How to Help Your Teen Avoid Date Rape Drugs

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16 Mar How to Help Your Teen Avoid Date Rape Drugs

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Date rape drugs are illicit substances that people sometimes secretly slip into other people’s drinks so that they can take advantage of them. These drugs make the consumer physically weak or pass out, leaving them defenseless and unable to protect themselves from sexual abuse. These drugs are especially dangerous since they have no taste, color or smell; most people who have taken date rape drugs don’t know that they have taken anything until they’re feeling the side effects of the drug.

It’s important to talk to your teen about date rape drugs so that they know how to avoid them and what to do if they or someone they know has been given a date rape drug.

Types of Date Rape Drugs and Their Effects

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The three most common date rape drugs are Rohypnol, GHB and ketamine. Rohypnol is a prescription drug that is not medically approved in the United States that can be felt within 20 minutes of consumption. It can cause side effects such as loss of muscle control, slurred speech, dizziness, sleepiness and the appearance of being drunk.

GHB is a drug that is prescribed as a treatment for narcolepsy (a sleep disorder) that can be felt within 15 minutes of consumption. Its side effects include nausea, slowed heart rate and potentially coma or death as it is very strong and easy to overdose on.

Ketamine is a type of anesthetic that can cause side effects such as hallucinations, increased heart rate and a distorted perception of sight and sound that lasts for approximately 30 to 60 minutes.

How to Talk to Your Teen About Date Rape Drugs

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Although you may feel awkward or uncomfortable talking to your teen about date rape drugs, it’s important to have a conversation with them about what can happen if they or someone they know is date raped and what they can do. You may think that your teen will never put themselves in a situation where date rape drugs are available, but it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your tee. This is especially true if they’re planning on attending college, where date rape drugs are common and available. Make sure you have this conversation with your teen in a non-confrontational setting, and ensure that they know that they can come to you with any questions they may have about date rape and safety.

What to Tell Your Teen About Date Rape Drugs

Let your teen know about the different types of date rape drugs and how to recognize their respective symptoms. Tell them to make sure that they pour all their own drinks and that they should never leave their drink unattended. If they are at a party, they should have a friend that they trust who also knows about the dangers of date rape drugs look out for them. Your teen should also know that 75% of all rapes are committed by someone the victim knows, which while frightening is important to be conscious of.

Most importantly, make sure your teen knows that if they are drugged or taken advantage of, it is never their fault — even if they left their drink or friends behind. People who rape others are committing a crime, no matter what the circumstances.

Feature Image: mkorcuska

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