HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Experts - Alcohol the Leading Date-Rape Drug
Pubdate: Mon, 30 Sep 2002
Source: Star, The (Malaysia)
Copyright: 2002 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd.
Bookmark: (Club Drugs)


MONTREAL -- Alcohol is by far the leading "date rape" drug with a cocktail 
responsible for more sexual abuse of young women than a tiny vial of GHB, 
the latest weapon in the date-raper's arsenal, experts here said.

At a world forum on drugs and addiction, experts stressed that alcohol is 
the primary substance that facilitates sexual aggression, not gamma 
hydrobutyrate (GHB), which men have been increasingly and surreptitiously 
dropping into the drinks of women to lower sexual inhibitions.

"For several years, we have been trumpeting that GHB is a rapist drug, 
while in fact only a tiny minority of abused women have fallen prey to it," 
said Carole Peclet, a chemist at Montreal's Forensic Laboratory and Legal 

Studies in recent years in the United States, Canada, Britain and Australia 
have all found that alcohol is found more often in rape victims than 
marijuana, pharmaceuticals or cocaine, Peclet said.

The US study, conducted from 1996 to 2000, examined 3,300 sex attacks where 
use of a chemical agent was suspected. Just 3% of the women who reported 
rapes were discovered to have been under the influence of GHB.

Another study, done in Quebec between 1998 and 2001, found no evidence of 
any rape case linked to involuntary ingestion of GHB.

That is not to say that the effects of the drug are not powerful and 
perverse, conference participants stressed. Because of its highly 
psychotropic, or mind-altering, qualities, they said, GHB removes 
inhibitions, opening the floodgates of sexual desire and fantasy and can 
result in short-term amnesia.

Would-be rapists who resort to spiking drinks with the drug are often 
someone the victim already knows, with the deed done in the privacy of an 
apartment rather than a bar.

Although not the principal "rape drug," GHB is widespread, with several 
distribution networks having been broken up in the United States and Canada 
in recent weeks.

The "success" of the drug is that it "produces more or less the same 
effects of alcohol but is less easily identifiable" in the behaviour and 
appearance of the subject, said Sylvie Beauregard of the Montreal police 

GHB, ingested in large quantities, can be found in the bloodstream up to 72 
hours later. It is replacing Ecstasy as the recreational drug of choice 
among teenagers and young adults who believe its effects are similar but 
less harmful.

At parties and after-hour watering holes, GHB is becoming known as "liquid 

However, there's a grim downside, said Jean-Sebastien Fallu, president of 
Montrea's Psycho-social Intervention and Research group; GHB mixed with 
alcohol can cause death by respiratory failure.
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