"The term "date rape drug" usually applies to the drugs Rohypnol, Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate (GHB) and Ketamine Hydrochloride...The drugs are virtually undetectable; they are tasteless, odorless and colorless. All traces of the drugs will leave the body within 72 hours of ingestion and are not found in any routine toxicology screen or blood test - doctors and police have to be looking specifically for them and they have to look quickly.
Date rape drugs are easily slipped into drinks and food and are very fast acting. They render the victim unconscious but responsive with little or no memory of what happens while the drug is active in their system. The drugs also make the victim act without inhibition, often in a sexual or physically affectionate way. Like most drugs, date rape drugs render a person incapable of thinking clearly or of making appropriate decision. This makes for a very passive victim, one who is still able to play a role in what is happening but who will have no clear memory of what happened after-the-fact. Without any memory of events the victim is often unaware that they have even been raped, and if they are aware or have suspicions they make very poor witnesses." (Excerpt is from About.com.)
What is GHB (Gamma hydroxy butyrate)/GBL?
GHB is made from gamma butyrolactone (GBL) and Sodium Hydroxide or Potassium---"basically a degreasing solvent or floor stripper mixed with drain cleaner." When this concoction is ingested, GHB is produced in the body causing "intoxication, increased energy, happiness, talking, desire to socialize, feeling affectionate and playful, mild disinhibition, sensuality, enhanced sexual experience, muscle relaxation, loss of coordination due to loss of muscle tone, possible nausea, difficulty concentrating, loss of gag reflex."
GBL "is a clear liquid. Looks just like water. Can be mistaken for water because it is usually found in a small (30ml) clear plastic bottle, a water bottle, or even Gatorade bottles, which contains several doses. One quick taste, and you'll know it's not water. Not as common, but also found as a white powder. In fact, powder use is on the rise!"
Many people have bad reactions to GHB, including "nausea, headaches, drowsiness, dizziness, amnesia, vomiting, loss of muscle control, respiratory problems, loss of consciousness, being conscious but unable to move, and death----especially when combined with alcohol or other drugs."
In large doses, GHB can cause "disinhibition, sedation, desire to sleep, rambling incoherent speech, giddiness, silliness, difficulty thinking, slurred speech, passing out, and death."
What is Rohypnol?
It is a prescription sedative/depressant belonging to the Benzodiazepine family of drugs - it is produced worldwide by Hoffman-La Roche, Inc. The generic name for Rohypnol is Flunitrazepam. This drug is not manufactured or approved for use in North America but can be found as a street drug. The drug comes in pill form in .5, 1 and 2 milligram dosages. It is tasteless, colorless and odorless and can be crushed and added to any drink, including water, without detection. In the late 1990's as an answer to Rohypnol's popular use as a date rape drug, the manufacturer voluntarily changed the formula to change color when it comes in contact with liquid, but it is still easy to find in it's original generic formulation. Repeated use of the drug can lead to dependency.
The most common effects include; disinhibition and amnesia, excitability or aggressive behavior, decreased blood pressure, memory impairment, drowsiness, visual disturbances, semi-consciousness, dizziness, confusion, stomach disturbances, and urinary retention. It is quick acting, with noticeable effects occurring within 20 minutes of ingestion. Mixed without alcohol the effects last 8 - 12 hours, with alcohol the effects last longer, up to 36 hours. After ingestion it can be found in the blood stream for 24 hours and in urine samples for 48 hours. The pills are small and white with a split-pill line on one side and the word "ROCHE" with the number 1 or 2 in a circle stamped on the other. They are quickly dissolved in liquid especially when crushed first.
What is Ketamine Hydrochloride?
Ketamine Hydrochloride is a legal drug sold as a veterinary sedative or hospital grade anesthesia and goes by the brand names Ketaset® or Ketalar®). It is in the same family of drugs as PCP (phencyclidine). When used in humans the drug acts as a dissociative anesthesia; it renders the user vaguely aware of, but comfortably detached from, all bodily sensations.
The most common effects include; delirium, vivid hallucinations, cardiac excitement, mild respiratory depression, confusion, irrationality, violent or aggressive behavior, vertigo, ataxia, slurred speech, delayed reaction time, euphoria, thinking, altered body image, analgesia, amnesia, and coma.
When taken orally or nasally the effects take 10 - 20 minutes to be realized. When taken intravenously the effects are instantaneous. The effects last less than 3 hours and the drug is detectable in the system up to 48 hours depending on the method of ingestion. Since it is often mixed with other mind-altering drugs, like heroin and cocaine, many people do not ever realize they have been given this substance.
In undiluted form it looks like an off-white powder, in diluted form it looks like slightly cloudy water.
- Some of the victims were reportedly very disoriented. Michael Noll mistakenly walked into the wrong house. Other men were seen holding their heads in their hands, running through the streets, or seemed confused.
- Jesse Ross was seen on a surveillance tape carrying a Gatorade bottle.
- Detective Gannon believes Patrick McNeill and Lawrence Andrews were drugged with GLB, and then placed in the water.
- Some of the toxicology reports said no drugs were found, however, according to what I found above, these drugs leave the body quickly and may not be looked for routinely.
Rohypnol Fact Sheet
Ketamine Fact Sheet
Readers - feel free to post your comments/findings about a possible connection in the comments section under this post.
Was a Date Rape Drug Used in These Cases?