1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
    PLEASE HELP
  1. Alfa
    THREAT OF DATE-RAPE DRUG MAY BE EXAGGERATED

    It was at a Grade 8 graduation party that I first observed the effects
    of the date-rape drug scare. Not the drug itself, you understand, just
    the scare.

    I'd been enlisted as a chaperone. One of the first things I noticed
    was the way that the graduating girls were holding their soft drinks.
    When they weren't actually drinking, they always kept one hand flat,
    palm down, on top of the can. They were all doing it. It was as if
    they were trying to keep the fizz in.

    To see all of these girls holding their drinks in exactly the same,
    affected way was almost creepy. When I remarked on it to one of the
    chaperoning moms, she knew all about it, as moms usually do. The
    girls, she explained, were holding their drinks as they did in order
    to prevent some sexual predator from slipping in a date-rape drug.
    Obviously, they'd been warned. But how real was the risk, I wondered.

    Not very. If you lined up all of the males in the world in order of
    the likelihood of them slipping someone a date-rape drug, the boys in
    this particular Grade 8 class would be very near the back of the line.
    Besides, the place was crawling with parents and teachers. Someone was
    even keeping track of who went in and out of the bathrooms. There
    would be no date rape here.

    What, exactly, led to the warning, no one seemed to know. I'd never
    heard of anyone being slipped a date-rape drug in Saskatoon. Neither
    had anyone else. A search through published Saskatchewan court
    decisions revealed then, as now, no convictions in this jurisdiction,
    ever, for any crime involving a date-rape drug. That's not to say it
    never happens, only that no one has been caught. Ever.

    The issue of date-rape drugs has come up in Saskatchewan courts only
    twice, and not in the way you might expect. In one case last year, a
    Saskatoon woman charged with impaired driving claimed her impairment
    was not voluntary. Her story was that she had only three drinks and
    then blacked out after someone slipped her a date-rape drug. She
    therefore could not be held responsible for any subsequent drinking.

    The Court of Appeal didn't buy it. There was "not a shred of direct
    evidence" that the accused had ever been slipped anything, the court
    ruled. What the direct evidence did reveal was a blood-alcohol content
    approaching twice the legal limit. The accused was found guilty as
    charged.

    The date-rape drug came up again in a more recent case, this one
    ending in the conviction for sexual assault of a Buffalo Narrows man.
    This time, it was the victim who believed she might have been slipped
    a date-rape drug. As in the other case, however, there was no direct
    evidence of any such drug. Rather, the evidence suggested that the
    victim was more likely impaired by alcohol. What mattered more than
    the source of impairment, however, was the absence of consent. Of
    that, there was direct evidence. The accused pleaded guilty.

    Confirming allegations of date-rape drugging can be problematic. The
    most notorious of the so-called date-rape drugs, properly known as
    gamma-hydroxybutyrate, or GHB, is quickly metabolized. According to
    the experts, a dose sufficient to render a person helpless might be
    undetectable in a blood analysis done 24 hours later. But the stuff
    hasn't been detected before 24 hours, either, at least not in this
    jurisdiction.

    Evidence of date-rape drugging elsewhere is almost as rare;
    allegations slightly less so. Among the latter was a weekend news
    report out of Winnipeg. That's what got me thinking again about the
    date-rape drug.

    According to the Winnipeg Sun, three women were rushed to hospital
    during the city's big folk festival after eating cookies that "may"
    have been laced with the date-rape drug. The women reportedly felt
    groggy after someone gave them cookies, but they couldn't remember
    who. They recovered fully and made no complaint to police.

    None of the three were sexually assaulted and there were no other such
    incidents at the festival. It is on the basis of the women's symptoms,
    not any chemical analysis, that the date-rape drug GHB is suspected.
    So there's no real confirmation of anything, really, except three
    groggy women at a folk festival. For this, there are many explanations
    more likely than someone slipping them the date-rape drug. Any way you
    look at it, date rape appears not to have been a factor.

    Incidentally, or not, GHB is sometimes taken voluntarily, for the
    high. It's reportedly associated with raves and with actor Nick Nolte.
    When he was arrested for impaired driving in 2002, blood tests
    revealed the presence of GHB, of all things. To his credit, Nolte did
    not claim that anyone slipped him the drug.

    I raise all this not to diminish the seriousness or the prevalence of
    date rape. I only point out that the threat of being slipped a
    date-rape drug might not be as great as our daughters are led to believe.

Comments

To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!