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The curious case of the missing 'date rape drug' victims (9/15/05)
Lurid tales of drinks spiked with incapacitating drugs have long been a press favorite, whipping up public hysteria over drugs like GHB and Rohypnol, in spite of such cases paling in numbers compared to alcohol-facilitated rapes. British researchers, however, have recently thrown some doubt on the scale of the problem in the form of a study of the toxicology results from over a thousand people who believed that they had been drugged in order to make them vulnerable to sexual assault. (These are people so sure that they had been drugged that they went to the police and were drug tested.)
Of the 1,014 alleged drugging victims, only 2% (21 people) tested positive for a drug that they had not knowingly taken. The data has it's limitations; because some drugs are rapidly broken down and eliminated, all of the common sedatives could only be conclusively eliminated in a third of the cases. Still, the research paints a very surprising picture: The vast majority of people who believe they have been drugged ('spiked drinks' and the like) were simply victims of their own excessive drug and alcohol use. None-the-less, if you believe you may have been drugged without your knowledge, don't hesitate to go to the police and be tested; the longer you wait, the more likely the evidence is to be lost.
Pre-publication copy of article (without data tables.) (Sorry, haven't been able to get a PDF of the published form.)