Date Rape and Club Drugs
Date Rape Drugs
“Date rape drugs” are being used with increasing frequency in cases of sexual assault on college and university campuses. Gamma Hydroxy Butrate (GHB), Ketamine, and Rohypnol are among the most popular illicit drugs used in date rape. People may unknowingly be given the drugs mixed with alcohol, which can render victims unconscious and prevent them from resisting sexual assault.
Rapists and perpetrators of other assaults choose these drugs because they act rapidly, reduce inhibition, relax voluntary muscles, and cause the victim to have lasting amnesia for events that occur under the influence of the drug. GHB, Ketamine, and Rohypnol are also used recreationally due to their sedative and hallucinogenic effects. Even if users take the drugs voluntarily, they can become incapacitated and may be victimized by others. The drugs quickly metabolize, leaving little or no trace of their use, making it difficult for law enforcement personnel to satisfy the burden of proof that they were used in an assault.
On their own, these drugs have incapacitating effects; when combined with alcohol, such "nonalcoholic" drugs can lead to blackout soon after ingestion. In addition to the dangers of blackout and sexual assault, victims who have been given these drugs may experience disorientation, confusion, impaired judgment, dizziness, unconsciousness, amnesia, and even coma. These effects are magnified when the drugs are used in conjunction with alcohol.
In recent years, “club drugs” have become popular among adolescents and young adults who frequent nightclubs and all-night parties called raves. These drugs include MDMA (ecstasy), LSD, and methamphetamine, among others. Promoters of club drug use tout the drugs’ reputation for producing psychedelic and stimulant effects, giving users energy, stamina, and feelings of euphoria.
However, despite the misconception that club drugs are harmless, the psychological effects of using these drugs include hallucination, confusion, depression, anxiety, and paranoia. Users may experience physical consequences such as nausea, faintness, and an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Ecstasy use in particular may cause hyperthermia, muscle breakdown, seizures, stroke, kidney and cardiovascular system failure, permanent brain damage, and death. Using club drugs even recreationally is dangerous because they are often laced with unknown additives, including Valium and caffeine, which can compound or magnify adverse consequences.
Ecstasy is an inexpensive stimulant and hallucinogen, most commonly abused by those attending raves or clubs.
GHB is an anabolic steroid with euphoric and sedative effects that has been used to facilitate to date rape.
Ketamine, due to its anesthetic properties, may be slipped into a personĂs drink, rendering him or her unconscious and vulnerable to sexual assault.
Methamphetamines are addictive stimulants that enhance mood and body movement. They may be abused by clubbers and ravers, and are moving rapidly into other aspects of student culture.
Rohypnol is a drug with sedative-hypnotic effects, and is used as a date rape drug because of its ability to incapacitate victims.