Drug-Facilitated Assault

Alcohol is the number one illegal substance that is used to facilitate sexual assault and rape. There are other drugs (listed below) that can be used to this effect, often by slipping them into a potential victim’s drink. When a person is drinking alcohol:  

      • It's more difficult to think clearly and evaluate a potentially dangerous situation. 
      • It's harder to verbalize consent or non-consent.
      • Drinking too much alcohol can also cause black-outs and memory loss.  

Remember: Even if a victim of sexual assault drank alcohol s/he is NOT at fault for being assaulted. Connecticut law and Trinity Policy explicitly state that when a person is incapacitated, consent cannot be given.

The drugs listed below often have no color, smell, or taste and are easily added to flavored drinks without the victim's knowledge. The ones most commonly used are:  

  • GHB (gamma hydroxybutyric acid)
  • Rohypnol (flunitrazepam)
  • Ketamine (ketamine hydrochloride) ​


What do the drugs look like? 

  • ​GHB has a few forms: a liquid with no odor or color, white powder, and pill. 
  • Rohypnol is a pill and dissolves in liquids. New pills turn blue when added to liquids. However, the old pills, with no color, are still available. 
  • Ketamine is a white powder. ​

What effects do these drugs have on the body?  

The drugs can affect you quickly. The length of time that the effects last varies. It depends on how much of the drug is taken and if the drug is mixed with other substances, like alcohol. Alcohol can worsen the drug's effects and can cause more health problems. Also, one drug — GHB — can be made by people in their homes, so you don't know what's in it.  

GHB  

GHB can cause these problems:

  • Relaxation
  • Drowsiness 
  • Dizziness 
  • Nausea 
  • Problems seeing 
  • Unconsciousness (black out)
  • Seizures  
  • Can't remember what happened while drugged 
  • Problems breathing 
  • Tremors
  • Sweating 
  • Vomiting 
  • Slow heart rate 
  • Dream-like feeling
  • Coma 
  • Death  ​

Rohypnol 

Rohypnol can cause these problems:  

  • Loss of Memory
  • Lower blood pressure 
  • Sleepiness
  • Muscle relaxation or loss of muscle control 
  • Drunk feeling
  • Nausea
  • Problem with speaking
  • Difficulty with motor movements 
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion 
  • Problems seeing 
  • Dizziness 
  • Stomach problems 

Ketamine 

Ketamine can cause these problems:  

  • Hallucinations
  • Lost sense of time and identity 
  • Distorted perceptions of sight and sound 
  • Feeling out of control 
  • Impaired motor function 
  • Problems breathing 
  • Convulsions 
  • Vomiting 
  • Memory problems 
  • Dream-like feeling 
  • Numbness 
  • Loss of coordination
  • Aggressive or violent behavior 
  • Slurred speech​

​Are these drugs legal in the United States?  

Some of these drugs are legal, but that doesn't mean they're not going to hurt you. Even if they're legal, you should not use them unless your health care provider prescribes them.   

Rohypnol is NOT legal in the U.S. It is legal in Europe and Mexico and prescribed for sleep problems and as an anesthetic (medicine given during surgery so you don't feel pain). It is brought into the U.S. illegally.     

Ketamine is legal in the U.S. for use as an anesthetic for humans and animals. It is mostly used on animals. Veterinary clinics are robbed for their Ketamine supply.          

GHB was recently made legal in the U.S to treat problems from narcolepsy (a sleep problem).  

How can I protect myself from being a victim?

  • Don't accept drinks from other people. 
  • Open containers yourself. 
  • Keep your drink with you at all times, even when you go to the bathroom
  • Don't share drinks. 
  • Don't drink from punch bowls or other large, common, open containers. They may already have drugs in them.
  • Don't drink anything that tastes or smells strange. Sometimes, GHB tastes salty. 
  • Have a non-drinking friend with you to make sure nothing happens.​         

If you think that you have been drugged and raped:

Report the incident immediately to the Title IX Coordinator, Campus Safety, or other Responsible Employees (see Policy).  You can be taken to Hartford Hospital for a medical exam and a “toxicity” test, which will test for the presence of drugs. The drugs leave your system quickly. Rohypnol leaves your body 72 hours after you take it. GHB leaves the body in 12 hours. Don't urinate before getting help. Don't douche, bathe, or change clothes before getting help. These things may give evidence of the rape. Feelings of shame, guilt, fear and shock are normal. It is important to get counseling from a trusted professional.  

For more information...

​