A fun night out can become a nightmare when you suddenly experience roofied symptoms. The situation can worsen if this happens around people who don’t know how to spot symptoms of being roofied and get medical help. Learning these symptoms in advance can go a long way in preventing severe side effects of being roofied.
What Does It Mean To Be “Roofied?”
The word “roofied” refers to getting drugged without your knowledge or consent. You may exhibit roofied symptoms when someone tampers your drink by spiking it with drugs.
Getting roofied is very common. A 2016 study found that 7.8% of female college students and 8.5% of non-college women in the U.S. are victims of being roofied.
Contrary to expectations, you don’t have to be at a bar or club to get roofied. A family member or romantic partner can slip a roofie into your drink when making or holding it for you. Moreover, you can get roofied even if you’re just drinking water or juice.
The average predator may wait until you’re distracted to put drugs into your glass. Someone more experienced can use a sleight of hand to spike your drink, so you may not even notice that your drink is drugged until it’s too late.
Dangers of Getting Roofied
Getting roofied can cause extensive physical and psychological damage, especially if you don’t notice the symptoms early enough.
Predators spike drinks to lower their victims’ defenses or cause them to fall unconscious. Once their victim is defenseless, they can rob or physically or sexually assault them.
A 2015 study found that more than 30% of sexual assault incidences involve drugs used to roofie. Consequently, most drugs used to roofie people are date rape drugs.
Someone who’s been roofied may suffer from memory loss, making it hard to remember events that occurred even before ingesting the drug. When learning how to recover from being roofied, you may experience unpleasant flashbacks, anxiety attacks and even PTSD.
Which Drugs Are Used to Roofie?
Since spiking a drink aims to make the victim helpless, most drugs used to roofie cause muscle relaxation. Thus, alcohol is the most common and readily available date rape drug.
However, you can be roofied through substances such as marijuana and cocaine. Over-the-counter or prescription sleeping medicines and antidepressants are also effective roofie drugs.
The most dangerous date rape drugs are:
- Rohypnol: This drug birthed the term “roofie.” It’s a small pill prescribed for insomnia outside the U.S. The tablet can either be round and white or oval and grayish. Rohypnol’s effects can be felt within 15 minutes of ingestion and can last up to 12 hours. The body gets rid of any evidence of Rohypnol within three days.
- GHB: Also known as liquid ecstasy, GHB is a prescription drug used to treat narcolepsy. The drug comes as a clear liquid or a white powder. Its effects kick in within 15 minutes and can last up to 4 hours. The body clears any evidence of GHB ingestion within 5 hours.
- Ketamine: Also called Special K, ketamine is a clear and colorless liquid anesthetic that sometimes comes in an off-white powder. The drug’s effects can be felt in less than 10 minutes and may last up to an hour. Ketamine is out of the body within 48 hours.
Common Roofied Symptoms
The symptoms of being roofied differ depending on the drug you ingest. However, since many roofie drugs relax the muscles, you should look out for these symptoms:
- Confusion or brain fog
- Body tremors
- Sudden body weakness
- Inability to stand or walk
- Numbness or paralysis
You may not know whether you were roofied if you black out or suffer from memory loss. However, during the incident’s aftermath, you may experience:
- Strong headache
- Muscle pain
- Light sensitivity
- Memory loss
Some side effects can be long-lasting, depending on how much of the drug you ingested and how your body reacts to it. Drugs such as GHB can cause seizures and even comas.
How To Care for Someone Who Is Roofied
It can be challenging to tell if someone is roofied, especially if they’ve been taking alcohol, marijuana or restricted substances. However, once you notice someone behaving oddly, such as slurred speech or staggering when walking:
- Take them to a safe place surrounded by people
- Give them lots of water
- Call 911 or take them to the hospital
If the person is unconscious, ask the doctors to test for date rape drugs in their system. Since some drugs take more than 10 hours to leave the system, the doctors may be able to detect the exact roofie drug that was administered and provide the appropriate treatment.
If the victim was sexually assaulted, you must stay by their side as they undergo a medical examination and make a police report.
Be prepared to provide emotional support even after they’re discharged and the side effects of being roofied start. Remind them that the traumatic event wasn’t their fault, especially if they were sexually assaulted or raped.
Tips for Preventing Getting Roofied
Nobody seeks to get roofied, and when it happens, it’s important to remember that it’s not your fault. However, you can do several things to lower the chances of getting roofied.
1. Guard Your Drink
Always keep an eye on your drink, whether you’re taking alcoholic beverages at home or a party, bar or club. Keep a hand across the top of your drink. Finish your drink before leaving to use the toilet, or get another once you’re done with the facilities.
2. Be Mindful
It’s good practice only to drink something you’ve made or opened yourself. If you’re at a bar, keep an eye on the person preparing your drink, remembering that expert predators need less than a second to spike your drink.
Remember what your drink looks and tastes like to identify even the smallest changes. Some varieties of Rohypnol turn drinks blue, and GHB can make your drink taste salty.
3. Gear Up
Some companies make elastic lids that fit over any glass or cup; you can also get tests for drugs in drinks. Some testing equipment is smaller than the average button, so you can discreetly ensure your drink is safe.
The symptoms of being roofied can be traumatic, and you may need help to deal with the side effects. Sunlight Recovery’s experts can help you deal with roofied symptoms by providing individual and group therapy sessions. Call (888) 402-3647 today to learn how to recover from being roofied.