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Date-rape drugs (GHB, Rohypnol)

Date-rape drugs and drink spiking

Drink spiking usually happens when drugs or alcohol are added to your drink without your knowledge.

This may alter how you normally interact or behave with other people. Depending on the drug used, you may feel drowsy, confused and your speech or movement may be impaired. You may also feel more drunk than usual for the amount of alcohol you have consumed. Later, you may not have any memory of what happened.

GHB and GBL

The hypnotic depressant drug, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, or GHB, and GBL (gammabutyrolactone), are often referred to as date-rape drugs. GBL is converted to GHB shortly after entering the body.

GHB is also known as: “G”, liquid ecstasy, fantasy, midnight blue and serenity among others.

What it looks like:

GHB usually comes in a liquid form that can be mixed with other liquids. Derivatives of GHB are often purchased by body builders at health food shops, in an attempt to promote muscle-building and fat-burning. GHB is less commonly available in the capsule form.

What it does:

GHB is a depressant. Its effects range from drowsiness, forgetfulness and loss of muscle tone, to seizure-like activity, slowed heartbeat, breathing and ultimately unconsciousness. The unconsciousness lasts about 1-2 hours, usually with full recovery after about 8 hours. In the date-rape scenario, it is often slipped into an unwitting victim's drink. It leaves no odour to detect, and the effects are gone by the time users return home from a night out.

Harmful effects:

Effects of the drug begin 15-60 minutes after use and typically last up to six hours. It can be detected in the urine up to 12 hours after ingestion. Tolerance (decreased effects with use), dependence and withdrawal reactions have all been reported with GHB use. Breathing difficulties caused by the drug can be severe enough to require life support on a ventilator until the drug effects wear off.

Ketamine

Ketamine is a prescription only human and animal anaesthetic, often referred to as Special K, K, Vitamin K or Cat Valiums. Ketamine may be in clear liquid form or white powder.

What it does:

Ketamine can cause what's called dissociative anaesthesia, where the mind and body appear to be separated to the person. In high doses a person may pass out.

Harmful effects:

Ketamine can cause delirium, amnesia, heart problems, high blood pressure, depression, and respiratory problems.

Flunitrazepam

Flunitrazepam is a potent benzodiazepine (tranquilliser), which has also been associated with date rape. It is best known by the brand name Rohypnol, but is also known as Mexican Valium, roofies, roche, R2, rope, among others. It is available in more than 60 countries in Europe and Latin America, where legitimate use includes anaesthesia prior to an operation.

WebMD Medical Reference

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