The contribution of alcohol and other drugs to sexual assault has been increasingly recognized during the last 15—20 years. This phenomenon has various names, including drug-facilitated sexual assault, drug-and-alcohol facilitated rape, and incapacitated rape. In this issue, Du Mont and colleagues 2 report the findings from a prospective study of the prevalence and risk factors associated with suspected drug-facilitated sexual assault. Their inclusion criteria were based on features of the victims' presentation rather than toxicological analysis. The authors report that These victims were more likely than victims of other types of sexual assault to present to a large urban centre, to have consumed over-the-counter medications and street drugs in the 72 hours before the suspected assault, and to have consumed alcohol before the assault.
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In DFSA the victims are subjected to non-consensual sexual acts while they are incapacitated or unconscious through the effects of alcohol or drugs; they are therefore prevented from resisting or unable to consent 2. For a rapist, the ideal substance to facilitate a sexual assault is one that is readily available, is easy to administer, impairs consciousness and causes anterograde amnesia. Drugs that have been associated with sexual assaults include flunitrazepam, gamma hydroxybutyrate and ketamine 2 , 3. To preserve any evidence of such drugs, practitioners involved in the forensic assessment of complainants of sexual assault are encouraged to request blood and urine samples at the earliest opportunity 4 , 5. The development of dipsticks that test drinks for drugs is being explored. Important though these strategies are, few address or emphasize the evident fact that the most available and widely used date-rape drug is alcohol. Hindmarch and colleagues 6 have reported the results of urine samples from individuals who claimed to have been sexually assaulted and believed that drugs were involved.
Drug-facilitated sexual assault
Drug-facilitated sexual assault DFSA is a sexual assault rape or otherwise carried out on a person after the person has become incapacitated due to being under the influence of any mind-altering substances , such as having consumed alcohol or been intentionally administered another date rape drug. The rape form is also known as predator rape. Drugs, when used with alcohol, can result in a loss of consciousness and a loss of the ability to consent to sex.
In cases of drug-facilitated sexual assault, survivors often blame themselves. Remember—you are not to blame. Someone took advantage of you, and that is not your fault. Drug-facilitated sexual assault occurs when alcohol or drugs are used to compromise an individual's ability to consent to sexual activity.