Office of Women's Health

Facts About Date-Rape Drugs

What are date-rape drugs?

These are drugs that are sometimes used to assist in committing a sexual assault. Sexual assault is any type of sexual activity that a person does not agree to. Because of the effects of these drugs, victims may be physically helpless, unable to refuse sex, and unable to remember what happened. The drugs often have no color, odor or taste and are easily added to flavored drinks without the victim’s knowledge.

What are the most common date-rape drugs?

GHB (gamma hydroxybutyric acid), ketamine and rohypnol are the most common date-rape drugs. Street names for GHB include Grievous Bodily Harm, Liquid G, Liquid Ecstasy, Somatomax, Cherry Meth, Easy Lay and Gamma 10. Street names for ketamine include Special K, Ket and K, Vitamin K, Kit Kat, Keller, Cat Valium, Purple and Super C. Street names for rohypnol include Roofies, R2, Roofenol, Roche, Roachies, La Rocha, Rope, Rib, Circles, Mexican Valium, Roach-2, Roopies, Ropies, Forget Pill, Trip-and-Fall and Mind Erasers.

There are other drugs that affect judgment and behavior, and can put a person at risk for unwanted or risky sexual activity. Alcohol is one of those drugs, and can result in impaired judgment, less ability to protect oneself and blackouts or memory loss.

What do these drugs look like?

GHB comes in a liquid with no odor or color, a white powder and a pill. Ketamine is a white powder and Rohypnol is a pill that dissolves in liquid.

What are the effects of GHB on the victim?

What are the effects of ketamine on the victim?

What are the effects of rohypnol on the victim?

How can a woman protect herself from date-rape drugs?

Whether you are at a bar, restaurant or in any public setting, keep yourself and your friends safe by doing these simple things:

What should a woman do if there is a suspected assault?

If you are ill or injured, call 911 or go a hospital emergency department for treatment. If you want to report the incident, call the police and preserve the evidence – do not shower, change clothes, or brush your teeth – until you get a medical exam. Try not to urinate until medical/legal evidence is collected at the hospital. Your urine can be tested for the presence of sedating drugs. The sooner you get to the hospital, the more likely the drug will be found in your system.

Get emotional support and help. There are agencies specializing in sexual assault services in most communities. To be connected with a 24-hour confidential sexual assault hotline near you, call 800-656-HOPE (4673).

You can find out more about date rape drugs by contacting the following organizations:

Office of Illinois Attorney


National Institute on Drug Abuse


Date Rape Drugs Fact Sheet

The National Women’s Health Information Center, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network