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Common Date Rape Drugs Used by Criminals

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Common Date Rape Drugs Used by Criminals
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Date rape drugs are the drugs which when administered by a person renders that person vulnerable to drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA), most common being rape.

DFSA refers to the offences in which the victims are subjected to non-consensual acts while they are incapacitated or unconscious due to the effects of the drugs and are therefore prevented from resisting and/or are unable to consent. The statistics from all over the word shows that DFSA is becoming a prevalent crime.

In India it has been found that about 70 percent of sexual assaults reported are caused due to the intoxication of drugs to the accused or victim or both. They are also referred to as ‘predator drugs’, as they are not administered by the person itself usually, they are accustomed by the attackers to the victims.

The person is not attacked on the date, as the name suggests, but can be done by an unknown person or known person at any time and place.

Administration of Date Rape Drugs

The victim may be clueless and have difficulty in defending and sometimes do not remember what happened later.

Administration of date rape drugs makes the victim unconscious, more compliant and disables her/him to say no, weakens them to resist or deny consent.

The drugs are available in the forms of pills or powders or liquids. They are usually colourless, odourless and tasteless, therefore it is difficult to identify them. 

Usually the drinks of the victim are spiked with the date rape drugs and it is the most common method to incapacitate a person.

Common Date Rape Drugs

Some common date rape drugs include alcohol, rohypnol, ketamine and GHB.

1. Alcohol

It is most the common and easily available drug used to cause DFSA. It is consumed by both the victim and the perpetrator. Alcohol lowers the victim’s inhibitors and makes him/her less aware of the surroundings. In the perpetrator alcohol can cause aggressive behavior.

2. Rohypnol

It is the trade name of benzodiazepine flunitrazepam. It is also known as the circle, forget pill, love drug, roofies, R-2, etc. It is a very potent tranquillizer. It is available in the forms of colorless, tasteless and odorless pills.

Rohypnol produces sedative effects, amnesia, muscle relaxation and slowing of psychomotor response. The drug starts working within 20 minutes of administration and lasts for 8-12 hours. When taken with alcohol the effects are more enhanced and can last upto 36 hours. It can be detected in the bloodstream within 24 hours of administration and in urine samples after 48 hours.

Uptake of rohypnol with alcohol or other drugs may lead to death also. Regular use of this drug may cause physical and psychic dependence. Since it causes amnesia due to which the victim is unable to remember the events, therefore the investigation of date rapes is quite difficult.

Clonazepam and alprazolam are the two drugs which have replaced rohypnol.

3. Ketamine

It is popular with the names- K, KO, Super K, Special K, etc. Ketamine is a legal drug used as a veterinary sedative. But is abused by the humans as date rape drug.

It is available in the form of off-white powder or as a cloudy water. It causes dream-like experience, distorted perception of sight and sound, numbness, loss of coordination, etc.

The drug acts immediately when administered intravenously while nasally it acts within 10-20 minutes of uptake and the effects last for 3-4 hours. It is detectable in the system upto 48 hours of administration. High doses of ketamine can cause convulsions and even can lead to death.

4. GHB

It is an abbreviation of gamma-hydroxybutyrate. Commonly known as Easy lazy, liquid ecstasy, scoop, etc. It is an illegal drug which can be manufactured by amateur chemists in homes. It is available as a colorless, tasteless and odorless liquid which acts as depressant/anesthetic agent.

It causes drowsiness and dizziness, memory loss, increased sensuality, vision problems, feeling of relaxation, etc. adverse effects include seizures, nausea and vomiting, breathing problems and even causes coma.

The effects start within 10-15 minutes after intake and lasts up to 3-6 hours. It can be taken with alcohol which causes effects that lasts for 36-72 hours. High doses can cause coma within 5 minutes. The drug does not rest in the system of the person therefore it is difficult to detect.

The detection of date rape drugs can be done by screening tests of the biological fluids, chromatographic analysis, Gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy, etc.

Conclusion

DFSA is now becoming a common criminal act especially among the teenagers because they are in the phase where one desires to explore new experiences. They are the easy targets of the DFSA attacks. Therefore it is necessary to create awareness among the people regarding the date rape drugs, their effects and side effects, etc. so they can protect themselves from any such criminal activity or mishappening. 

Also, proper patrolling should be conducted in the clubs or pubs where such drugs are sold or purchased. Strict laws and reforms should be executed for these drugs and the accused must be punished with imprisonment and fine.

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