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Date Rape Drugs:Psychiatry, Pharmacology and Law

Weaponized Chemistry, a Medicine Cabinet of Assault

TASA ID: 9505

This article was originally published on https://www.forensicpsychiatrynow.com/date-rape-drugs, posted May 15, 2018. 

Drug‑Facilitated Sexual Assault (DFSA) is the use of drugs and/or alcohol by a sexual predator to render a victim incapacitated and unable to fight back against a sexual assault. A side effect of many “Date Rape” or “Club Drugs” is also anterograde amnesia, the inability to recall what happened while drugged, increasing a predator’s belief he will “get away with it.”  Those odds are shifting, but attorneys, Courts, and potential victims are better served if they understand some of the drugs used and their impact on mind and body. 
 
DFSA is more easily prosecuted if reported while the drug is still in the victim’s system and thus testable by a toxicology screen. Each drug has a different deterioration time for detection. Luckily, law enforcement protocols now better respond with urgency to obtain a blood test when a DFSA is reported.  The Drug-Induced Rape Prevention and Punishment Act of 1996 provides for more severe sentencing. Public awareness, particularly after the recent Bill Cosby trial, has made potential victims warier of at least the most obvious DFSA attempts.

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