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Is alcohol a date rape drug?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner
Any drug that can affect judgment and behavior can put a person at risk for unwanted or risky sexual activity. Alcohol is one such drug. In fact, alcohol is the drug most commonly used to help commit sexual assault. In a survey of college students, 70% admit to having sexual activity primarily as a result of drinking or being under the influence of alcohol. Many of them would not have had sex if they had been sober. When a person drinks too much alcohol, it's harder to think clearly. It's harder to set limits and make good choices. It's harder to tell when a situation could be dangerous. It's harder to say "no" to sexual advances. It's harder to fight back if a sexual assault occurs. It's possible to black out and to have memory loss.

If a person is unconscious or incapacitated from alcohol, he or she cannot give consent to having sex. Therefore, if sexual contact occurs, it is sexual assault. Even if a victim of sexual assault drank alcohol or willingly took drugs, the victim is NOT at fault for being assaulted. You cannot "ask for it" or cause it to happen.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.