How to Avoid Getting Roofied

By: Women's Care Staff

When learning about date rape, it’s easy to shrug off the facts and act like it won’t happen to you. However, it can happen to anyone. That’s why it’s important to educate yourself about the social and root causes of this violent crime. At Women’s Care, we believe that knowledge is power. Knowing the causes of date rape can potentially help you learn how to avoid getting roofied and other date rape drug prevention.

Defining date rape

Rape is defined as any non-consensual contact or sexual activity that a person does not agree to. We define date rape as sexual assault by someone you know, like a boyfriend, or someone you recently met, even an acquaintance.

Furthermore, date rape drugs cause impairment or loss of consciousness, thereby facilitating the assault. When you least expect it, offenders slip them into your drink. This commonly happens in places that serve alcohol and at parties. However, this can occur in other places with other types of drinks as well, including water. These tasteless substances can either make you physically weak or render you unconscious so a person can take advantage of you sexually.

Remember, even if you drank alcohol, rape is not your fault.

Learning about common date rape drugs

In most cases, date rape drugs have no distinctive scents, tastes, or colors. This makes it difficult to know how to avoid getting roofied. Additionally, these drugs can make it difficult or impossible for you to remember what happened after the crime was committed. In learning about date rape drug prevention, you should know the different types of drugs used.


Rohypnol, also known as roofies, is a benzodiazepine prescription pill that is not approved for medical use in the United States. People feel the drug’s effects within 30 minutes and can last for up to several hours. The drug causes you to feel sleepy, weak, confused, and forgetful. It also renders you unable to move your body.

Ingesting date rape drugs is also known as getting roofied. The word roofie comes from the drug Rohypnol. However, other date rape drugs exist as well.


GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid) is also known as cherry meth or goop and is prescribed for a sleep disorder called narcolepsy. It goes into effect within 15 to 30 minutes and can affect you for up to six hours. The side effects of GHB are vomiting, slowed heart rate, and difficulty with breathing, and the drug can lead to coma or death when consumed in high doses.


Ketamine, also known as cat valium, is an anesthetic that reduces pain and overall feeling, produces feelings of detachment, and distorts perceptions of sight and sound. The effects of ketamine often last for between 30 and 60 minutes and cause symptoms such as nausea, increased blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, and hallucinations.

Avoiding date rape drugs

Date rape drugs are typically added to drinks in social settings. Know instances exist where nonalcoholic drinks are drugged in settings with only one or two friends. Here are some tips you can follow to learn how to avoid getting roofied and lower your risk for date rape.

  • Confirm that your drink is being served directly by the bartender or server. Don’t allow people you don’t know or trust to order drinks and deliver them to you.
  • Watch your drink at all times. Never leave your drink unattended.
  • Keep your hand covered over your drink when you’re not looking at it. Many creative inventions exist that can help you cover your drink.
  • Take your drink with you to the restroom.
  • Get help immediately if you start feeling dizzy, nauseated, light-headed, or strange in any other way.
  • Stick with your friends, and create a buddy system to prevent getting separated from the group for an extended period of time.
  • Test your drink with test strips or nail polish that light up a certain color if they detect drugs.

If you’ve been a victim of sexual assault or date rape, or you wake up without remembering a certain period of time, seek medical help immediately. Call emergency services at 911, or have a friend take you to the nearest emergency room.

Make an appointment with an OB/GYN today at Women’s Care if you have questions about date rape drug prevention or concerns about the health risks associated with date rape.

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