ArticlePDF Available

Field-Test of a Date-Rape Drug Detection Device

Authors:
  • Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, Texas, United States

Abstract

Drink Safe Technology Version 1.2 is an inexpensive color-change reagent test marketed internationally for use by consumers in settings such as a night club to detect potentially incapacitating concentrations of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and ketamine in beverages. The objective of this study was to compare product performance in the laboratory and performance in the hands of consumers in the field. Product performance in the laboratory adhered to the protocol defined by the manufacturer. Product performance in the hands of consumers in field settings allowed browsing participants to pipette an aliquot of their own drinks into randomly coded vials containing authentic drugs, or pure water, so as to yield the same concentrations of GHB or ketamine specified in the manufacturer-defined protocol, or blanks. Consumers were to proceed according to the directions printed on the product, and to record their results on a card with a code corresponding with the vial to which they had added an aliquot of their beverage. Diagnostic performance was calculated using two-way analysis. In the laboratory, Drink Safe Technology Version 1.2 reliably detected GHB and ketamine at concentrations specified by the manufacturer's protocol. The reactive color change denoting a positive test for GHB was rapid, but a positive test for ketamine required substantially more time to resolve. Nonetheless, test accuracy following the manufacturer's protocol in the laboratory was 100%. In the field, based on 101 paired-test results recorded by consumers, the test efficiency was 65.1%, sensitivity 50%, and specificity 91.6%. The product performed much better in the laboratory than it did in the hand of consumers in the field. There seems to be considerable potential for consumers to misinterpret a test result. The potential for consumers to record a false-negative test result for a spiked drink is cause for concern.
Journal of Analytical Toxicology, Vol. 31, July/August 2007
Technical Note
Field-Test of a Date-Rape Drug Detection Device
Dale W. Quest*
College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon
Joanne Horsley
Department of Campus Safety, University of Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan, Canada
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Abstract[
Drink Safe Technology Version 1.2 is an inexpensive color-change
reagent test marketed internationally for use by consumers in
settings such as a nightclub to detect potentially incapacitating
concentrations of y-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and ketarnine in
beverages. The objective of this study was to compare product
performance in the laboratory and performance in the hands of
consumers in the field. Product performance in the laboratory
adhered to the protocol defined by the manufacturer. Product
performance in the hands of consumers in field settings allowed
browsing participants to pipette an aliquot of their own drinks into
randomly coded vials containing authentic drugs, or pure water, so
as to yield the same concentrations of GHB or ketamine specified
in the manufacturer-defined protocol, or blanks. Consumers were
to proceed according to the directions printed on the product, and
to record their results on a card with a code corresponding with
the vial to which they had added an aliquot of their beverage.
Diagnostic performance was calculated using two-way analysis. In
the laboratory, Drink Safe Technology Version 1.2 reliably detected
GHB and ketamine at concentrations specified by the
manufacturer's protocol. The reactive color change denoting a
positive test for GHB was rapid, but a positive test for ketamine
required substantially more time to resolve. Nonetheless, test
accuracy following the manufacturer's protocol in the laboratory
was 100%. in the field, based on 101 paired-test results recorded
by consumers, the test efficiency was 65.1%, sensitivity 50%, and
specificity 91.6%. The product performed much better in the
laboratory than it did in the hands of consumers in the field. There
seems to be considerable potential for consumers to misinterpret a
test result. The potential for consumers to record a false-negative
test result for a spiked drink is cause for concern.
Introduction
The Society of Forensic Toxicologists' Drug-Facilitated
Sexual Assault Committee defines drug-facilitated sexual
assault as an offense whereby a person is subjected to non-
" Author to whom correspondence and reprint requests should be addressed:
Dr. Dale W. Quest, A-084 Medical Research Bldg., 103 Wiggins Rd., Saskatoon, SK,
S7N 5E4, Canada. E-mail: quest.d@usask.ca.
consensual sexual acts while he/she is incapacitated or un-
conscious due to the effects of alcohol and/or drugs and there-
fore prevented from resisting and/or unable to consent (1). It
is not a legal definition; there is no clear legal standard for in-
capacitation (2). The extent that drug-facilitated sexual assault
constitutes a public health problem remains poorly resolved.
