skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 203022 Find in a Library
Title: Date Rape Drugs
Journal: Law and Order  Volume:51  Issue:10  Dated:October 2003  Pages:210-213
Author(s): John DePresca
Date Published: October 2003
Page Count: 4
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the features and effects of the "date rape" drugs of Rohypnol, Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate (GHB), and Ketamine.
Abstract: Rohypnol is the oldest drug used in date rape. It is up to 10 times more powerful than valium and halcion and produces a slowing of physical and mental responses, muscle reflexes, and amnesia in about 15 minutes. A pill looks like aspirin, and when dropped in a drink, usually an alcoholic beverage, it is colorless and odorless. The drug usually takes full effect on the victim within 30 minutes to 1 hour of ingestion. If a high dosage is given, the blackout time can extend to 24 hours. Victims may be aware of being undressed and assaulted but are incapable of reacting or resisting. After the effects of the drug wear off, victims may only have minimum, if any, recall about what happened to them. GHB is strong, with potentially deadly consequences. The most popular form of GHB is a clear liquid that is colorless and odorless and can easily be slipped into the drink of a victim. The drug can produce a reduced respiratory capacity, depending on the dosage. The drug produces a very thin line between an intoxicating effect and a coma. The drug is preferred by rapists because it diminishes memory, preventing the victim from remembering anything about the assault. Ketamine, a newer form of date rape drug, has a quick anesthetic effect. Like the other date rape drugs, Ketamine is used on the victim because of its effect on memory. The initial "high" is followed by amnesia. In any case that involves the use of a date rape drug, the investigator must deal with the victim's being unable to provide much information about the crime. Traditional methods of obtaining physical evidence of rape should be used, and emergency medical technicians and emergency room personnel should be informed that a date rape drug is suspected. Blood and urine tests may show the presence of a specific date rape drug. The quicker the tests are conducted, the more likely is the drug to be detected. Many agencies are reporting that date rape drug crimes are increasing in the homosexual community.
Main Term(s): Drug effects
Index Term(s): Acquaintance rape; GHB (gammahydroxybutyrate); Investigative techniques; Rape investigation training; Rape investigations
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.