How to Know if You Were Roofied: Symptoms & Actions

You might have heard about women being sexually assaulted or being roofied on the News. Being roofied means getting drugged against one's will. One of the most commonly known “date-rape drugs” is Rohypnol (aka Roofie). They are used by people to get them unconscious purposefully.

According to NISVS research published in Sage Journals, nearly 11 million women have been raped while being high or drugged in the US alone. There is no conclusive data on the intentional use of drugs for sexual assault on survivors, although law enforcement reports that the number is increasing. 

That’s why many women have the fear of date rape drugs. And this fear continues to grow. In fact, many people use Google to search for “How to know if you were roofied?” 

So if you're worried about becoming a target for date rape, it's important to be familiar with warning signs getting roofied and avoid being a victim. 

 Read on to learn everything about being roofied, including roofied symptoms and signs, before it's too late. We’ll also cover what actions you should take if you were roofied. 

What is Roofie? 

Roofie, also known as Rohypnol, is a prescription drug sedative and hypnotic that has been widely used lately. It comes in the form of a white or olive-green pill that can be swallowed or mixed in a drink. Rohypnol works by dramatically slowing the function of GABA in the central nervous system (CNS). It is more powerful than drugs like Valium or Xanax.

In the US, it is classified as a Schedule IV Controlled Substance and has been prescribed for treating severe insomnia. Unfortunately, it has been abused for decades. 

These drugs have the ability to sedate or incapacitate a person, rendering them vulnerable to attack, which is why they are used in physical and sexual assaults. They are often colorless, odorless, and hard to detect. 

Rohypnol induces blackouts, excessive sleepiness, decreased inhibitions, and overall debilitation, which can leave a person vulnerable and unwilling to sexual assault.

What Is Meant By “Being Roofied”? 

As explained, the term “roofied” is the slang term used for the Central Nervous System (CNS) depressant drug Rohypnol. But, they are just one type of the many drugs used to perpetrate sexual crimes. The act of being drugged without a victim’s consent is referred to as being roofied. 

Some of the types of date rape drugs are: 

  • Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam)
  • GHB (Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate)
  • Ketamine 

In other words, victims are tricked into getting roofied with these drugs spiked to their drinks. Everyone is vulnerable to the effects of drink spiking regardless of age, gender, or alcohol tolerance. 

Roofie can take effect and induce symptoms within half an hour of consumption. The symptoms usually peak in 2 hours and can last 8 hours or more. When combined with alcohol or prescription drugs, Roofie’s effects are more severe and life-threatening. Some people have reported disinhibition and amnesia when it is mixed with alcohol

How To Know If Your Drink Has Been Spiked? 

Some people can easily make out if the drink has been spiked or tampered with. They drink, usually alcohol, which may show excess fizziness or the presence of a cloudy or foggy taste in color. 

In many cases, spiked drinks may show no signs at all. There are some products like test strips and stickers available on the market. They can instantly detect the presence of some date-drugs. But again, it’s not easy to get the result. 

How To Know If You Were Roofied? 

Unfortunately, since date rape drugs aren't always easy to detect, they mix in very well with liquids (such as alcohol), and many people don't realize they have been spiked or abused until hours later. That being said, it's important to be aware of the warning symptoms to help you decide if you've been drugged. 

Your symptoms may not appear strange at first. Some people's symptoms might have different explanations, so they may never realize they were drugged. Let’s discuss the signs that can tell if you were roofied. 

Roofied symptoms

As it's obvious, roofied symptoms are mostly similar to that of excessive alcohol consumption – being overly drunk.

That means it's quite tricky to figure out if your drink has been spiked or you were roofied because it could be the result of overindulgence of alcohol. Here are some of the common symptoms of being roofied: 

i) Dizziness: Generally, those who have been roofied feel OK until the substance enters their system. Once the drug kicks in, they tend to feel relatively sick, falling down or stumbling ‘drunk.'

ii) Extreme brain fog: Even though feeling euphoric is pretty common in the initial stages, dealing with brain fog is very usual. You may suddenly feel everything is blurred. Also, you can no longer act or think normally. 

iii) Memory lapses and inability to recall events: This is the main sign of being drugged. Victims wake up with no memory of how the night passed. Ropynhol can disrupt memory formation and diminish conscious thoughts of events. 

If you wake up with no memory of a specific period or remember drinking but not recalling anything after that, you might have been subjected to roofied and raped. You may have memory gaps, but you know something is wrong. 

iv) Feeling nauseous and vomiting: You may wake up feeling thirsty, extremely hungover, or even vomiting. This is perceived as worse than usual drinking. It's way too confusing and not expected in the case of alcohol consumption. 

v) Feeling more drunk than expected: Most of the roofie symptoms are similar to those of drunkenness or intoxication, and that's no coincidence. After consuming a small amount of alcohol, you may feel excessively drunk. 

A hangover in those who have developed a tolerance to alcohol may signify that drugs have left your body. If you remember feeling weaker than usual the night before, this could indicate that you were roofied. 

vi) Loss of coordination: You may feel extreme drunkenness. This includes a loss of muscle control that can present as slurred speech, slowed breathing, or even a sense of paralysis.

vii) Strange interaction with others: Clubs are often overcrowded and can divert attention away from strange behavior. So, strangers will likely interact more with others. Sadly, this makes it easy for perpetrators to spike drinks of anyone, especially strangers. If you feel disoriented after having the drink, it could be a sign of being roofied.  