The uncertainty is due in large part to the want of reliable
es-
timates
of the incidence of this crime and the prevalence of its
sequelae (3). There is evidence to suggest that the incidence of
drug-facilitated sexual assault has increased in one Canadian
locale (4). Estimates based on interviews, surveys, and statistics
suggest gross underreporting of sexual assaults in general and
drug-facilitated sexual assaults in particular (5-7). The nature
of the crime is such that amnesic properties of the drugs at-
tenuate assault victims' recollection of the assault, their
propensity to report and their reliability as witnesses. Case re-
ports suggest that the risk is real and that this crime can have
a profound negative impact on the lives of victims (8-14).
Public awareness and education initiatives have potential to re-
duce drug-facilitated assault if they inspire potential victims to
take rational, effective precautions to lower personal risk. A
caveat, described as the Melbourne effect, is the potential for
widespread media attention to embolden an increase in drug-
facilitated sexual assaults (4).
Fear of drug-facilitated sexual assault has generated a market
for inventions that claim to reduce potential victims' vulnera-
bility. These include tamper-resistant serving containers to
prevent drinks from being surreptitiously spiked (15,16) and di-
rect-to-consumer in vitro screening tests for beverages sus-
pected of being drugged. Drink Safe Technology Version 1.2 is
an inexpensive color-change reagent test marketed interna-
tionally and in Canada for use by consumers in settings such as
a nightclub or house party. It purports to detect potentially in-
capacitating concentrations of ~,-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB)
and/or ketamine, on suspicion that one of those drugs has
been surreptitiously added to the consumer's beverage. The
performance of Drink Safe Technology Version 1.2 under lab-
oratory conditions has been reported by the manufacturer
(17). An independent laboratory evaluation has also been pub-
lished (18). The objective of this study was to compare product
performance in the laboratory, to performance in the hands of
354 Reproduction (photocopying) of editorial content of this journal is prohibited without publisher's permission.
Journal of Analytical Toxicology, Vol. 31, July/August 2007
consumers in the field. The field testing component was
imbedded in a university campus date-rape information cam-
paign called
"It's
All About Awareness".
Experimental
Materials
Drink Safe Technologies
TM
Version 1.2 Date Rape Drug
Test Strips [UPC lots: 5534500001 (4 packages of 2 strips),
5534500002 (1 package of 10 strips), 5534500005 (1 package of
20 strips)] were provided as a gift by Drink Safe Technologies,
Inc. (Wellington, FL). Drink Safe Technologies Version 1.2
customized coasters (UPC lot: 5534500029) were purchased
from Drink Safe Canada, Inc. (Calgary, AB, Canada). The fol-
lowing drugs were used in this study: GHB sodium (Cat#
H3635, Sigma-Aldrich Chemical Company, Inc., St. Louis, MO,
Health Canada authorization #10258.05.05); ketamine hy-
drochloride (Cat# K2753, Sigma Aldrich Canada, Ltd., Oakville,
ON, Canada); flunitrazepam (Cat# F9261, Sigma-Aldrich
Chemical, Health Canada authorization # 10257.05.03); 1,4-bu-
tanediol (Cat#18960, Sigma-Aldrich Canada); and ~,-butyro-
lactone (Cat# 20740, Sigma-Aldrich Canada). The Milli-Q pu-
rification system for ultra-pure water was from Millipore
Canada, Ltd. (Mississauga, ON, Canada). The analytical bal-
ance (d -- 0.1 mg, model BL120S) was from Sartorius (Edge-
wood, NY). Digital camera (5.0 megapixel resolution, images
stored as JPEG 2592 x 1944) was a PowerShot A95 (Canon
Canada, Mississauga, ON, Canada).
