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Chloral Hydrate: Date Rape Drug

What is chloral hydrate?

The oldest of the hypnotic (sleep inducing) depressants, chloral hydrate was first synthesized in 1832.

Street Names

"Mickey Finn" or "knockout drops"

How is it taken?

  • When chloral hydrate is prescribed by a doctor, it is taken as a syrup or soft gelatin capsule.
  • A solution of chloral hydrate and alcohol constituted the infamous "knockout drops" or "Mickey Finn." This form of chloral hydrate is used in drug facilitated sexual assault, or "date rape".

What are the effects?

Chloral hydrate takes effect in about 30 minutes and will induce sleep in about an hour.

What are the dangers?

  • A toxic dose produces severe respiratory depression and very low blood pressure.
  • Chronic use is associated with liver damage and a severe withdrawal syndrome.
  • Signs of overdose include confusion (continuing); convulsions (seizures); difficulty in swallowing; drowsiness (severe); low body temperature ; nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain (severe); shortness of breath or troubled breathing; slow or irregular heartbeat; slurred speech; staggering; and weakness (severe).

 


Is it addictive

It is not considered an addictive drug like cocaine, heroin or alcohol because it does not produce the same compulsive drug-seeking behavior. However, like addictive drugs, chloral hydrate produces greater tolerance in some users who take the drug repeatedly. These users must take higher doses to achieve the same results as they have had in the past. This could be an extremely dangerous practice because of the unpredictability of the drug effect on an individual.

Other date rape drugs::
Chloral Hydrate ~ Ecstasy ~  Fentanyl ~ Ketamine ~ Rohypnol ~ GHB

next: Ecstasy: As A Date Rape Drug

Last Updated: April 7, 2016

Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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