FACTS ABOUT DATE-RAPE DRUGS

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By Leonard Otieno

Date-rape drugs are drugs that are sometimes used to assist in committing a sexual assault. Sexual assault is any type of sexual activity that a person does not agree to. Because of the effects of these drugs, victims may be physically helpless, unable to refuse sex, and unable to remember what happened. The drugs often have no color, odor or taste and are easily added to flavored drinks without the victim’s knowledge.

What are the most common date-rape drugs?

GHB (gamma hydroxybutyric acid), ketamine and rohypnol are the most common date-rape drugs. Street names for GHB include Grievous Bodily Harm, Liquid G, Liquid Ecstasy, Somatomax, Cherry Meth, Easy Lay and Gamma 10. Street names for ketamine include Special K, Ket and K, Vitamin K, Kit Kat, Keller, Cat Valium, Purple and Super C. Street names for rohypnol include Roofies, R2, Roofenol, Roche, Roachies, La Rocha, Rope, Rib, Circles, Mexican Valium, Roach-2, Roopies, Ropies, Forget Pill, Trip-and-Fall and Mind Erasers.
There are other drugs that affect judgment and behavior, and can put a person at risk for unwanted or risky sexual activity. Alcohol is one of those drugs, and can result in impaired judgment, less ability to protect oneself and blackouts or memory loss.

What do these drugs look like?

GHB comes in a liquid with no odor or color, a white powder and a pill. Ketamine is a white powder and Rohypnol is a pill that dissolves in liquid.

What are the effects of GHB on the victim?Drowsiness, dizziness, slow heart rate, nausea, loss of consciousness, inability to remember what happened while drugged, seizures, coma, and death

What are the effects of ketamine on the victim? hallucinations, lost sense of time and identity, agitation, aggressive or violent behavior, convulsions, loss of consciousness, loss of coordination, potentially fatal respiratory failure

What are the effects of rohypnol on the victim? lower blood pressure, sleepiness, muscle relaxation or loss of muscle control, visual disturbances, loss of consciousness, problems talking, inability to remember what happened while drugged, nausea

How can a woman protect herself from date-rape drugs?

Whether you are at a bar, restaurant or in any public setting, keep yourself and your friends safe by doing these simple things: Never leave your drink unattended; Do not accept open-container drinks from anyone but a bartender or server. If you are accepting a drink, make sure it is from an unopened container and that you open the container yourself; Be wary about accepting drinks from anyone you do not know well or long enough to trust; Attend parties or visit bars with a group of friends, arranging beforehand to watch each other’s drinks; If you arrive as a group, leave as a group; Watch out for your friends. If a friend shows symptoms of date-rape drug ingestion, seek medical attention immediately; Notify other females you know about the effects of these dangerous drugs; and If you think that you have been a victim, notify the authorities immediately.

What should a woman do if there is a suspected assault? If you are ill or injured, go to a hospital emergency department for treatment. If you want to report the incident, call the police and preserve the evidence – do not shower, change clothes, or brush your teeth – until you get a medical exam. Try not to urinate until medical/legal evidence is collected at the hospital. Your urine can be tested for the presence of sedating drugs. The sooner you get to the hospital, the more likely the drug will be found in your system.

Get emotional support and help. There are agencies specializing in sexual assault services in most communities.

(You can always Whatsapp/Call Otieno +254713530966 for health talk programs both in school, community,individual and even roadside.Leonard is a nurse counselor HIV/AIDs and Malaria Champion)

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