9 Minutes

Edited & medically reviewed by THE BALANCE Team
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The word Roofie is commonly used as slang and is described as a tablet of a strong benzodiazepine hypnotic and sedative medication that is not FDA-approved for therapeutic use in the United States but is widely used illicitly. Roofies are frequently referred to as “date rape drugs.

Date rape is described as a sexual assault committed by anyone you know, such as a partner, or somebody you recently met, such as an acquaintance.  It is not uncommon for date rape medicines to be slipped into a woman’s drink when she is not looking. Often, the drug is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, leaving the woman unaware she is taking an illicit substance. Roofie is derived from one of the most often used date rape medicines, Rohypnol. This is a pharmaceutical benzodiazepine that will make you disoriented, forgetful, and unable to control your body.

If you’re worried about becoming a target of date rape, you should be aware of the symptoms and effects of roofy drugs to avoid becoming a victim. The following are some of the most typical side effects of being roofied, as well as recommendations on how to determine if you were roofied.

Due to the fact that a roofy drug is a depressant, you will most probably feel more relaxed and excessively tranquil after taking it. Several typical indicators and signs that you have been roofied include the following:

  • An unexpected sense of fogginess
  • Heavy drunkenness (a significant red signal if you haven’t consumed much alcohol)
  • Odd encounters with strangers
  • Memory lapses
  • Sedation
  • Confusion or inability to maintain concentration
  • Reduced vigilance and energy
  • Disorientation
  • Difficulties with movement or a sense of paralysis
  • Muscle control problems
  • Nausea

Unfortunately, numerous women have been sexually assaulted as a response to date rape drugs. Due to the fact that these substances are known to induce memory lapses or other problems with memory, it’s also critical to understand how it feels the day after being roofied. Several frequent roofie side effects the next day include the following:

  • Somnolence
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Headache
  • Muscle ache
  • Susceptibility to light (photosensitivity)
  • Restlessness
  • A sensation of tingling
  • Confusion
  • Memory lapses or inability to recall recent events

Several products are available to assist ladies in determining whether their beverage has been tainted. Undercover Colors are just one of those product lines. This is a little test tablet, dubbed the “SipChip,” that detects drugs in 30 seconds to 3 minutes only with one drop in the drink. SipChip detects the most frequently used date rape medications.

Another unique product called Nightcap is a scrunchie that prevents drinks from being spiked. This item works by concealing a drink cover within a scrunchie pocket. You slip the lid over your beverage and sip via the reusable straw. When finished or not in use, reinsert the cover to the pocket and wear the scrunchie around your wrist.

Both of these items are environmentally friendly methods of ensuring the safety of beverages. Another option to assure the safety of your drinks is to carry your own. This gives you greater control over what you drink and how much you consume. If you are ever out and experience dizziness, lightheadedness, or any other unusual sensation, seek emergency medical attention. If you lose trust in the person you’re with, most bartenders will assist you or call a taxi to take you home.

Seek Medical Care

Based on the type of medication used, it may or may not be instantly obvious that something is amiss. In some circumstances, it becomes evident quite soon that some drug is in your body system, while in others, it might take quite some time for somebody to realize they have a chemical in their system that they are unaware of. Below are a few early signs that you may have been drugged: breathing difficulties, being more inebriated than you believe you should be (based on the number of substances or alcohol taken deliberately), disorientation, nausea, rapid changes in body temperature, or memory lapses (getting up in the morning with no insight of what had happened the night before).

Whether or not the substance is detected in your bloodstream has no bearing on your experience. Although Rohypnol is difficult to detect in the blood or other body fluids, getting medical assistance will allow for the resolution of any mental and physical health difficulties and will assist in connecting you with support services. The decision to consider medical attention is distinct from the decision to pursue legal action. You may consult a physician or nurse without contacting the police, filing charges, or even taking legal action, either now or in the future.

If you believe you have been sexually harassed, it is even more critical to seek immediate medical assistance.

Seek Assistance From Informed Providers

When seeking medical attention, you should disregard or dismiss any health care practitioner, clinician, nurse, or anyone else who implies that you made poor choices that resulted in your being drugged, or that you’re being knocked was your fault. There are competent providers available, particularly for long-term follow-up or non-emergency management.

Even if they do not indicate that you are at fault, this healthcare personnel may not be prepared to handle your experience in the most compassionate manner. Even a seasoned nurse or doctor with the greatest of intentions may be at a loss for words when they hear what you’ve said. They may not say useful things; they may say stuff that is unintentionally damaging, and it is extremely beneficial to be aware of this coming into the process.  She continues by stating that many members of the medical field are unprepared to care for trauma victims, especially in the immediate wake of the trauma.

You must never be forced to feel as if you contributed to your own demise.

Sexual violence or an incidence of sexual assault is solely the perpetrator’s fault. Never is it the victim’s fault. They are the only ones who have the authority to make decisions about their bodies, and intentionally using alcohol or drugs is never a justification for some other person to abuse your body or make you feel insecure.

