Rape is a crime of power and control. It is one of the worst crimes that can be committed, and yet, surprisingly enough, the criminal element in our society has found a way to make it even worse.
GHB, Rohypnol, and Ketamine are all drugs that have been identified by the FBI as being used to perpetrate sexual assault and other crimes and are therefore referred to as "predatory drugs". These are not the only drugs used to facilitated sexual assault. Many over the counter drugs and some prescription sleep aids are being used as well. The FBI, to date, has identified over 52 drugs used to facilitate sexual assault.
These drugs can mentally and physically paralyze an individual; these effects are intensified when the drug is combined with alcohol, making them desirable drugs for predators to use as an aid in committing rape. Without the ability to recall the sexual assault or rape, a victim of these drug-facilitated assaults is hindered to assist law enforcement officials in providing information to assist in the prosecution or even apprehension of the rapist.
The FBI, to date, has identified over 52 drugs used to facilitate sexual assault. What follows is an explanation of some of the more popular drugs used in sexual assaults. Do keep in mind, these drugs may be used recreationally. If you believe that you were assaulted while using drugs recreationally, please go to the hospital for help.
Alcohol alone is the number one predatory drug.
- Alcohol is the most commonly used “predatory drug”
- A National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) 2002 report on college drinking estimates that more than 70,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 survive alcohol-related sexual assault or rape each year.
- Alcohol dulls the senses, inhibits clear thinking, distorts judgment, can cause blackouts, can cause loss of control physically and consciously, and can increase tendency towards violence or aggressiveness.
Please, if you chose to drink use the buddy system. Be with friends that you can count on to watch out for you. Check out our No Woman Left Behind Campaign for more information.
For more information on alcohol visit the Alcohol Information page.
Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB) is an illegal drug and is commonly called by the street names Liquid Ecstasy, Scoop, Easy Lay, Georgia Home Boy, Grievous Bodily Harm, Liquid X, and Goop. It’s most common form is a colorless, odorless liquid, but it can also be a white powder material. This drug is taken orally, and often mixed with alcohol. GHB is most notably used as a “club drug” among teens and young adults, but has been used by body builders for its alleged anabolic effects. GHB has been used in the commission of sexual assaults and other crimes because it renders the victim incapable of resisting, and commonly causes memory problems that could complicate case prosecution.
Using GHB in minimal amounts can result in drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, and visual disturbances. The feeling of rapid intoxication is common. Larger doses result in unconsciousness, seizures, severe respiratory depression, coma and death. Overdoses usually require emergency room treatment, including intensive care for respiratory depression and coma. A great deal of misinformation is published on the internet, including directions for drug use and handling an overdose.
**Important: There is no safe way to use GHB. If you suspect that you may have ingested GHB, get help immediately. If you think a friend has overdosed on GHB, call 911 immediately.
Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) is an illegal drug and is commonly called by the street names R-2, Mexican Valium, rophies, roofies and circles. Rohypnol is usually taken orally, but can also be crushed and snorted. It is known as a predatory drug, as well as a recreational drug that is being used at night clubs and raves. Rohypnol is manufactured as a 1-milligram, olive green, oblong tablet, imprinted with the number 542. The new tablet includes a dye that, according to Hoffman-La Roche (the makers of Rohypnol) will be visible if it is slipped into a drink, although predators may utilize blue tropical drinks and punches in which the blue dye can be disguised.
The new green pill
The old white pill
Ketamine is a medication approved for marketing in the U.S., primarily for use in veterinary medicine. It is commonly called by the street names jet, super acid, Special "K", green, K, and cat Valium. Ketamine comes in a clear liquid and a white or off-white powder form. It is a tranquilizer most commonly used on animals in veterinary clinics, but is also used as a recreational drug at night clubs and raves. Ketamine is used by perpetrators of sexual assault because of the amnesia effect experienced by the victim. The liquid form of the drug can be injected, consumed in drinks, or added to smokable materials. Use of the drug can cause delirium, amnesia, depression, and long-term memory and cognitive difficulties. Higher doses produce an effect referred to as "K-Hole," an "out of body," or "near-death" experience.
- Don’t leave beverages unattended.
- Don’t accept drinks, including soda and water, from someone who you don’t know well and trust.
- When at a bar or club, only accept drinks from the bartender or waiter.
- When at parties, do not accept opened drinks or drinks from a common source (such as a punch bowl) from anyone.
- Always go to parties and bars with friends. Perpetrators are less likely to rape someone if they know that their potential victim is with a group of people who are watching out for her. Make sure that everyone who came together leaves together.
If you think that you have been drugged and/or assaulted…
- Get to a safe place and call 911. It is important to remember that as a sexual assault victim your body and clothing is evidence. Do not shower, douche, brush your teeth, change your clothes or urinate (for some drugs it is possible to detect them only in the first urine after ingestion).
- Ask a trusted friend to stay with you until help arrives.
- If you do not want to call the police you can contact your local rape crisis center for information and referrals. Your call is confidential.
- To locate the center closest to you please call the 24-hour National Rape Crisis Hotline operated thought the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) at 1-800-656-HOPE. You may also visit their website at www.rainn.org.
- Resources are also available through Sacramento State Violence and Sexual Assault Support Services.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse
Because of the continued increase in drug facilitated sexual assault and the dangers faced by women and men alike, the Doris Tate Crime Victims Foundation (CA) and the Women’s Resource Center at California State University Sacramento (CA) have collaborated to provide an educational campaign called "Watch Your Drink -Watch Your Friends”. This campaign is designed to educate people on the dangers of predatory drugs and how to obtain help if someone thinks they have been drugged.
For information on the “Watch Your Drink-Watch Your Friends” campaign visit www.ican-foundation.org