A “New” Problem Appears in the 1990s: The Birth of the Contemporary Date Rape Drugs Scare

  • Pamela Donovan


This chapter considers the emergence of the construct “date rape drug” in the 1990s and explains why it is a dubious one. The role of coerced drug use in propping up the by-then flagging War on Drugs is considered, as is the first round of campus activism regarding rape, which focused upon alcohol and offenders known to the victim, typically peers. The typification of the Hillory Farias and the Samantha Reid cases as the “named legislation” inspiration for the Date Rape Drugs Act is held up to scrutiny. Continued avoidance of the reality that the “big three” drugs in date rape drugs rhetoric—flunitrazepam, GHB, and ketamine—are typically taken voluntarily continued to be promulgated by legislators and the media.


Date rape drug Antidrug War on Drugs Hoffman-LaRoche Rohypnol Flunitrazepam Anterograde amnesia Insomnia Benzodiazepine Blackout GHB Ketamine Hillory Farias Samantha Reid Date Rape Drug Act Controlled Substances Act Chloral hydrate Noctec Brock Adams GBL Synthetic panics AquaDots Party drugs Club drugs Date rape Second-wave feminism Victim disqualification Victim blame Binge drinking Acquaintance rape Stranger rape Serial rape Mark Perez The Hangover Ecstacy MDMA Molly Xyrem Melanie Sindone Drug detector k-hole Richard Esposito ElSohly and Salamone Proposition 47 Marijuana Criminal law Criminal code 

Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pamela Donovan
    • 1
  1. 1.BloomsburgUSA

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