Ensure That You Are Surrounded By Trusted Family Or Friends

Friends can assist you in beginning your recovery after being roofied.

Even if you are unable to seek urgent medical assistance, it is critical to surround yourself with others who can provide support in the hours and days following the incident. Rohypnol wears off after around 12 hours, and individuals should remain in the company of trusted friends or family members until the drug is completely eliminated from their system. 

They can monitor for adverse drug reactions and ensure you do not vomit, have seizures, stop breathing, or experience cognitive problems such as mood changes or disorientation. If you are drugged and in a safe place with people you trust, they can act as your eyes, ears, and brain, keeping you safe and seeking care for you before the meds wear off.

If you are a friend or family member who has been entrusted with the responsibility of being by the survivor’s side, be an active listener and keep in touch with them. The most common mistake that loved ones and friends do unintentionally is to deny the individual the opportunity to tell their tale. It could be as small as nodding your head when they told you the story without asking a follow-up question, and the survivor walks away thinking, 

This person does not believe me, believes it is my fault, or simply does not care. Continue to contact them and inquire about their well-being. Cooper recommends the following: Offer concrete methods to assist, such as accompanying them to a doctor’s appointment, accompanying them to file a police report, or just providing them with a ride to work. Follow up and check-in, as your loved one is likely to feel embarrassed and lonely and will avoid social situations.

Maintain Good Hydration

For you to remain vigilant, stay hydrated. The medications will continue to exert their effects until they are completely broken down, which the body is largely responsible for. While dehydration may prolong this process, individuals should refrain from drinking or eating until they are awake and alert. It is critical to stay hydrated and in the company of trusted relatives and friends who can report any adverse effects of the medicine in the days following.

Check-In With Yourself

Roofied individuals should be conscious of their fluctuating emotions over the next few days as they analyze the experience. After a period of numbing or shock, relief at having endured may make room for sadness and anger at the knowledge of having been violated. Individuals should understand that their answers are unique – while everybody has their unique experiences of being drugged, others [may] have a lot more difficult time integrating their experience into their life and continuing.

You may likely develop what we refer to as acute stress disorder 4 weeks after the assault. This is a type of anxiety that arises within the first month after a traumatic event. The symptoms are similar to those of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and may include emotions of detachment, increased anxiety, anger, difficulties concentrating, and sleeplessness, as well as memory impairments “particularly if you’ve been medicated. 

Trauma memories are encoded quite differently than non-traumatic recollections, which means that you may have difficulties recalling specific details of the event regardless of whether you were drugged or blacked out. Additionally, you may experience nightmares or flashbacks associated with the incident. If these symptoms persist for more than a month, cause you significant anguish, and impair your ability to perform in any position in your life, a PTSD diagnosis may be necessary from a licensed provider of mental health services.

Do Not Be Scared To Ask For Assistance

Inquire of your friends and family about what you require. Inform them of your needs and desires and how they can assist you. For some, that may simply mean making plans to do something easy and enjoyable. For some, it may be as simple as listening intently. Being forthright about what you require for personal rehabilitation will assist your family and friends in providing it to you.

Seek Expert Counseling If Possible

The sooner you begin, the better. If possible, you must seek a therapist who specializes in trauma, or a group counseling session for trauma survivors, with the understanding that it must be monitored by a mental health expert. There are numerous resources for locating the type of support that seems right for you; there are also direct hotlines for quick assistance.

Not only can a mental health specialist assist you in the weeks and months after an assault, but they can also assist you in reestablishing tranquility following a terrible occurrence. Recognize that you will overcome this and that there are individuals out there who want to assist you in healing and reclaiming your best self.

If indications of roofies are found and it is evident that the person did not take the drug voluntarily, it is critical to act immediately. Follow the appropriate steps to remove the intoxicated individual from harm’s way:

Step 1: Remove any alcoholic beverages or other psychoactive substances from them.

Step 2: Inform those who can be trusted about the problem.

Step 3: Take the sufferer away from the scene, regardless of whether it is a bar, a gathering, or a nightclub.

Step 4: Keep an eye on the victim’s level of consciousness and respiration. Call 911 if the victim’s respiration stops or he or she loses consciousness.

Step 5: Immediately transport the person to an emergency department or urgent care facility. When someone is drugged without their consent, there is always a risk of overdose.

Step 6: Maintain constant contact with the victim. Their conduct may be unexpected, and the assailant may still be on the prowl. It is possible that the victim was poisoned by an acquaintance or buddy.

Step 7: Adhere to the doctor’s directions regarding the victim’s return home.

Step 8: Ascertain that the victim’s residence is secure and that the victim feels comfortable.

Once the sufferer is safe, you’ll probably want to report the crime to the authorities. Although determining who drugged the person can be extremely difficult, if you were in a public location such as a restaurant or bar, police may have video footage of the criminal act.


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