shutterstock_30929875Bill Cosby recently admitted that he drugged women that he wanted to have sex with during the 1960’s and 1970’s. At that time, many of today’s “date rape” drugs didn’t exist. Cosby had a doctor write him a prescription for Quaaludes, drugs that suppress the central nervous system and slow down causing sedation or deep relaxation.

Today, a would-be rapist has access to a variety of drugs, including Rohypnol, GHB, Ketamine and MDMA Some of these drugs are legal when prescribed by a doctor to treat certain medical conditions, but are also available illegally.

Common Date Rape Drugs

Rohypnol

Rohypnol or “roofies” is available as a pill that dissolves in alcohol. The drug takes affect within 30 minutes, and the effects can last several hours. Victims appear and act as if they are drunk. Someone who is given Rohypnol may experience a drop in blood pressure and a loss of muscle control that causes difficulty walking, standing or speaking. The victim may feel drowsy or even lose consciousness and will not remember what occurred while drugged. If the dose is high, there is a risk of death. Rohypnol is banned in the United States, and is illegally imported from Europe and Mexico.

GHB

GHB or gamma hydroxybutyrate is a prescription drug restricted for the treatment of severe narcolepsy. It is available as a pill, powder or liquid with a slight salty taste. The drug takes effect quickly and is very potent, so overdose is a risk. Effects include relaxation, a dream-like feeling, vision problems, sweating, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, tremors, drowsiness, slowed heart rate, seizures, difficulty breathing,  loss of consciousness, coma, and, sometimes, death.  Victims do not remember events that occurred while under the effects of GHB.

Ketamine

Ketamine is a fast-acting anesthetic that is used by veterinarians. It is available in both liquid and powder forms. Unlike, Rohypnol and GHB, victims who are drugged with Ketamine are often aware of what is happening.  But, they are unable to move and it may feel like events are occurring within a dream. Sight and sound may be distorted. Ketamine can also impair motor function and cause numbness, vomiting, convulsions and difficulty breathing. Victims may become aggressive or violent.

MDMA

MDMA or “ecstasy” (MDMA) may be slipped into alcohol and used as a date rape drug.  MDMA causes a  “lovey-dovey” feeling towards others, which can lower a person’s inhibitions and impair the ability to resist a sexual assault.

Alcohol

Alcohol is legal for anyone over the age of 21. Because it is legal and easy to obtain, more women are assaulted under the influence of alcohol than any other drug.

There is nothing wrong with having a drink or two. However, too much alcohol can impair one’s ability to set limits and make good choices. A person who is under the influence of alcohol may not be able to recognize a dangerous situation and may not be able to fight back if a sexual assault occurs.

Prescription and over-the-counter drugs such as anxiety medication, muscle relaxers, sleep-aids and tranquilizers may be added to alcohol to further reduce inhibitions and facilitate sexual assault.

Recognizing Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault

Many victims of date-rape drugs have no memory of the assault and may not be aware that an attack has occurred until hours later.  Some signs of drug-facilitated sexual assault include:

  • Feeling drunk or hungover when you haven’t had any alcohol
  • Feeling stronger than usual effects from drinking alcohol
  • Not remembering anything that occurred after your drink
  • Having no memory of a period of time
  • Waking up and feeling disoriented
  • Torn, missing, or out-of-place clothing
  • Vaginal pain or soreness
  • Feeling like you had sex, but not remembering

If you suspect you were drugged, go to the hospital immediately. Most date-rape drugs leave the body within 12 to 72 hours.  Call the police from the hospital to report the attack. Be honest about the events that occurred. Nothing you did — even if you were drinking alcohol or using drugs — is an excuse for rape.

Are You a Victim of Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault?

Drug-facilitated sexual assault occurs anytime drugs or alcohol are used to inhibit a person’s ability to resist sexual advances. This includes both attacks on victims who are given drugs without their knowledge and assaults that take advantage of a victim who is already impaired.

Some victims blame themselves for drinking too much or getting into a potentially dangerous situation. But, you are not to blame. Someone took advantage of you. It is not your fault. You did not ask for the assault to happen.

Justice for Rape Victims

Bill Cosby’s victims will not get the justice and accountability they deserve. More than twenty years have passed since the attacks, and the statute of limitations has expired for most cases. But if you are a victim of drug-facilitated sex assault, you can get accountability.

Legal Lookout

Posted by Legal Lookout

A Legal Blog Devoted to Legal Industry News.

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