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Your symptoms will depend on which substance was used. This could be alcohol or another drug.

Symptoms can include:

  • drowsiness or light-headedness
  • difficulty speaking
  • slurring your words
  • difficulty concentrating
  • loss of balance
  • finding it hard to move
  • visual problems, particularly blurred vision
  • memory loss or 'blackouts' - when you cannot remember large sections of your evening
  • feeling confused or disorientated, particularly after waking up
  • paranoia - a feeling of fear or distrust of others
  • hallucinations - seeing, hearing or touching things that aren't there
  • nausea (feeling sick) and vomiting
  • unconsciousness
  • temporary loss of body sensation - having an 'out of body' experience

All date rape drugs are particularly dangerous when they are mixed with alcohol. This is because they combine to have a very powerful anaesthetic effect. This is a temporary loss of sensation or awareness. It can cause unconsciousness. In more extreme cases, it can cause coma or even death.

How long the effect lasts

How long the drugs' effects last will depend on how much has been taken and how much alcohol, if any, you have drunk.

The symptoms could last between 3 to 7 hours, but if you pass out it will be hard to know the full effect. You may still feel some of the symptoms of a date rape drug after a night's sleep; particularly confusion, amnesia or nausea.

Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE.

page last reviewed: 23/04/2020
next review due: 23/04/2023

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This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.