Skip to content

Teen Girls' Health

Date-Rape Drugs: It Happened to Me

Font Size
A
A
A
By Jennifer Ashton, M.D., Ob-Gyn with Christine Larson
WebMD Feature by “The Body Scoop for Girls”

 

Here’s another bad thing that can happen when you consume alcohol: You’re more vulnerable to predators who spike drinks with so-called date-rape drugs. Sedatives and mind-altering drugs like GHB have no color, no odor, and no flavor. They render you unable to speak, walk, defend yourself, or remember what happened. This isn’t an urban myth. It really happens. I know because it happened to me.

Did You Know?

Most Rapes and Sexual Assaults Aren't Committed by Strangers

Drinking and drugs impair your judgment—and the judgment of the guys you’re hanging out with. Protect yourself by knowing the facts.

  • 73 percent of sexual assaults are perpetrated by a friend, family member, or acquaintance.
  • One in eight high school girls reports being raped.
  • More than 50 percent of all date rapes take place at a house or apartment.
  • 15 percent of date rapes occur in dorm rooms or parked cars.
  • One of three women who have been raped were raped between the ages of twelve and seventeen.

Escape Date Rape

Keep yourself safe from date rape with these tips:

  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Don’t drink anything that hasn’t been poured in front of you.
  • Avoid uncomfortable or isolated situations.
  • Don’t hesitate to verbalize your feelings: If you don’t like or want something, say so.
  • Take a self-defense class, such as karate or mixed martial arts.
  • NEVER leave a bar or party with someone you don’t know—no matter how nice he seems.

I was a senior in college at Columbia University in New York City, working as a bartender in a very hot bar. I wasn’t much of a drinker in high school or college, but I liked bartending. I got to enjoy the party atmosphere without drinking—and while earning good money.

One night a bunch of local college students came in celebrating a big football win. A very cute guy offered to buy me a beer (we bartenders were all over twenty-one, so the boss let us drink a little—only a little—while working). I rarely drank, but it was a really fun night and I got caught up in the moment. I poured myself a draft beer and took a few sips as I continued to tend the bar.

I never even finished half the beer. Before I knew it, I was in the basement stockroom, unable to stand and barely able to talk. I called my ex-boyfriend and couldn’t say anything except his name. Knowing something was terribly wrong, he came over to find me passed out with absolutely no recollection of anything after the phone call. Someone had slipped me a “date-rape” drug. Fortunately, no one had gotten me alone. I consider myself incredibly lucky.

So-called date-rape drugs like GHB, Ketamine, and Rohypnol cause blackouts and amnesia. They take effect very rapidly and have a strong potential for overdose, which can lead to death. If you think you might have been drugged, seek medical attention immediately. (Tip: These drugs can be detected in urine samples, so don’t pee before going to the hospital.)

The moral of my story is: Be street smart. These drugs can be slipped into any beverage (although they’re much more common in settings where people are drinking alcohol). If you drink in moderation, be aware that you’re more vulnerable. And don’t let anything you’re drinking out of your sight.

Today on WebMD

Teen BMI Calculator
fitTool
teen girl with lotion on face
Slideshow
 
dancing
fitArticle
Young couple holding hands
Quiz
 
Blemish Blasters Tips For Acne Free Skin
Slideshow
teen girl on swing
Quiz
 
Abused woman
Article
Taylor Swift
fitSlideshow
 
The Pill Myths And Facts
Article
Hair illustration
New
 
teen sleeping
fitArticle
Eye make-up closeup
Quiz