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Toxicological findings in cases of alleged drug-facilitated sexual assault in the United Kingdom over a 3-year period

Journal of Clinical Forensic Medicine
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.jcfm.2005.03.009
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacology


Abstract This paper outlines the toxicology results from 1014 cases of claimed drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) analysed at the Forensic Science Service, London Laboratory between January 2000 and December 2002. Where appropriate, either a whole blood sample and/or a urine sample was analysed for alcohol, common drugs of abuse and potentially stupefying drugs. The results were interpreted with respect to the number of drugs detected and an attempt was made to distinguish between voluntary and involuntary ingestion from information supplied. Alcohol (either alone or with an illicit and/or medicinal drug) was detected in 470 of all cases (46%). Illicit drugs were detected in 344 cases (34%), with cannabis being the most commonly detected (26% of cases), followed by cocaine (11%). In 21 cases (2%), a sedative or disinhibiting drug was detected which had not been admitted and could therefore be an instance of deliberate spiking. This included three cases in which complainants were allegedly given Ecstasy (MDMA) without their knowledge. Other drugs detected included gammahydroxybutyrate (GHB) and the benzodiazepine drugs diazepam and temazepam. Another nine cases (1%) involved the complainant being either given or forced to ingest pharmaceutical tablets or an illicit drug.

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