Methods
This project, which doubled as an educational event and an
independent consumer product field-test, underwent expe-
dited review by the University of Saskatchewan Biomedical
Research Ethics Board. Product performance was assessed in
the laboratory according to the manufacturer-defined protocol
(17). The laboratory readings were performed within an 80-cm
diameter workspace illuminated 555.4 35.6 Lux by two over-
head fixtures, 120 cm apart, each with two 32 W Sylvania E2y
Octron fluorescent tubes. This lighting configuration provides
a color rendering index (CRI) of 82 and a color temperature of
4100 Kelvin. Drug dilutions: 3.6339 g of GHB sodium salt
yields 3.0 g of ~,-hydroxybutyric free acid, which, dissolved in an
8-oz drink, will yield a 115.3 mmol/L concentration (the con-
centration used for testing the Drink Safe Technologies product
both in the laboratory and also the resulting concentration
after consumers added a standard 1000-1aL aliquot of their
beverage to a vial if it happened to contain a concentrated
GHB solution) and 1.1536 g of ketamine hydrochloride yields
I g of ketamine, and a 16.8 mmol/L concentration equates to
1.0 g of the free base in an 8-oz drink (the concentration used
for testing the Drink Safe Technologies product, both in the
laboratory and as the resulting concentration after consumers
added a standard 1000-~tL aliquot of their beverage to a vial that
happened to contain a concentrated ketamine solution). A
133 mmol/L 1,4-butanedioi concentration, a 127 mmol/L
y-butyrolactone concentration, and a 0.1 mmol/L flunitraze-
pam concentration were used in the laboratory to determine
whether those agents reacted with either of the Drink Safe
Technology Version 1.2 chromogenic reagents. Diagnostic
efficacy was calculated using conventional two-way (Bayesian)
analysis. Relative resolution times were compared by one-way
analysis of variance. Product evaluation in field settings al-
lowed browsing participants to pipette an aliquot of their own
drink into any of 101 coded vials containing authentic drug
standards or pure water so as to yield the same concentra-
tions of ?-hydroxybutyric acid or ketamine specified in the
manufacturer-defined protocol, or blanks. Consumers were
advised to proceed according to the directions printed on the
product and to record their results on a card with a code sticker
corresponding to the vial to which they had added an aliquot of
their beverage. Diagnostic efficacy was calculated using a two-
way analysis.
Results
In the laboratory, Drink Safe Technology Version 1.2 reliably
detected the concentrations of ~,-hydroxybutyrate and ketamine
specified by the protocol proposed by the manufacturer. The
product reliably excluded pure water samples. The volume
spotted on the test area influenced drying time, which affected
resolution time. Spotting 25-IJL samples, the reactive color
change from green to blue, denoting a positive test for ,/-hy-
droxybutyrate, resolved in 21 13 s; but a definitive color
change from pink to blue to denote a positive test for ketamine
required substantially more time to resolve (95% CI: 5.5, 6.5
rain). Resolution times are somewhat subjective. Spotting
larger volumes or a lack of familiarity for recognizing a positive
or negative reaction are likely to delay a confident test deter-
mination (Figure 1, see page 11A). There were no significant
differences in resolution times or accuracy between lots. About
12,000 of the Drink Safe Technologies customized coasters
were purchased for the
"It's
All About Awareness" campaign. A
stack of 250 coasters was removed for use in this project from
the partial supply remaining. We found that 0.48% of the stack
was defective, having no reagent present on any of the four
spots of the two test areas (Figure 2, see page 11A). Excluding
defective coasters, the test efficiency in the laboratory fol-
lowing the manufacturer's protocol was 100% (Table I). Al-
though 1,4-butanediol and ~,-butyrolactone are biotransformed
to GHB following ingestion, neither agent at the tested con-
centrations reacted with either of the Drink Safe Technology
Version 1.2 test reagent spots to elicit a blue color change, nor
did the test concentration of flunitrazepam result in a positive
color change.
