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Substance Related Sexual Assault
by Erowid
1.1 May 2000
Rape and sexual assault are problems every society needs to learn to deal with. Sexual assaults involving the use of a psychoactive substance have their own issues and problems. Alcohol is by far the most common substance involved in sexual assaults. However, any substance which impairs the ability of a person to adequately respond to a situation or defend themself if the need arises, could be used in the same way. Other substances sometimes associated with substance related sexual assaults include Rohypnol, GHB, Ketamine, and Mickies (sometimes used as a general word to describe any substances added to a drink to knock a person out...also used to describe chloral hydrate).

These substances are sometimes given to an unsuspecting person without their knowledge, usually through the adulteration of liquid beverages (usually alcoholic beverages). This practice has been linked to cases of sexual assault or date rape in cases where the victim is assaulted after being rendered unconscious and/or immobilized by the drug.

What Can You Do?
The first step begins with educating yourself. You cannot help others unless you have as much information as possible. Learn about substances like Rohypnol, GHB and Ketamine so you will be more likely to recognize them if you run across them. The ultimate responsibility for your well being is your own. Having fun and partying does not relieve you of that responsibility. Use your head and have SAFE fun.

Risk Reduction
People who choose to perpetrate this crime may actively seeking out individuals to victimize. Being more observant of your surroundings and the actions of others in high risk environments is a first step in staying safe. Take measures to protect yourself against the possibility and do "the peer educator thing" and share the protective information with your friends.

Beware of strangers offering you alcohol or other substances. Always consider the motives of someone offering you drugs for free. Even if you've tried the substance before, don't accept it from strangers. The concentration and dosage can vary greatly from batch to batch. Just because you've tried something before doesn't make you safe from an overdose. If you are going to take drugs, rather do it with friends who know what you are on and who will be there if something goes wrong.

Also, if you see someone drop something into a drink, take action. Tell the person who's consuming the drink, identify the perpetrator, or get help from the bar owner or police. Early action on your part could save someone from suffering pain or violence.


  • Drink from tamper-proof bottles or cans and insist on opening them yourself.
  • Be particularly cautious about drinking out of wide-mouthed glasses.
  • Do not ask someone to watch your drink while you dance, go to the bathroom, etc. Even if you trust the person watching your drink, he or she could get distracted.
  • Insist on personally observing while any beverage you drink is mixed or prepared.
  • At a bar, drink from a can or tamper-proof bottle opened by you.

If You Think You've Been Drugged...

  • Don't go anywhere with anyone you don't trust.
  • Don't be afraid to seek medical treatment or advice.
  • Notify appropriate campus or community law enforcement. You can be tested for the drugs if you act promptly.
  • Find a safe escort back to your room (dorm, apartment, hotel, etc.)
  • Don't assume a dorm or hotel is a safe place to sleep it off. The person who drugged you may be there too. Or, depending on what you have consumed, you may find yourself in acute medical distress.
    -- --from (article removed)

Substance Related Rape and the Law