Source: New Scientist (UK)
Copyright: New Scientist, RBI Limited 1999
Pubdate: 9 Jan 1999
Author: Gail Safian DRUG RAPE

Your article on drug rape and Rohypnol needs some clarification (This Week,
12 December, p 4).

Many people are quick to conclude that any sexual assault in which the
victim cannot remember what happened is "probably" due to Rohypnol. As of 6
November 1998, ElSohly Laboratories had conducted gas chromatography and
mass spectroscopy tests on 1598 samples from cases of sexual assault in
which drug involvement was suspected.

Almost 650 contained alcohol, 292 contained marijuana, 218 contained
benzodiazepines other than Rohypnol, 137 contained cocaine and 115
contained amphetamines. Only 7 contained Rohypnol, and four of those, like
35 per cent of the other positive samples, contained other substances as
well. Clearly, the focus on Rohypnol is overstated and misplaced, and does
a disservice to those trying to protect themselves against sexual assault.

Please note also that the Roche US information line is 1-800-720-1076. The
number you listed on your website is the line for the police, hospital
emergency departments and rape crlsls centres to get authorisation to
submit samples for testing under the US programme.

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MAP posted-by: Pat Dolan