Of 101 paired field test results recorded by consumers, there
were three instances in which paired tests of the same drink did
not concur; this was perhaps due to uneven carryover of
reagent between spots in one but not both test areas, but more
likely due to applying different volumes of the drink sample to
the two test areas, such that the areas did not resolve at the
same rate. Noting that all five pairs of false-positive responses
were associated with Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin, the
355
potential for that spirit to react with the GHB reagent spot was
confirmed in the laboratory to elicit a distinct but transient
bluish color change. The proportion of vials that actually con-
tained ketamine or GHB (i.e., prevalence) was 40.2%. On the
basis of theoretical results in relation to results recorded by
consumers, the test efficiency was 65.1%, sensitivity 50%,
specificity 91.6%, and Likelihood Ratios: (+) 5.950, (-) 0.546
(Table II).
Discussion
The product performed substantially better in the laboratory
than it did in the hands of consumers in the field. There is con-
siderable potential for consumers to misinterpret a test re-
Table I. Performance Characteristics of Drink Safe
Technologies Version 1.2 Test Strips and Coasters in the
Laboratory following the Protocol Specified by the
Manufacturer*
+
+ 146
0
Sensitivity = TP/(TP + FN)
Specificity = TN/(TN = FP)
Likelihood Ratio (+) = Sens/(1 - Spec)
Likelihood Ratio (-) = (1 - Sens)/Spec
Efficiency = (TP + TN)/(TP + TN + FP + FN)
0
146
95%CI
0.997 0.968,1.000
0.997 0.968,1.000
100%
* Pooled results from ~our different UPC lots comprising 146 units, 2 tests per unit,
1 card or coaster from each lot provided a wet and a dry control.
Table II. Performance Characteristics of Drink Safe
Technologies Version 1.2 Custom Coasters in the Hands
of Consumers in the Field*
+
20 5
20 56
Specificity = TN/(TN = FP) 0.918
Likelihood Ratio (+) = Sens (1 - Spec) 6.100
Likelihood Ratio (-) = (1 - Sens)/Spec 0.545
Efficiency = (TP + TN)/(TP + TN + FP + FN) 0.651
95% Cl
0.822, 0.964
0.553, 0.748
* Pooled results from four different UPC lots comprising 146 units, 2 tests per unit,
I card or coaster from each lot provided a wet and a dry control.
356
Journal of Analytical Toxicology, Vol. 31, July/August 2007
sult. This field test supported what Meyers and Almirall had
predicted: that the time it takes for the color reaction to occur
could hinder the proper interpretation of the test (18). They an-
ticipated that if the reaction is expected within a few minutes,
a person might prematurely interpret the test to be negative
when, in reality, a positive reaction had not yet resolved. Com-
pared to laboratory conditions, the lighting available to read a
test strip in a typical nightclub would be less optimal. Lack of
experience or visual reference to aid interpretation of a positive
color change may further compromise the performance of
Drink Safe Technology Version 1.2 in the hands of consumers.
There were few false positives. The consequence of a false pos-
itive is to compel disposal of an unadulterated beverage. A
false positive could also trigger false accusations. The greater
probability for a largely university student population to falsely
conclude a negative test on a spiked drink is a safety concern
for those who would rely on this product to reduce their risk.
Implications for Clinical Practice
At best, the Drink Safe Technology Version 1.2 product is ca-
pable of detecting only 2 of the over 50 parent drugs listed by
the Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT) Drug-Facilitated
Sexual Assault Committee website (19). Perhaps no technology
will protect those who venture into nightclubs and private
parties better than being aware of the risk, being selective
about the places they party and the people with whom they
party. There is safety in the company of conscientious friends
who know what to watch for and can be trusted to watch out
for each other. A supplementary role for the Drink Safe Tech-
nology Version 1.2 test kit to enhance personal safety is ques-
tionable.
Acknowledgments
The authors gratefully acknowledge the enthusiastic support
of the University of Saskatchewan Students' Union (USSU),
the USSU Women's Centre, and the management and staff of
the USSU owned and operated campus nightclub, Louis', for or-
ganizing and promoting the
"It's
All About Awareness" cam-
paign events at which the field-testing was conducted; Dr.
