"Date rape drug" is not an official classification. It's a sensationalist label applied to any drug that could potentially lower a person's inhibitions or simply render them unconscious. Using such a drug, a would-be rapist would then take advantage of the uninhibited or sleeping victim.

The first drug so labelled by the media was Rohypnol. It's a powerful sedative, and particularly suited to the task of rendering someone unconscious, especially because it is odorless and tasteless. Slipping a couple doses of Rohypnol into a drink is actually feasable.

Unfortunately, due to this association with an insidious, undetectable drug, any new drug that becomes labelled a date rape drug is seen as all the more insidious.

The reality of it is that hundreds and thousands of chemicals could also be labelled date rape drugs. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and can knock you out. Ecstasy makes you more open to physical contact. Hallucinogens confuse you, making it more difficult to fight back.

But back to the original node idea. A calling a drug a "date rape drug" infers far more than it should. It feeds paranoia, making otherwise irresponsible, out-of-touch parents foam at the mouth at the idea that their precious, innocent kids are going to be given cans of coca cola with dozens of illicit, undetectable, belt-loosening, chastity-threatening drugs.

The reality of it is this: GHB is not undetectable. In fact, it tastes somewhere between salty soap and burnt plastic. Coke doesn't cover it up. Orange juice, a popular carrier, barely makes it palatable. It is NOT Rohypnol. Anyone who claims to have been date-raped with the assistance of GHB is either has no taste buds or isn't willing to admit that they took the drug knowingly. That's not suprising, either, given that date-rape prosecution is difficult at best, and revealing that the innocent, naive, virginal victim was actually a willing drug user certainly hurts a prosecutor's case.