Date Rape Drugs - What You Need To Know About Them

McKinley Health Center

There is a growing concern on campuses across the country due to the presence of predator drugs. This article will focus on three drugs threatening personal safety:

  • Rohypnol (Roofies, Rope, Ruffies, R2, Ruffles, Roche, Forget-pill)
  • Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate (GHB, Liquid Extacy, Liquid X, Scoop, Easy Lay)
  • Ketamine Hydrochloride ('K', Special K, Vitamin K, Ket)


It is a potent tranquilizer which produces a sedative effect, amnesia, muscle relaxation, and slowing of psychomotor response. The pill is distributed in 0.5,1.0 to 2.0 milligram form (Restrictions have been placed on the 2.0 mg form). It is colorless, odorless, and tasteless and dissolves without leaving any traces. It takes effect approximately 10 - 20 minutes after ingestion. Rohypnol can be added to any liquid (effect lasting 2-8 hours) but when added to alcohol it produces disinhibition and amnesia (effect lasting 8 - 24 hours). Rohypnol can be detected in the blood for 24 hours and in the urine for 48 hours. Some individuals use Rohypnol as an alcohol extender for a rapid and dramatic high. This is something to watch for in social settings if individuals seem extremely intoxicated after consuming only a small amount of alcohol. Hoffman-La Roche is working on changing the formula so trace particles or a color would appear when Rohypnol is dissolved.

Street Names: Roofies, Rope, Ruffies, R2, Ruffles, Roche, Forget-pill.


It is an odorless, colorless, liquid depressant with anesthetic qualities. It is also used as an amino acid by bodybuilders. GHB is usually distributed as a sodium salt in powder or tablet form commonly dissolved in water. This drug gives a feeling of relaxation, tranquillity, sensuality, and loss off inhibitions (especially for women). The drug takes effect 10 - 15 minutes after ingestion and lasts 2 - 3 hours unless combined with alcohol, where effect may last 20 - 30 hours. Large doses can induce sudden sleep within 5 - 10 minutes.

Street Names: Liquid Extacy, Liquid X, Scoop, Easy Lay.


It is a new drug that has been added to the predator drug category. It is a powerful anesthetic used as an animal tranquilizer. It is available in liquid, powder or pill form. Ketamine causes hallucinations, amnesia and dissociation (a feeling where the mind seems separated from the body) making it attractive for a potential date rapist.

Street Names: 'K', Special K, Vitamin K, Ket.


  • Don't drink anything out of a punch bowl.
  • Monitor the behavior of friends who seem more intoxicated than the amount of alcohol would warrant.
  • Never accept a drink from someone you don't know and trust.
  • If you hear someone "kidding" about date rape drugs, pay attention. That should be a warning to leave that party or individual.

If a rape victim suspects he/she has been drugged, he/she should request a drug screen. New laws have been put into effect in Illinois, and by the Federal government to address the date rape drug issue.