Mikelis Bickis, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics
& Statistics, provided expert advice that improved the reporting
and presentation of the results; and Karen Leedahl, P.Eng,
Electrical Engineer, described our lighting design specifica-
tions for us. Her support was valuable and much appreciated.
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357
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ROOF Abstract Drug assisted crimes are increasing world wide. Use of date rape drugs is quite common and increasing in developed as well as developing countries. Date rape drug refers to any drug that can be used to assist in the commission of a sexual assault (date rape). Drink spiking may also be undertaken for amusement purposes as well. Drugs used to facilitate rape may have sedative, hypnotic, dissociative, and/or amnesiac effects, and may be added to a food or drink without the victim’s knowledge. The drugs like benzodiazipines, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, ketamine and alcohol are common and used in most of the sexual and non sexual act of violence. These drugs are mixed in food, drinks or given in alcohol by the perpetrator before commit the crime. This article will provide some light on the information regarding the drugs which are commonly used in sexual assaults, their pharmacology, uses & misuses and their forensic analysis. Keywords: Date Rape Drugs, Benzodiazipine, Flunitrazepam, Ketamine, Alcohol, Forensic Analysis.
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This questionnaire-based study aimed to investigate the drug crime scene experienced by drug-related police officers and the perceptions of drug test kits by them before initiating the development of drug test kits to detect 16 types of drugs. The subjects were 57 drug-related police officers. Most of the respondents (96.5%) had <10 years of experience in drug-related work. Respondents were questioned about the drug scene investigation and perceptions of drug test kits. The questionnaire about drug test kits included the question on 'simple/rapid drug test kit' and 'electronic portable drug analyzer' regarding the disadvantages of existing kits and expecting features when a new kit is developed. First, in the on-site survey, the drug-related crime occurred at the suspect's house (47.8%), and methamphetamine (35.0%) and γ-hydroxybutyric acid (19.5%) were mainly found. In the awareness survey on drug test kits, most respondents (67.2%) had an experience of using 'simple/rapid drug test kits', whereas 17.5% for the 'electronic portable drug analyzer'. In the case of 'simple/rapid drug test kit', the false-positive rate reached 53.8% by a misinterpretation due to ambiguous color change (47.6%). The inaccuracy of the result (33.3%) was the most concern in 'electronic portable drug analyzer'. Respondents most favored pipette type for sample collector when a new kit is developed. In addition, they preferred the smaller kit with short detection times in both kit types. This survey could be applied to the development of efficient and practical kits for police officers working in drug-related fields.
Article
The high frequency of drug‐facilitated sexual assaults (DFSA) and other criminal acts perpetrated by the adulteration of drinking water or other beverages with γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) compels researchers to develop spot tests for its rapid detection, on site, by the broad public. We report a BODIPY-metal complex (1·Fe³⁺) as a simple colorimetric and fluorimetric indicator based on a ligand displacement design for the sensitive determination of GHB. Assays were developed to detect the presence of GHB in the complex matrices of a broad range of spiked alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The complex enables rapid qualitative spot tests and quantitative assays, and works in both solution and practical solid-state indicator strips.
