In a preview for an upcoming episode of the American TV show Graceland, it appears that one of the main characters is a heroin addict — but not of his own free will. What I mean by that is the original dose of drugs was forced upon him, causing the eventual addiction.

Is there a word for this? The first thing that came to mind was something like “Addiction Rape” or “Drug Rape”, but that feels more like rape committed on a drugged person. Any suggestions?

  • Force-feeding? ... Jul 21, 2013 at 17:18
  • I'm not so sure force-feeding has the same meaning... especially since there wasn't actually any feeding involved. Jul 21, 2013 at 17:25

7 Answers 7


When drugs are administered to someone without that person’s consent or awareness, or both, they have been drugged.

This is the OED’s applicable sense:

2a. To administer drugs to (a person), esp. for the purpose of stupefying or poisoning him. Also fig.

It’s transitive, so:

Somebody drugged me last night.

I’ve been drugged.

  • I think this does fit the meaning I'm looking for a bit, but it doesn't really carry the same weight in my opinion; "drugged," as I know it, refers to the one time occurrence of your provided definition, and carries no reference to the future effects of the forced addiction. Jul 21, 2013 at 18:45
  • 2
    There is also the difference that drugging someone (when not used in a medical sense) is usually done unbeknownst to the druggee, through some kind of subterfuge, rather than through actual force. If I read about someone that he was drugged, I would assume that someone had spiked his drink, not that someone had shoved an ecstasy pill in his mouth and forced him to swallow it. Jul 21, 2013 at 18:54
  • @JanusBahsJacquet +1, well put Jul 21, 2013 at 19:59

I often hear that a person was "dosed". Usually, this implies that the drug is slipped into the person's food or drink, which they then consume and fall under the influence, and so the target doesn't know that anything out of the ordinary has occurred until they begin to feel the effects. This was originally a slang term specifically referring to LSD, but has become much more general-purpose.

Forcibly injecting someone with a drug could also be viewed as "dosing" them, especially since someone encountering the victim after said attack would be very hesitant to believe they hadn't take it themselves (as is often the case with drugs that have a reputation for recreational use), but as I said the connotation is a little more discreet than that.


Depending on how the drug was forced on the character, "coerce" might be fitting.

  • +1 agree this would be my pick to describe the situation, especially within the context of drugs. Jul 24, 2013 at 23:12

I think you are looking for the word inducement or a form of it. The usage will be something like ... "Jack was induced to take the drugs as a consequence of which he got addicted to it".

  • 2
    What does “induce” offer that “force” does not?
    – tchrist
    Jul 21, 2013 at 19:55
  • This is a good suggestion, but I'm really looking for a phrase/term that succinctly says the whole sentence you mentioned. "Jack was induced to take the drugs as a consequence of which he got addicted to it" = "Jack was ________(ed)" Jul 21, 2013 at 19:58
  • -1 In this context "induced" implies persuasion (see ODO - that is rather different from being forced to take drugs, or them being administered illicitly.
    – TrevorD
    Jul 22, 2013 at 0:04

You might say that he was forcibly weaned on drugs.

  • Weaning describes the cessation of a dependence, not the creation of one. Jul 23, 2013 at 7:59
  • As I understand it, you can be weaned off a thing, but also weaned on, which carries the connotation of generating a dependency. wean 1 |wēn| verb [ trans. ] • accustom (someone) to managing without something on which they have become dependent or of which they have become excessively fond : the doctor tried to wean her off the sleeping pills. • ( be weaned on) be strongly influenced by (something), esp. from an early age : I was weaned on a regular diet of Hollywood fantasy.
    – user48193
    Jul 23, 2013 at 9:44
  • The latter usage is used more to describe seminal influences. I think it's too big a stretch to apply it to a literal dependency, plus it doesn't carry the right sense of being forced. Jul 23, 2013 at 18:09
  • My dictionary gives wean as: accustom (an infant or other young mammal) to food other than its mother's milk. That is to say, wean the child onto powdered milk, or cow's milk, which you could argue, is replacing a natural state of affairs, with an unnatural one. In the same way, it can be argued that introducing a dependency on a drug such as heroin, is replacing a natural state — no requirement for heroin — with an unnatural one: addiction. I feel the concept wean still holds in this instance, more so than in the case of a social influence, as obviously addiction is physiological in nature.
    – user48193
    Jul 23, 2013 at 19:04
  • 1
    I understand where you're coming from, but I still think it's too much of a stretch. Weaning off is removing a dependency, and weaning on is nurturing. Creating a drug addiction is pretty much the opposite of both – the connotations are all wrong. Wean is just too positive a word to express this. Jul 24, 2013 at 3:49

Poisoned, assault with injury to his dopamine receptors?


There are slang terms used to refer to secretly giving someone a drug, especially one that renders them unconscious.

In earlier times, the phrase slipped a Mickey Finn (or slipped a Mickey, for short) was used. This phrase was especially associated with someone drinking at a bar who lost consciousness and was then robbed.

A similar term used today is roofied, which is derived from one of the drugs used, Rohypnol, which is sometimes called roofie. This drug is also referred to as the date-rape drug because of its history of being used to render a companion unconscious who is then sexually assaulted.

These terms may not be appropriate for a drug that is forced on someone for the purpose of causing addiction.

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