Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alcohol Is Most Common 'Date Rape' Drug

Date:
October 22, 2007
Source:
University of Ulster
Summary:
Young women in Northern Ireland are leaving themselves vulnerable to rape or serious sexual assault because of their binge drinking, according to new research. The average alcohol levels at the time of alleged assaults studied were almost three times the drink/driving limit. The research undermines claims that the use of 'date-rape' drugs or 'spiking' of drinks is the major factor involved.

Young women in Northern Ireland are leaving themselves vulnerable to rape or serious sexual assault because of their binge drinking, according to research carried out by staff and students within the Forensic and Legal Medicine team at the University of Ulster.

Related Articles


Dr Janet Hall undertook a Masters research project with supervisors Dr Tara Moore and Professor Edward Goodall on drug facilitated sexual assault within Northern Ireland. They examined toxicology results compiled from victims of alleged sexual assaults over a six year period from 1999 to 2005. The findings demonstrated that the average alcohol levels at the time of the alleged assaults were almost three times the drink/driving limit.

The research undermines claims that the use of ‘date-rape’ drugs or ‘spiking’ of drinks is the major factor involved. The study failed to find any trace of specific date rape drugs such as GHB, Rohypnol or ketamine, although it did caution that delays in reporting alleged assaults or in taking samples could mean that such drugs could no longer be detected.

The study found that the number of cases where toxicology samples were taken rose from 30 in 1999 to 51 in 2005 and the percentage of samples which contained alcohol, drugs or both increased from 66% to 78% over the same period.

The number of cases where high or very high levels of alcohol were found in the alleged victims increased over the same period. Although the involvement of drugs, other than alcohol, in the samples doubled in the six year period, their contribution to the assaults remain unclear. Many of the drugs detected were either prescription drugs or recreational drugs. Some drugs which could have been used to spike drinks were detected, but they also may have been simply prescribed for use by the alleged victim.

Dr Janet Hall, who examined the Forensic Science Northern Ireland toxicology database, said: "This research confirms the findings of other studies in the UK, US and Australia – that alcohol is a major contributor to vulnerability to sexual assault in social situations and acquaintance rape."

Dr Hall added "Given the very high levels of alcohol consumption by some alleged victims, the findings also raise the question of what constitutes valid consent to sexual activity. The capacity to give informed consent at these levels of alcohol consumption is very questionable."

Dr Moore said "Further study is now required to give a more accurate picture of the involvement of alcohol and drugs in cases of alleged sexual assault."

This research once again has highlighted the need for a clear message to be given to all regarding the importance of responsible drinking.

Avoidance of mixing different alcoholic drinks in one sitting and avoidance of mixing alcohol with other substances such as prescription medications or recreational drugs, will help reduce the vulnerability, in social settings, to sexual assault or even rape, the authors say.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Ulster. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Ulster. "Alcohol Is Most Common 'Date Rape' Drug." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071020113144.htm>.
University of Ulster. (2007, October 22). Alcohol Is Most Common 'Date Rape' Drug. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071020113144.htm
University of Ulster. "Alcohol Is Most Common 'Date Rape' Drug." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071020113144.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 9 out of 10 excessive drinkers in the country are not alcohol dependent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins