Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault

The last thing I remember was…
The next thing I remember is…

Picture this: You wake up groggy and disorientated. You may be in a strange place or in your own home. The last thing you remember is being at a party with friends. You think you may have been sexually assaulted. You are panicked because, no matter how hard you try, you can't remember the last several hours, how you got where you are, if you were sexually assaulted, or who assaulted you.

This may seem like something out of a made-for TV movie, but incidents like this happen frequently throughout the United States. Situations such as the one described above can be the result of drugs sometimes called "date rape drugs." This name is misleading because the circumstances in which these drugs are used often do NOT involve a dating situation. The drugs are often used by strangers or casual acquaintances, but they may be used by someone you know and trust. They are increasingly used in child sexual assaults. These drugs are generally colorless, have an indistinct odor and taste, and can render you helpless within minutes.

Signs you may have been drugged

  • You feel more intoxicated than your normal response to the amount of alcohol you consumed.
  • You wake up feeling extremely hung-over and can't account for a period of time.
  • One of the last things you remember is taking a drink, but what happened after that is blank.
  • It feels like you had sex but you have no memory of it.
  • You feel as though you've been sexually assaulted but you can't recall any or all of the incident.
  • You have unexplained memory loss with or without flashes of memory.
  • You are missing clothes and don’t know why.
  • You have injuries with no memory of how they were obtained.

Commonly Used Rape Drugs

  • ALCOHOL is the most commonly used rape drug! At least half of all acquaintance sexual assaults involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, the victim, or most commonly, both.  
  • Rohypnol: Generally in tablet form. Once dissolved in a drink it is odorless. It may make the drink appear cloudy or release small floating bits. 
  • GHB: Clear liquid, slightly thicker than water. It has a mild, indistinct odor and slightly salty taste. 
  • Ketamine: A veterinary medicine produced in liquid and powder form. It is also known as Special K.


Avoiding Date Rape Drugs

  • Don't drink anything that has an unusual taste or appearance.
  • Never leave your drink unattended (even while you're dancing or in the bathroom.)
  • Watch the bartender pour your drink and carry it yourself.
  • Don't drink from containers passed around, or from punch bowls.
  • Bring your own drinks to parties and open them yourself. Don't share or exchange drinks with anyone.

 

What to do if you are victim:

  • Get to a safe place.
  • Ask someone you trust to stay with you and assist you in getting help.
  • Get a sample of the beverage if you can.
  • Contact your local crisis center for information on your options and support.
  • Call 911 to report the incident to police, even if you aren't sure what happened.
  • Go to a hospital emergency room as soon as possible. Unless you are a minor, the hospital staff won't report sexual assault to the police without your consent.
  • Request that the hospital take a urine sample for drug toxicology testing.


More Resources:

Get HELP Fast

Domestic Violence
24-hour Hotline
1-866-644-3574

Sexual Assault 24-hour Hotline
1-800-277-5570

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Call our hotlines anywhere in New Hampshire for support. Stalking victims should call the Domestic Violence Hotline. TTY available at 1-800-Relay-NH.

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