are date-rape drugs?
Date-rape drugs, sometimes referred to as Party Drugs or simply
Ecstasy, are medications that can be slipped into drinks and make
a person unconscious for 15 minutes or so. There have been reports
of dozens of women in the United States who were under the influence
of a date-drug known as GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate), a clear and
flavorless liquid, when they were raped. What is this drug legitimately
used for? GHB, manufactured by Orphan Medical, a drug firm in Minnesota,
was developed for the treatment of narcolepsy. In smaller doses,
this drug induces euphoria (a sense of well-being). As a date-rape
drug, GHB causes the victim to fall into a deep sleep, oblivious
of the sexual assault until they wake up. Some do not even remember
what had transpired.
Narcolepsy is a rare sleep disorder which causes the persons to
nod off without notice. They just suddenly and rapidly fall asleep.
There are about 100,000 people in the United States with this ailment.
Orphan Medical states that GHB can help the patients who have the
form of narcolepsy that is accompanied by temporary muscle paralysis.
safe is GHB?
Used as a prescription drug for narcolepsy and taken as directed
by the physician, GHB is safe. Its abuse as a date-rape drug has
led to countless comas and several hundreds of deaths from overdose.
Twenty states in the U.S., including Illinois and Michigan, have
banned GHB, allowing police arrest those who manufacture or sell
this drug. Eight states have listed GHB as a controlled substance
with varying degrees of criminal penalties, making it available
only as a prescription drug.
other drugs have been used?
Ketamine and Rohypnol are both controlled substances which have
been used as date-rape drugs. Other perpetrators have tried ordinary
sleeping pills, which do not act fast enough and do not induce a
deep enough level of unconsciousness, thus foiling the rape attempt.
some sold as dietary supplements?
Yes, the Food and Drug Administration of the United States warns
the public against “more than half a dozen sleeps aids and
party drugs in the guise of dietary supplements sold in health food
stores and on the internet”, which are substances that are
unregulated and can maim and kill.
what other names are they sold?
The FDA cautions the consumers not to use products containing GHB,
GBL (gamma butylrolactone) or BD (1,4 butanediol). Some such drugs
are sold under the name Revitalize Plus, Weight Belt Clenaer, GHRE,
Serenity, Thunder Nectar, SomatoPro, Enliven, Tetramethylene glycol
or 23H)-Furanone di-hydro, and NRG3. These drugs can cause severe
nausea, vomiting, dangerously slow breathing or cessation of breathing,
unconsciousness, seizures, and death.
there date-rape drinks?
Yes, three of them are Cherry fX Bombs, Orange fX Rush, and Thunder
Nectar. The claim that these drinks are from Kava plant and are
safe is not true. These and other date-rape beverages have BD (1,4
butanediol, an industrial solvent) in them.
is the date-rape drug used?
The usual modus operandi of the perpetrator is to invite the woman
to go out on a date with him. Most of these men are friends or acquaintances
of the women. Some target victims are casual pick-ups in lounges
and bars. The drug is discreetly poured into the drink, and moments
later the victim is taken from the bar to a vehicle or to a secluded
area or motel room, or raped right in her own home or wherever the
victims have memory of the assault?
Some date-rape drug victims do not remember what had happened to
them until they physically felt that they were assaulted. The drug
blurs the memory somewhat for the most recent event. Some people
are so sensitive to the drug that they overdose on it easily even
on moderate amount.
can women avoid these drugs?
The question may sound trite and the answer obvious, but nonetheless
it is a most fundamental one, especially for the young and uninitiated
ladies. The following set of advice may sound an over simplification
but could be life-saving: (1) Never go out with a “stranger.”
Having a liaison with a man you just met is risky and dangerous;
(2) Also remember that many of the apprehended perpetrators were
friends of the victims; (3) When on a date, at a restaurant or at
home (his or even yours) watch your drink and your food with vigilance
and care; (4) If you suspect “something,” stop drinking
your cocktail and eating your food; (5) If you do not feel well
at this point, get the assistance of the bar tender, the waitress
or any woman; (6) Do not go with your date to the car; (7) If your
suspicion is really strong, or if you actually witnessed your date
slipping a drug into your drink or food, ask the waitress to “bag”
the food for you to take home and have it tested for drugs at the
toxicology lab of a hospital; (8) If this tested positive, hand
over the evidence to the Police as you file a criminal complaint.
Having said all this, we recommend caution and restraint: one should
not be too paranoid, either, and be over suspicious of your date,
because this, too, could spell a disaster. Be careful, be smart,
enjoy your date.
The main objective of this column is to educate and inspire people
live a healthier lifestyle to prevent illnesses and disabilities,
and achieve a happier and more productive life. Any diagnosis, recommendation
or treatment in our article are general medical information and
not intended to be applicable or appropriate for anyone. This column
is not a substitute for your physician, who knows your condition
well and who is your best ally when it comes to your health.
Philip S. Chua, M.D., is Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus
Indiana, where he practiced cardiovascular and thoracic surgery
from 1972, after his Fellowship at the Texas Heart Institute in
Houston Texas under the world-renowned heart transplant surgeon,
Denton A. Cooley, M.D.
retired from his practice in the USA in 2001 and is currently the
Chairman of Cardiovascular Surgery at the Cebu Cardiovascular Center
at Cebu Doctors’ Hospital in Cebu City, Philippines. He is
also the Vice President for Far East Operations of the Cardiovascular
Hospitals of America, a builder of heart centers in the United States
and in the Far East, based in Wichita, Kansas. His email address
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