Article
Following the forum, the University agreed to conduct an external safety audit. Representatives from CASA met with the reviewers and presented 36 recommendations, compiled from the forum, for improving safety on campus. Notable recommendations included: 1) Implementing a student-run Victim Advocate position, designed to provide public education on sexual violence and specialized support and advocacy services to those who had experienced gender-related violence; 2) Re-focusing the duties of the Security Constables to reflect greater attention to community policing, rather than the existing focus on parking enforcement; 3) Extending the Safe Walk program (a program providing accompaniment to students walking alone on campus) by making it available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and financially compensating SafeWalk volunteers for their work; 4) Installing security alert boards in strategic places throughout campus (e.g., residences, washrooms, elevators); 5) Developing guidelines for the content and format of safety alerts (e.g. avoiding the use of words such as "alleged" sexual assault), in consultation with members of the university community, particularly women's advocacy groups; 6) Ensuring that safety alerts are posted electronically, via e-rriail, within 24 hours of the incident being reported to Security; 7) Creating an Advisor to the President on the Status ofWomen position, recruited from faculty on a part time, two year rotational basis, to coordinate and chair the President's Advisory Committee on the Status of Women and the President's Advisory Committee on Personal Safety; 8) Changing academic requirements such that all incoming students must include an introductory Women's and Gender Studies course in their program of study; and 9) Demonstrating leadership in addressing gendered violence issues by having senior administrators be die first to take anti-oppression training. At the time of the two high profile assaults in 2003, efforts were already under way for the establishment of a Victim Advocate position on campus. At this time, there was a lack of specialized services for women who experienced sexual violence and the Victim Advocate position was envisioned by female students at the Women's Centre to fill this gap by providing a free and confidential support service to students who had survived sexual assault and genderbased violence. The need for this service was solidified following the public assaults in 2003 and lobbying efforts began in earnest. Letters of support were collected from various departments on campus, recommendations for the implementation of this position were included in the external safety audit report, and funding was sought through the provincial Status of Women office. The position was officially implemented in May 2004 as a part-time studentstaffed position within the University of Saskatchewan Students' Union (USSU), with a mandate to provide support, information, referrals, and advocacy to those affected by sexual violence, and to create a centralized community model of response to unwanted sexual experiences. In addition, the position was charged with providing proactive public education to the campus community through presentations, awareness events, various poster campaigns, and theatrical productions. To date, the Victim Advocate has provided direct services to approximately 275 clients, with countless others reached indirectly through public awareness activities. In the nearly six years since its implementation, the position has undergone a number of changes. It has relocated from its original location within the Women's Centre to a private and confidential office space, making the service much more accessible, particularly for male survivors and others who did not feel comfortable accessing support through the Women's Centre due to concerns about confidentiality, inclusivity, or other reasons. The funding of the position, originally provided by Status of Women Canada, has now been fully taken over by the USSU. Over the past few years, the Victim Advocate has spearheaded and collaborated on many projects, including an educational play for first year students with content on sexual violence, and the implementation of a USSU Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill of Rights and the USSU Sexual Assault Protocol, documents that are both now published annually in the USSU Student Rights Handbook. Most recently the Victim Advocate has been included in the University of Saskatchewan Administration's "Crisis Prevention Working Group," which is tasked with developing various proactive ways to 1 ) revise the threat assessment process and related documentation, communication, and training; and 2) inform die campus community about prevention resources, as well as ways to identify and respond to potential crises or threats.
Article
The use of drugs to facilitate sexual assaults has become a problem in many countries. Fear of these crimes has created a need for inventions that reduce the risk of becoming a victim. This paper describes commercially available drink test kits. The tests, which are marketed internationally, are used for detection of the most popular date-rape drugs at potentially incapacitating concentrations. Drink Safe Technology products detect ketamine and GHB, whereas the Drink Detective Tester can identify ketamine, GHB and benzodiazepines. The first Polish commercial drink test can only detect GHB. Date rape tests for benzodiazepines, which were originally used for their detection in urine, are also available. The drink tests have many limitations, including detectibility limited to a few drugs associated with sexual assaults, dependence on drink type (colour, alcohol), worse performance in field settings and possibilities of gaining false positive or negative readings.
Article
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Drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) occurs when an individual has been sexually assaulted due to the surreptitious administration of drug(s) thereby rendering her/him unable to give consent. Our study aim was to calculate the age- and sex-specific annual incidence of hospital-reported DFSA and to determine whether a one-year increase in DFSA observed in 1999 in a pilot study on the same population was a significant and sustained trend. We identified cases of DFSA by reviewing the sexual assault examination records of all the individuals who presented to a hospital-based sexual assault care referral service in Vancouver, British Columbia during the study time period (January 1, 1993 to May 31, 2002). The annual sex- and age-specific incidence and temporal trends of drug-facilitated sexual assault were examined using population data from the British Columbia Ministry of Health. The mean annual incidence of female DFSA increased from 3.4 per 100,000 (years 1993--1998) to 10.7 per 100,000 (years 1999--2002). Age-adjusted relative risks for female DFSAs were significantly higher in 1999 (2.77, 95% CI 1.85-4.15), 2000 (3.01, 95% CI 1.97-4.57), 2001 (3.14, 95% CI 2.07-4.78) and 2002 (4.88, 95% CI 2.84-8.37) compared to 1993-1998. Women aged 15-19 years had the highest DFSA incidence, with a year-adjusted relative risk of 3.89 (95% CI 2.75-5.50) compared to all other age groups. This study demonstrates that the incidence of hospital-reported DFSA has shown a marked and sustained increase since 1999. Young women in their teens are particularly vulnerable to this form of sexual assault and further efforts are needed to develop and evaluate prevention programs for this group.
