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'No evidence to suggest widespread date rape drug use'

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'No evidence to suggest widespread date rape drug use'

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Published by webmaster for 24dash.com in Health

Rohypnol

A research study into the dynamics of alleged drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) cases has concluded that there is no evidence to suggest widespread use of the so called 'date rape drug' Rohypnol, and only limited traces of GHB were identified.

The study, which examined cases between 1 November 2004 and 31 October 2005 considered all alleged or suspected cases of DFSA in the Metropolitan Police, Greater Manchester, Derbyshire, Northumbria and  Lancashire police forces as well as the Walsall area of the West Midlands Police.

A total of 120 cases were considered as part of the study.

Each participant was asked to provide information via a questionnaire which contributed to the analysis of samples by the Forensic Science Service.

The report published today highlights the key findings and the difficulties in firstly identifying this type of offence and secondly the complexities of investigating cases of this type.

In most cases,  he alleged victims had consumed alcohol voluntarily and in some cases, to dangerous levels.

Dave Gee, co-author of the research and vice-chair of the ACPO Working Group on Rape said: "This study is the first of its kind in the police service and demonstrates the difficulties faced when investigating offences of this type. The findings contained within the report will assist forces in investigations and also inform the wider public as to steps one can take to minimise the threat of becoming a victim. The police will continue to take any allegations of this nature very seriously as they do for all offences of rape."
 
Findings:

In total, 120 cases were submitted for examination. 119 of the 120 victims had reportedly been drinking alcohol. However alcohol was only detected in 62 (52%) In 22 out of the 62 (35%) of these cases blood alcohol levels at the time of the incident were estimated to be greater than 200 mg% or greater i.e. more than 2-3 times the driving limit of 80 mg% (mg% = milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood). In 57(48%) cases controlled or prescribed drugs were detected. Cannabis and cocaine were the most commonly detected drugs (in 20% and 17% of cases respectively). The combination of drugs and alcohol would exacerbate intoxication. Rohypnol (flunitrazepam) was not detected in any of the submitted cases. Gammahydroxybutyrate (GHB) was detected in two cases. 10 cases were suspected DFSA assaults in which a sedative or disinhibiting drug was detected which either had been given to the victim by an alleged assailant or where the victim denied its legitimate use. In 11 other cases DFSA could not be discounted due to a lack of clarity surrounding the circumstances of the case.


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