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Related Services > SAVE Program > Violence Prevention Information > Rape Prevention > Date Rape and Alcohol/Drugs


Date Rape and Alcohol | Date Rape Drugs | Men Changing Men |
Myths About RapeSelf-Defense Tips |




Rohypnol is a sleeping pill marketed by Roche Pharmaceuticals. On the street it is often call "roofies," "roche," "R-2," "rib" and "rope." The drug is a very potent tranquilizer similar to Valium, but much, much stronger. Rohypnol produces a sedative effect, amnesia, muscle relaxation and a slowing of psychomotor responses.


The drug is often distributed on the street in its bubble packaging, which makes it appear legitimate and legal. Rohypnol is reportedly sold for $2.00 to $4.00 per tablet.

Originally, illicit use of Rohypnol was reported in Europe in the late 1970's. Police sources in Florida and Texas reported first seeing "roofies" in the United States in the early 1990's.


The Rohypnol side effects begin approximately 20-30 minutes after taking the drug and peak within two hours. Depending on the dosage, the effects usually last up to 8 hours.


The side effects of Rohypnol

* Decreased blood pressure

* Loss of memory

* Sedation

* Black outs


* Muscle relaxation

* Disorientation

* Dizziness and confusion

* Nausea

* Problems with vision

* Aggressive behavior

* Nervousness

* Disinhibition

* Fearlessness

A.K.A Date Rape Drug


One of the most common abuse patterns is to use Rohypnol as a rape drug. Rohypnol is known as a rape drug because perpetrators reportedly slip it into victim's drinks causing them to blackout. Rohypnol takes away a victim's normal inhibitions, leaving the victim helpless and blocking the memory of a rape or assault.


Only 10 minutes after ingesting Rohypnol, a person may feel dizzy, disoriented, too hot or cold, and nauseated. They may also have a difficult time speaking and eventually, the victim will pass out. The person will then have no recollection of the events that occurred.


Mixing "roofies" with alcohol can be more dangerous and may cause respiratory depression, aspiration, and possibly death.

GHB (Gamma-Hydroxybutyerate)

Originally developed as an anesthetic, GHB is a naturally occurring 4-carbon molecule sold in powdered, liquid or capsule form. On the street it can be known as: "G," "Liquid X," "Liquid E," "Scoop," "Soap," "Gook," "Grievous Bodily Harm," "Georgia Home Boy," "Natural Sleep-500," "Easy Lay" or "Gamma 10." It usually is tasteless, but may be recognized at times by a salty taste.


GHB was formerly sold by health-food stores and gyms as a sleep aid, anabolic agent, fat burner, enhancer of muscle definition and natural psychedelic. GHB was first synthesized in 1960 by a French researcher. It has been used in Europe as a general anesthetic, a treatment for insomnia and narcolepsy, an aid to childbirth and a treatment for alcoholism and alcohol withdrawal syndrome.


In the last few years it has been gaining popularity as a "recreational" drug offering an alcohol-like, hangover free "high" with possible prosexual effects (disinhibition often occurs and inhibitions are suppressed).


GHB side effects are usually felt within 5 to 20 minutes after ingestion and they usually last no more than two to three hours. The effects of GHB are unpredictable and very dose-dependent.


Sleep paralysis, agitation, delusions and hallucination have all been reported. Other effects include excessive salivation, decreased gag reflex and vomiting in 30 to 50 percent of users. Dizziness may occur for up to two weeks post ingestion. GHB can cause severe reactions when combined with alcohol, benzodiazepines, opiates, anticonvulsant and allergy remedies.


In November 1990, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning that GHB can cause seizures, coma, respiratory arrest and death, especially when mixed with alcoholic beverages.


The side effects of GHB

* Abrupt, intense drowsiness

* Decreased body temperature

* Slower, deep respiration

* Giddiness, silliness and dizziness

* Interference with mobility and verbal coherence

* Semi-consciousness

* Vomiting

* Temporary amnesia

* Diarrhea

* Seizure

* Decreased heart rate

* Coma

* Sleep-walking

* Death

A.K.A Date Rape Drug


One of the most common abuse patterns of GHB is by rapists slipping the drug into a victim's drink (usually alcohol). Within a few moments, the victim will appear drunk and helpless. Often the perpetrator will become a "good Samaritan" and offer to escort the victim home. When the victim regains consciousness, he or she has no memory of the events.

Safe Partying


There are simple steps that can help reduce the risks of a substance-related sexual assault:

  • Do not leave beverages unattended.

  • Do not take any beverages, including alcohol, from someone you do not know well and trust.

  • At a bar or club, accept drinks only from the bartender, waiter or waitress. If someone offers to buy you a drink, go with them to the bar and watch the bartender make your drink.

  • Do not accept open container drinks from anyone. (This includes punch bowls.)

  • Be alert to the behavior of friends. Anyone appearing disproportionately intoxicated in relation to the amount of alcohol they have consumed may have consumed a tampered beverage.

  • Anyone who suspects that they have ingested a tampered drink or sedative-like substance should be taken to a hospital emergency room or should call 911 for an ambulance. Be sure to ask for a urine sample and try to keep a sample of the beverage for analysis.


Ron Vick, MA, LPC
Counselor / Academic Advisor
Int'l Student Advisor



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