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Date rape drugs

Date rape drugs defined

Date rape drugs are, any narcotic that is used by a person to facilitate a sexual assault.  Sexual assault does not only mean unconsented intercourse, but any unconsented sexual activity. Recognized date rape drugs, such as flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), hydroxybutyrate (GHB), triazolam (Halcion), scopolamine, burundaga, ketamine and more recently MDMA (Ecstacy), do not have a distinctive colour, smell or flavour.  They can come in powder, liquid and pill forms, and most often are placed in a person's drink.  The effects on a person from a date rape drug vary, depending on the drug type and dosage.

Common effects

Despite the differences between the types of drugs used to commit this crime, there are some common side effects to the drugs. Most of these drugs have one thing in common—sedation. Other common side effects include:

  • A feeling of drowsiness, confusion, dizziness and nausea.
  • A strange feeling after drinking only a small amount of alcohol.
  • You may suffer blackouts, a loss of coordination, memory loss and be unable to protect yourself from an assailant.

The level of alcohol consumption and dosage of the drug used will directly affect the level of impairment felt by the person being drugged. If you believe you are being or have been drugged, seek assistance immediately. If you are at a bar, or venue open to the public, approach one of the staff. If you are at a party ask someone you trust for help.  Once you find someone to help, have them call the police. Try to keep the container your drink was in, any amount left, will help the police .

How to protect yourself

There are some simple ways to avoid becoming a victim of this type of crime:

  • Never go out alone to bars, or parties. Go with a group of friends, or someone that you trust Using this type of buddy system makes sure someone is always looking out for you
  • Do not leave your beverage unattended at parties or bars
  • At bars, do not accept drinks offered by strangers unless delivered by the bartender or server
  • At parties, do not accept an unopened container or mixed drink from anyone
  • Have your friends watch out for you, and do not allow a friend to leave with someone if they do not appear coherent enough to make a decision

If you are concerned you were a victim of sexual assault you can report the offence to Campus Security, Calgary Police Services and/or the counselling department.

Tests for the drug used can be conducted, but must be done within 36 hours of ingestion (this time differs slightly with dosage levels and the type of drug used). Do not allow anyone to treat you as though you are just intoxicated. Insist on having the test done.

For more information

University of Calgary Campus Security (24 hrs.)
403-220-5333

Calgary Police Service
403-266-1234
or
911  

University Counselling Services and Student Development
403-220-5893

Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse (C.C.A.S.A)
403-237-5888 (24 hr. crisis line)

Family Planning Clinics

  • Downtown 403-264-3454
  • Forest Lawn 403-248-0679
  • Sunridge 403-219-6105

The Rockeyview Hospital
7007 - 14 St. SW
403-541-3449 (24 hrs.)