential threat of being drugged and sexually assaulted. While alcohol alone can be part of an assault, many times there are also drugs involved.
There are a few different kinds of drugs that can be mixed with alcohol and are commonly used in sexual assaults. These include GHB, Ketamine, and Rohypnol. GHB, also called Liquid G or Scoop, has a salty taste and is usually mixed with drinks like margaritas. It can cause nausea, sudden vomiting, loss of consciousness, or even death. Ketamine, also known as Special K or Vitamin K, is used as a veterinary anesthetic and can cause slurred speech, unsteady walking, and hallucinations. Rohypnol, commonly known as Roofies, is an odorless, tasteless, colorless pill that dissolves quickly in drinks and is 10 times stronger than Valium. Rohypnol can cause slurred speech, loss of muscle control, and amnesia for up to eight hours after one dose.
The effects of being drugged usually start 15 to 30 minutes after ingestion. These drugs can cause dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, slurred speech, and lack of coordination. You could then become physically helpless or even unconscious, losing control over your body and decisions. These scary side effects can lead to sexual assault and rape.
If you think you may have been drugged and sexually assaulted, the first thing you should do is find a safe place and get help. Call 911 or go to the hospital immediately, without showering or changing clothing. If you can, try not to go to the bathroom as they will test your urine for traces of possible drugs. At the hospital, they will examine you and give you the proper medical attention.
There are many things you can do to prevent this situation from ever happening to you. Only drink beverages that you have opened yourself and never drink from a community punch bowl. Make sure you always keep an eye on your drink and throw it away if you leave it while dancing or going to the bathroom. If someone ever offers to buy you a drink, go with them or decline. It's better to feel slightly rude but remain safe! Finally, make an arrangement with a friend to watch each other's alcohol consumption and leave together at the end of the night.
By being informed and taking steps beforehand, you can reduce the risk of ever having to be part of the statistic. If something does happen to you, know that it is not your fault and it was nothing that you did. You are never to blame for someone else’s actions and nothing you wear, do, or say warrants sexual assault.
You can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline for more information and support at 1-800-656-HOPE.