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DATE RAPE DRUGS
Maggie was excited to go out with her friends to a rave on Saturday night. They had been there around an hour when a man named George, whom she had never met, offered to buy her a drink. As she was sitting at a table with her friends, George said that he could go to the bar and get it.
George returned with two fruity drinks and handed one to Maggie. At that point, the three people at her table decided they wanted to dance. George asked Maggie to stay with him and finish their drinks. Maggie agreed and took a sip of her drink. A short time later, she felt as if she was drunk. She’d only had one drink prior meeting George, so she blamed the feeling to being drunk on that she had an empty stomach or the bartender making the drinks extra strong.
This is the last memory that Maggie had. The next night, she found herself in her bed with her clothes off. She saw condom wrappers on the night stand. She feared that she must have had sex with someone but she didn’t remember anything. She felt sore but couldn’t attribute it to anything she remembered.
Maggie attributed her behavior to being drunk and blacking out although she’d never done that before. She called a friend who was with her that night hoping to get some details. Her friend answered the phone in a jovial tone saying that Maggie must have had a “good night.” Without wanting to admit what had happened, she allowed her friend to continue. “George seemed like a really nice guy. I didn’t know where you went; did he give you a ride home?”
Maggie responded, “yes…I gotta run.” It never crossed her mind that she could have been drugged.
In reality, George had slipped GHB into her drink.
Date rape with the use of drugs is also known as “drug facilitated sexual assault.” It is especially common among college students. Rapes that include “date rape drugs” render an individual incapable of giving consent. Some common date rape drugs are Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine. All three of which may erase memories of the events that transpired while under the influences of the drug.
These are also commonly called “club drugs” because they are often used at dance clubs, concerts, and raves. They have little taste or color therefore they are easily slipped into someone’s drink. These drugs act quickly (15-30 minutes) and can render an individual either totally unconscious or even immobile without any memory. When one is drugged, a person may act as if she or he is drunk. This allows the assailant to lure the individual into the car, out of the club, etc. As there may be no memories, some sexual assaults are only recognized due to physical trauma. It is common for survivors to believe that they “blacked out” without knowing they were under the influence of a drug.
Alcohol is commonly used to help commit sexual assault. Often it brings up the question of consent. When someone is intoxicated, just as the with the other date rape drugs, they are unable to give consent.
Amy Menna has a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and Certified Addictions Professional. She has over 10 years of experience treating survivors of sexual assault and has published on the topic of Rape Trauma Syndrome, resiliency, and childhood sexual abuse. She is in private practice and lives in Tampa, Florida. She is available by email at email@example.com
Gift From Within, (www.giftfromwithin.org) is a non-profit organization dedicated to those who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), those at risk for PTSD, and those who care for traumatized individuals.
The opinions in this post are solely those of the author. To contribute to ‘Professional Perspective’ contact Michele.
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