Student Health Blog


Date Rape Drug Need-to-Knows


Ladies, it’s the weekend and you’re planning to go out and drink with friends.  But before you go, make sure you’re careful. While nobody wants to even dream that something could go wrong, sadly, sometimes things do go wrong. Before you go out and hit Massachusetts, make sure to educate yourself about date rape drugs and know how to avoid the possibility of being slipped a date rape drug, so you can avoid sexual assault at all costs.

About Date Rape Drugs

Women’s Health gives great advice for spotting these drugs:

“These drugs are powerful and dangerous. They can be slipped into your drink when you are not looking. The drugs often have no color, smell, or taste, so you can’t tell if you are being drugged. The drugs can make you become weak and confused — or even pass out — so that you are unable to refuse sex or defend yourself.” (source)

These drugs are called rohypnol (sometimes called roofies, rope or the forget pill), GHB (sometimes called salt water, goop or soap), and ketamine (sometimes called bump, green or jet).

Effects of Date Rape Drugs

Each drug has unique effects. You may experience difficulty talking, trouble with motor function, drowsiness, numbness, vomiting, or nausea.  Some of these effects are very close to the effects of intoxication, but with these drugs, the feelings are stronger.

What to do if you think you’ve been a victim of abuse

Sometimes you’ll know right away. Other times, you might wake up in confusion, uncertain of what just happened. If you suspect that you’ve been subjected to a date rape drug, and especially if you have been physically assaulted, please carefully follow these steps below outlined by Women’s Health:

1.  Get medical care right away. Call 911 or have a trusted friend take you to a hospital emergency room. Don’t urinate, douche, bathe, brush your teeth, wash your hands, change clothes, or eat or drink before you go. These things may give evidence of the rape. The hospital will use a “rape kit” to collect evidence. (source)

2.  Don’t pick up or clean up where you think the assault might have occurred. There could be evidence left behind — such as on a drinking glass or bed sheets. (source)

3.  If you feel it necessary, get counseling and treatment. Feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and shock are normal. A counselor can help you work through these emotions and begin the healing process. Calling a crisis center or a hotline is a good place to start. One national hotline is the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE. (source)

How to avoid being drugged

The goal is to avoid date rape drugs all together. Here are a few tips that can help keep you safe and away from harm:

1.  Open your own drinks.

2.  Don’t leave your drink unattended.

3.  Keep your drink with you at all times.

4.  If you have left your drink unattended, pour it out.

5. If you are bought a drink, or looked away from your drink, carry a date rape drug-detecting coaster with you if you don’t pour it out. We supply coasters that let you test a drink to determine if it has a date rape drug in it. Contact our Lawrence location for these life-saving coasters.

Sadly, while all of the precautions can be in place, we know bad thing still occur and that date rape drugs are still out there. If you suspect that you have been drugged but aren’t ready to visit with the police yet, we can also run a test for you to check for traces of the drug. As a walk-in lab that offers extreme confidentiality, we might be a good first step if you need to get a handle on the situation.

We hope you always keep this information in mind when you are out having a good time.  Stay in control of your own situation, and don’t be a victim. Take every action you can to stay safe and avoid being drugged. And in the unfortunate situation where you think you might have just been harmed, please let us know if and how we can help.


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Self-Defense 101

You get out of your night class late, or you leave a party just a few doors down from your apartment. This scenario happens all the time, especially in college towns. But did you know, most college campus crimes happen at night? The more aware you are of how to protect yourself if you are attacked or assaulted, the better.

Attackers like to single people out.Try walking in groups of people to avoid making yourself a target.

Be Prepared

Maybe you think it will never happen to you or maybe you just don’t know the cold hard facts, the truth is, that regardless if you are a man or woman, crime does happen on college campuses, and aggravated and sexual assault are the top two on the list.

If you get stuck in a situation where you feel uncomfortable, especially if it is at night, remember these helpful safety tips:

  • Try to walk in a group. Avoid separating yourself from the group or walking alone.
  • Stay on lit pathways if you are on campus.
  • Never leave your car windows down or your doors unlocked.
  • Do not hide a spare key on your car our outside your dorm.

Self Defense Tips

If you do find yourself in a self-defense situation, there are several things you can do to protect yourself and escape from your attacker.

Be loud

Most people, when attacked, are shocked and some even freeze or hold their breath. Being as loud as possible is your best defense. Yell as loud as you can and as much as you can if you are being attacked. Not only will your voice attract the attention of others, it can also distract your attacker and make them lose focus.

Avoid the Second Location

One of the biggest things you can do when you are being attacked is to do whatever you can to avoid going to the second location. In a crime scene, the second location is almost always deadly. This means kicking, punching, scratching or biting, use whatever it takes to flee from your attacker.

Self-Defense Class

Many college campuses offer self-defense classes for free or for a low fee. Self-defense classes can give you a big advantage on an attacker. From being more aware of your surroundings to learning self-defense moves and techniques, a class offers hands on experience on how to avoid and react to an attack.


If have been attacked the first thing you should do is call 911. Even if you are not injured you will still want to file a police report. Evidence to put your attacker behind bars needs to be collected as soon as possible. If, during your attack, you scratched your attacker and got his skin under your fingernails you then have his DNA which can be tested and used against him in court.

You will also need to seek medical attention immediately. If you have been sexually assaulted you will want to make sure you were not exposed to any sexually transmitted diseases. Find a local STD testing center in your area that will do a full STD screening for you.

You might also want to seek out counseling to help you work through any emotional damage the attack has caused you. Taking care of your health mentally and physically, post-attack, will help you recover faster.

The more you can do to educate yourself on self-defense, the more prepared you will be if an unfortunate situation arises. Be aware of your surrounding and encourage others around you to the same.