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Drugs Used in Sexual Assaults: Features and Toxicological Investigations

Keywords: Drugs , drug abuse screening , sexual abuse , forensic toxicology

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Abstract:

Drugs used in sexual assault, which are also called as date rape drugs, are common phenomenon of crime in many countries. In a typical scenario, a perpetrator adds a date-rape drug which has sedative effect into alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage of an unsuspecting person. After drug administration, mostly amnesia and symptoms such as confussion, loss of memory, lack of muscle control, dizziness occur. The main drugs in sexual assaults are benzodiazepines such as γ-hydroxy butyrate and its analogs, clonazepam, alprazolam, flunitrazepam, oxazepam, ketamine, barbiturates, antidepressants, cocaine and stimulants. Most of these drugs are colorless, odorless and highly soluble in alcohol or other beverages quickly. They are rapidly absorbed and eliminated after oral administration. A victim may complain to police or other legal forces after several days due to emotional trauma as shame, fear, doubt and disbelief. For this reason, It is important to know what time the sample is taken from the victim to confirm the presence of the drug. In this study, we will present a general approach to date-rape drugs used in sexual assault. [Archives Medical Review Journal 2013; 22(3.000): 418-425]

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