Drug-facilitated sexual assault: educating women about the risks

Nurs Womens Health. 2008 Feb;12(1):30-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-486X.2007.00273.x.


"Andrea," an 18-year-old college freshman, walked into her first fraternity party with a few of her sorority sisters. As she walked through the crowded house, one of the fraternity boys handed the girls large plastic cups. Another boy circulated through the crowd, filling up the cups of all guests from two pitchers of beer. When he filled Andrea's cup, he smiled and was polite and charming. She thought his act of filling her cup was kind and gentlemanly, and was flattered by his attention. She didn't notice he used a different pitcher for her than he had for her friends. She and her friends continued to mill through the crowd, sipping their beer. About 20 minutes later, Andrea suddenly had trouble focusing her vision. She felt disoriented and "drunk" even though she had only consumed a third of her beer. She started feeling nauseated, and tried to find her friends. The polite boy who had poured her beer asked her if she was all right, and offered to take her up to his room so she could rest. She followed him, grateful to be able to lie down. Forty-five minutes later, her concerned friends searched the house for Andrea. They found her upstairs passed out in a bedroom, lying on her side; she had vomited and her clothes were disheveled. Suspecting only alcohol intoxication; they picked her up, and walked her out of the party. After Andrea slept for about two hours, she woke up and told her friends something wasn't right. She had only drunk a small amount of her beer, and had no recollection after she walked up the stairs with the boy. She burst into tears, stating she feels some vaginal discomfort, and is afraid she may have been raped. Her friends looked at each other, thinking, "How did this happen and what are we supposed to do?"

MeSH terms

  • Central Nervous System Stimulants*
  • Courtship
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Nurse's Role*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Rape / prevention & control*
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Behavior
  • Substance-Related Disorders / nursing*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control
  • United States
  • Women's Health


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Illicit Drugs