This paper describes the key sources of data for measuring violence against women in Australia and how the results relate to one another. It describes the differences in collection methodologies used in different surveys (including short module approaches and full specialised surveys) and considers some of the implications in relation to results. The paper draws on recent work to bring together and confront data from a range of survey and administrative sources around the issue of violence against women and personal safety more generally. There are a number of known issues in comparing data on assault from different collections in Australia, and some work is underway to determine appropriate approaches for future collections. It should be noted that this paper has been revised since it was presented at the Work Session on Gender Statistics held in Geneva on 18-20 October 2004. Since that time, data from the Australian components of both the 2002-2003 International Violence Against Women Survey, and the 2004 International Crime Victims Survey have been released. Relevant information from these two surveys has as a consequence also been included here. Updated information on the status of ABS activities in producing data related to violence against women is also provided in this revised version.
Article
This paper summarizes the best available information on the nature and prevalence of drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) in the UK. Characteristics of the assault itself and the drugs used are described. The minimal available data on the psychological consequences of DFSA are considered. Our clinical experience suggests that DFSA has some psychological consequences that are distinct from those seen in sexual assault without drug involvement. The survivor's response to a fragmented or absent traumatic memory appears important. We suspect that specific characteristics of the assault (for example, obvious premeditation) may affect adjustment. Also, the involvement of alcohol, drugs and an incomplete memory in the survivor's account may affect the levels of validation and social support received. We review the model of post-trauma reactions that seems most useful in treating the consequences of DFSA and suggest additional treatment strategies that address the specific nature of this trauma.
Article
Photo source: PhotoDisc M ore than 430,000 sexual assaults occur annually in the United States, accord-ing to victimization surveys. 1 Many of these assaults involve alcohol and drugs, 2 which are often used volun-tarily by both victim and offender. 3,4 But in the mid-and late 1990's, ethnographers and rape crisis cen-ters began hearing reports of drugs, often referred to as "roofies" and "liquid ecstasy," being administered clandestinely to immobilize victims, impair their memory, and thus facil-itate rape. Two drugs in particular were mentioned in these reports: Rohypnol (the pharmaceutical trade name for flunitrazepam) and GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate). These drugs can produce loss of consciousness and the inability to recall recent events. Victims may not be aware that they have ingested drugs or that they have been raped while under the influ-ence of drugs. 5 Reports of such assaults and increases in the recre-ational consumption of the drugs used in these assaults have brought drug-facilitated rape into sharp focus in recent years.
Article
The use of illicit substances for the purpose of drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) poses a significant problem. There has been an increase in public awareness of this problem, and a recent invention in the form of a drink coaster claims to detect whether or not a beverage has been spiked with a so-called date rape drug. A person is instructed to place a drop of the suspect beverage onto two spots of the test, smear gently, and wait until dry. If either spot turns to a darker blue color, then a possible date rape drug has been detected by the coaster test. In an effort to determine the effectiveness of the coasters, various drugs that have been associated with drug-facilitated sexual assault were tested at different concentrations in a variety of common alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. It was found that although the coasters do detect the presence of GHB and ketamine, two drugs that have been associated with DFSA, there are limiting factors such as the high concentration of the drugs required, hindrance of the reaction due to beverage matrix, and extensive time requirements for ketamine analysis.
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