Symptoms of Being Roofied: How to Tell
Last Updated Dec 2, 2021
The most common symptoms of being roofied include brain fog, compromised judgment, muscle relaxation, and excessive intoxication. If you feel like the amount of drunkenness you’re experiencing is disproportionate to how much you’ve had to drink, there may be a chance that you’ve been roofied.
Other symptoms of being roofied or drugged include nausea, slurred speech, poor motor or mobility skills, and blacking out.
What Is Being Roofied & Which Drugs Are Used?
Being roofied is a phrase associated with being drugged against one’s will. The term roofie is generic slang used to depict a tablet of a sedative and hypnotic drug used illicitly for the purposes of committing sexual assault or other crimes.
Drugs that are synonymous with the term roofie include Rohypnol, ketamine, and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (otherwise known as GHB).
Sexual Assault, Date Rape & Roofie Statistics
According to the CDC, sexual violence occurs to millions of individuals in the United States every year. About half of women have or will experience sexual assault that involves some form of physical contact over the course of their lifespan, while one in three men will have experienced a sex crime committed against them over the course of their lifespan.
Even in a seemingly innocuous state like Utah, public health data resources suggest that one in six women experience rape (a figure that also includes attempted rape) during their lifetime.
Research shows that one in nine (around 11 percent) women claim to have been a victim of roofies or drink spiking of some sort themselves while 8 percent reported that a family member’s drink had been spiked and another 12 percent reported a friend who believed they had their drink roofied or spiked at some point in the past.
Signs of Being Roofied or Date Rape Drugged
Many date rape drugs come in the form of pills, powders, or liquids. They are often odorless and colorless when added to food or beverages. In many cases, it is difficult to know when a drink or food item has been roofied.
Victims might experience the following signs of being roofied or date rape drugged:
- Unusual intoxication
- Faulty memory
- Brain fog
- Decreased reaction time
- Respiratory difficulties
- Muscle relaxation
- Poor decision-making or problem-solving skills
- Blacking out
- Intensified hangover upon waking
As a general rule, if you are experiencing any sort of enhanced or augmented effects from what you believe is your normal alcohol consumption, there may be a chance that you have been roofied.
Side Effects of Roofies or Date Rape Drugs
The effects of Rohypnol in particular can start to set in within 10 minutes. Side effects include nausea, hot or cold flashes, dizziness, disorientation, and decreased reaction time. Someone who has been roofied might also exhibit poor speech and mobility while also exhibiting gastrointestinal problems.
While Rohypnol and GHB often yield similar effects, ketamine side effects include dissociation, increased anxiety, headaches, and nausea.
What You Should Do if You Think You’ve Been Roofied
In the event that you believe you’ve been roofied or given a date rape drug of any sort, it’s important to act quickly to protect yourself. It may be tempting to change your location, but what is most important is to call 911 as soon as possible.
Make sure you stay where you are unless you believe you are in danger. Under no circumstances should anyone who has been roofied or drugged attempt to operate a vehicle. While waiting for proper authorities, try to rehydrate to the best of your abilities.
If you believe you have been roofied the night before, make sure to seek medical attention. A doctor will be able to perform a medical examination to determine if you have been sexually assaulted.
Avoid taking a shower before you seek medication attention. This will help ensure that you do not compromise any evidence.
What to Do if You Suspect Someone Else Has Been Roofied
If you suspect someone you know or someone at the same venue as you has been roofied or given a date rape drug, there are a few things you can do to help.
First, offer the person a glass of water and ask them what happened. If they are having trouble articulating themselves, take note of this. Call 911 or help the person seek medical attention.
Whether the individual has been roofied or sexually assaulted, it’s crucial to persuade them to visit a hospital as soon as possible, so experienced medical professionals can intervene, ensure their safety, and collect any applicable evidence.
Tips to Avoid Being Roofied
One of the best defenses when it comes to being roofied is avoidance. Sticking with friends and those you trust is a good way to obtain support and ensure that your safety is upheld and enforced.
Additional roofie and date rape drug prevention measures you can take include the following:
- Ensure your drink is never left unattended.
- Never accept a drink from a stranger.
- Keep your drink covered, either with a coaster or your hand.
- Use date rape drug testing strips.
- Seek immediate help if you experience any symptoms related to roofies or feel drunker than you think you should be.
Date Rape & Sexual Assault Support Resources
If you believe you or someone you know has been slipped a roofie or date rape drug, or has experienced any form of sexual assault, there are options available for support.
- RAINN: RAINN is the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. It is a valuable anti-sexual assault resource. RAINN provides a convenient chat feature as well as a hotline for those who believe they have fallen victim to sexual assault and/or harassment.
- National Sexual Violence Resource Center: NSVRC provides resources and tools for survivors of sexual violence, educators, advocates, and friends and family members.
- State-specific resources: Many states also have their own sexual assault hotline and support services. Depending on your state of residence, there may be multiple resources you can explore to obtain the support and direction you need after experiencing sexual assault of any kind.
Fast Facts: Preventing Sexual Violence. (June 2022). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Health Indicator Report of Sexual Violence. (November 2021). Utah Department of Health.
One in Nine Women Say They Have Had Their Drink Spiked. (November 2021). YouGov.
Date Rape Drugs. (February 2022). Butler University.
Boston Police Urge Caution at Bars After Reports of Drugged Drinks. (June 2022). WBUR Newsroom.
Forensic Identification of Sexual Assault by Use of Date Rape Drugs. (July 2017). International Journal of Recent Research and Applied Studies.
Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault: Educating Women About the Risks. (February 2008). Nursing for Women’s Health.
GHB: The Drug Used as a ‘Rapist’s Weapon of Choice’. (January 2020). BBC.
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