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RCASA Volunteer Corner

In Sexual Assault Awareness on February 26, 2012 at 5:35 am

Today I am going to share the second part of a three part series about Date Rape Drugs.

Last week:  What are date rape drugs, what do they look like?

This week: What are the effects of date rape drugs on my body?

Next week: Are there ways to tell if I have been drugged?  What should I do if I think I may have been drugged.

What effects do these drugs have on the body?

These drugs are very powerful. They can affect you very quickly and without your knowing. The length of time that the effects last varies. It depends on how much of the drug is taken and if the drug is mixed with other drugs or alcohol. Alcohol makes the drugs even stronger and can cause serious health problems — even death.

Rohypnol

The effects of Rohypnol can be felt within 30 minutes of being drugged and can last for several hours. If you are drugged, you might look and act like someone who is drunk. You might have trouble standing. Your speech might be slurred. Or you might pass out. Rohypnol can cause these problems:

  • Muscle relaxation or loss of muscle control
  • Difficulty with motor movements
  • Drunk feeling
  • Problems talking
  • Nausea
  • Can’t remember what happened while drugged
  • Loss of consciousness (black out)
  • Confusion
  • Problems seeing
  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Stomach problems
  • Death

GHB

GHB takes effect in about 15 minutes and can last 3 or 4 hours. It is very potent: A very small amount can have a big effect. So it’s easy to overdose on GHB. Most GHB is made by people in home or street “labs.” So, you don’t know what’s in it or how it will affect you. GHB can cause these problems:

  • Relaxation
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Problems seeing
  • Loss of consciousness (black out)
  • Seizures
  • Can’t remember what happened while drugged
  • Problems breathing
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Slow heart rate
  • Dream-like feeling
  • Coma
  • Death

Ketamine

Ketamine is very fast-acting. You might be aware of what is happening to you, but unable to move. It also causes memory problems. Later, you might not be able to remember what happened while you were drugged. Ketamine can cause these problems:

  • Distorted perceptions of sight and sound
  • Lost sense of time and identity
  • Out of body experiences
  • Dream-like feeling
  • Feeling out of control
  • Impaired motor function
  • Problems breathing
  • Convulsions
  • Vomiting
  • Memory problems
  • Numbness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Aggressive or violent behavior
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Slurred speech

Are these drugs legal in the United States?

Some of these drugs are legal when lawfully used for medical purposes. But that doesn’t mean they are safe. These drugs are powerful and can hurt you. They should only be used under a doctor’s care and order.

  • Rohypnol is not legal in the United States. It is legal in Europe and Mexico, where it is prescribed for sleep problems and to assist anesthesia before surgery. It is brought into the United States illegally.
  • Ketamine is legal in the United States for use as an anesthetic for humans and animals. It is mostly used on animals. Veterinary clinics are robbed for their ketamine supplies.
  • GHB was recently made legal in the United States to treat problems from narcolepsy (a sleep disorder). Distribution of GHB for this purpose is tightly restricted.

Is alcohol a date rape drug? What about other drugs?

Any drug that can affect judgment and behavior can put a person at risk for unwanted or risky sexual activity. Alcohol is one such drug. In fact, alcohol is the drug most commonly used to help commit sexual assault. When a person drinks too much alcohol:

  • It’s harder to think clearly.
  • It’s harder to set limits and make good choices.
  • It’s harder to tell when a situation could be dangerous.
  • It’s harder to say “no” to sexual advances.
  • It’s harder to fight back if a sexual assault occurs.
  • It’s possible to blackout and to have memory loss.

The club drug “ecstasy” (MDMA) has been used to commit sexual assault. It can be slipped into someone’s drink without the person’s knowledge. Also, a person who willingly takes ecstasy is at greater risk of sexual assault. Ecstasy can make a person feel “lovey-dovey” towards others. It also can lower a person’s ability to give reasoned consent. Once under the drug’s influence, a person is less able to sense danger or to resist a sexual assault.

Even if a victim of sexual assault drank alcohol or willingly took drugs, the victim is not at fault for being assaulted. You cannot “ask for it” or cause it to happen.

 

RCASA 24 hour/7days a week

No Cost Hotline: (540) 371-1666

______________________

source http://www.womenshealth.gov

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