Other common roofied symptoms include: 

viii) Heavy sedation 

  1. ix) Confusion and hallucination
  2. x) Sense of paralysis
  3. xi) Low energy and lack of concentration

xii) Shortness of breath : If you observe any of these symptoms in yourself or someone else, talk to someone you trust or call the emergency helpline. The aftereffects are worse than the actual symptoms. The person may experience a severe headache, drowsiness, and a terrible hangover. It is unusual for folks who have been given drugs to have no idea what will happen to them.  

How Long Does Roofie Stay In Your System? 

Roofies are fast-acting — they respond very quickly. Like most date-rape drugs, Rohypnol stays in your body for about 12 to 72 hours. It takes up to 12 hours to wear off completely. However, even after the drugs have worn off, parts of the drug remain in the body. That’s why adverse effects like mood swings, nausea, or dizziness may persist. 

In most cases, Rohypnol may remain in a person's system for 3 to 5 days, but this can differ in different individuals. 

What Should You Do If You Think You've Been Roofied? – Actions

Sadly, being roofied often goes hand in hand with sexual assault, and we know it can be terrifying. Recovering from drug addiction is not the same as recovering from being roofied. However, you must take certain actions to fully recover from the trauma of this experience.If you suspect you've been roofied or your drink has been spiked, call 911 or have a trusted person take you to the police.

Call your friend or someone you trust.

The first thing you should do is call a trusted person and tell them the details about what happened. Ask them to take you to the nearby hospital immediately. Inform the authorities. 

Get somewhere safe as soon as possible. 

Never leave the premises alone as it could be dangerous for you to travel anywhere. So book a cab or call any of your friends who are present with you. 

Get medical help and collect evidence. 

Once you inform the authorities in the hospital, they will collect any evidence they can. Even though it may seem hard for you, try not to urinate, bathe, douche, change clothes, or even wash your hands before reporting to the hospital. 

Healthcare professionals may take a urine test so they can look for drugs before your body flushes them out. They may also do a drug test to check if there's any Rohypnol in your system. 

Seek mental health support. 

The hospital staff may also provide some mental health resources, such as therapists or counselors, if you're mentally disturbed because of the scene and need someone to talk to. 

Another thing to keep in mind is to inform the managers or supervisors of the club or workplace so that they can take appropriate action immediately. 

How To Avoid Being Roofied? 

Prevention is always the best. Here are some tips to avoid being roofied when you go out to any party or club:

  • NEVER leave your drink unattended
  • Do not accept a drink from a stranger. 
  • Take small sips of your drink first. If it tastes weird or you sense something is off, immediately throw it out.
  • Cover your glass throughout drinking, either with a tissue or your hand. 
  • If possible, pour your own drinks. 
  • don't drink anything that tastes or smells odd
  • Go to safe places. 
  • Stick with your friends when you go out. Don't be alone. 
  • Lastly, use date-rape drug testing if you feel something is not right. 

How To Recover From Being Roofied? 

We know recovery from sexual assault is very difficult. It's a terrifying form of violence. 

However, to properly recover from being roofied, the person who was attacked will want mental and emotional support to heal from the trauma of the event. This can be accomplished through therapy, support groups, and other mental health interventions.

If you're experiencing stress in the days, months, or even years following being drugged, don't keep it to yourself. Reach out for help. If you don't know who to turn to or how to pay for therapy, contact your local rape crisis center. 

If you feel you or someone who has been roofied or experienced any form of sexual assault, reach out to the below centers for help: 

  1. Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
  2. National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)
  3. State-specific resources

Just to be clear, if someone drugs you or assaults you, it is absolutely not your fault in any way; there is no reliable way to prevent it from happening. However, a few well-thought-out measures can help lower your risk. It's awful that we have to keep such things in mind, but that's the world we live in! Remind yourself that this happens to people of all ages and genders.


This blog covered all the information on how to know if you were roofied. Memory loss, mental confusion, and feeling more drunk are some of the roofied symptoms. You may also lose consciousness and experience nausea accompanied by a hangover. On a serious note, it can sometimes lead to seizures or shortness of breath over time. 

If a sexual assault occurs under these circumstances, don't blame yourself. It's not your fault. Even if a drink from a stranger looks fine, it could be spiked with something. 

So don't accept any drink at a club or party. Know that your friends or acquaintances can do it, too. Hence, the safest way is to grab your own drink wherever you go. Safety always comes first! 


1. What does it mean when a drink is roofied?

Ans: When a drink is roofied, it means you've been dosed with Rohypnol or other date-rape drugs (e.g., GHB, Ketamine) without you knowing. 

2. What does Rohypnol look like?

Ans: Rohypnol comes in pill form. It looks like a white or olive green tablet with a blue core and clearly dissolves in any liquid.

3. What are the effects of Rohypnol on the brain? 

Ans: After being spiked with Rohypnol, the drug boosts the effects of GABA in your brain, further reducing communication between neurons. This depressant effect leads to confusion and drowsiness and can have more serious effects like deep sleep, coma, or even death.

4. What are the 5 warning signs if your drink has been spiked?

Ans: The top 5 warning signs of your drink getting spiked are feeling drowsy or drunker than expected, loss of memory, nausea and vomiting, mental confusion, loss of balance, and poor coordination. 

5. How do I make sure I don't get roofied? 

Ans: To avoid getting roofied: 

  • Never accept an open drink from a stranger. 
  • Pour your own drinks. 
  • Don’t leave your drink unattended, and cover it with your hand. 

6. How long does it take to get back to normal after being spiked? 

Ans: After being spiked or roofied, the drug may take effect in 15 minutes, and symptoms usually last about 12 hours. That means it takes roughly 12 hours to get back to normal.


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Oliver Nelson

Oliver Nelson is a New York based Health Specialist Writer who completed his graduation from Syracuse University back in 2015. His writings were published in the top Healthcare brands in the United States.

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