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Arch Hellen Med, 27(5), September-October 2010, 841-846


Rape and pharmaceutical substances

Department of Nursing, University of Peloponnese, Sparta, Greece

The substances that are involved in the criminal practice of rape, internationally known as "date rape drugs" (DRDs) and "club drugs" are defined as those substances to which, when individuals are exposed, they lose their self-control, and in particular, sexual resistance, and they belong to various chemical-pharmaceutical categories. The victim, even after the influence of these substances has worn off, experiences a complete memory blackout, with the result that, in spite of clear physical evidence of rape, the victim is not able to remember or to explain clearly what happened. Most of these products require medical prescription, yet in practice they can be obtained illegally, for example as a "cocktail" of unknown composition and content. These "cocktails" can be extremely dangerous and addictive, they are usually colorless, odorless and tasteless and, in general the characteristics of DRDs are such that they can be added to an alcoholic beverage in which they are not perceived by the candidate victims. Worldwide, the most commonly used of the DRDs are Rohypnol®, Xyrem® and ketamine. For protection from DRDs, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) of USA have proposed some "rules – drive off" for self-protection.

Key words: Date rape drugs, Drug related rape, Pharmaceutical substances, Rape.

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