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Scientists Now Have A Better Way Of Detecting A Common ‘date Rape’ Drug - Health - Nairaland

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Scientists Now Have A Better Way Of Detecting A Common ‘date Rape’ Drug by RxH8: 12:46pm On Aug 17, 2017
Scientists have improved the detection of Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (a popular date rape drug), according to a new study. Despite scientific advances, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) had been undetectable in the body within 2 hours of use, which partly explained its widespread use by sexual predators. Now, a new method recently published by scientist makes it possible to detect GHB up to 20 hours after ingestion. If established, this may improve conviction rates of persons who use date rape drugs on unsuspecting individuals.

The study was published August, 2017 in the journal of Analytical Chemistry.

According to the researchers, glycolate, a metabolite of GHB, might be a good biomarker for the drug. This metabolite can be found in the urine up to 20 hours after the drug was taken which could form a basis for tests that could be performed much later than current ones.

Currently, convicting perpetrators of date rape cases has been challenging because the drugs commonly used is rapidly excreted from the body. Because these drugs affect the victims’ behaviour and cause memory loss, prosecutors are often unable to establish that the drugs were used and are left with trying to locate witnesses whose testimonies may not be reliable.

Unfortunately, many of these date rape drugs are available on prescription. In some countries, the drugs are sold on the streets, at party venues and unlicensed stores.


Re: Scientists Now Have A Better Way Of Detecting A Common ‘date Rape’ Drug by RxH8: 12:47pm On Aug 17, 2017
More information on “date rape” drugs

Date rape drugs are actually prescription drugs used to spike a person’s drinks or beverages with the intent of assaulting them sexually. Spiking drinks involve adding drugs and other substances to beverages without a person’s knowledge. It is relatively common among young people during parties and other social events.

Mischa Barton, a popular actress that as Marissa Cooper in the drama The O.C., was hospitalized in 2017 after her friends drugged her with GHB during her birthday.

In a statement to People she said:

On the evening of the 25th, I went out with a group of friends to celebrate my birthday. While having drinks, I realized that something was not right as my behavior was becoming erratic and continued to intensify over the next several hours.

I voluntarily went to get professional help, and I was informed by their staff that I had been given GHB. After an overnight stay, I am home and doing well. I would like to extend a big thanks of gratitude to the professionals at Cedars-Sinai for their great care and professionalism. This is a lesson to all young women out there, be aware of your surroundings.

Do you know that hundreds of persons become victims of date rape in the United kingdom every year?

In developing countries, many cases of rape are undocumented and health care workers may need to devise more ways of eliciting rape information from victims so as to effectively manage their health problems.

Why do people spike drinks? Commonly, this is considered fun (as a prank) during parties to get someone to behave or act irrationally. However, it may also be used to steal or assault others sexually. In many countries, it is a crime to spike other people’s drinks irrespective of the intent. In the UK, convicted persons may spend up to 10 years in prison.

GHB is one of the popular drugs used to spike drinks with the intent of assaulting an individual. That is why it is popularly considered a ‘date rape’ drug. GHB is abused by teens and young adults at bars, parties, clubs and “raves” (all night dance parties), and is often placed in alcoholic beverages.

Why is it very popular among young people?

It is known to cause euphoria and increase sex drive, two things that make such parties attractive.

The other common drugs are Valium, Rohypnol and Ketamine.
Re: Scientists Now Have A Better Way Of Detecting A Common ‘date Rape’ Drug by RxH8: 12:48pm On Aug 17, 2017
How can you tell if a drink has been spiked?

Do not expect to see changes in the taste, smell or colour of drinks that have been spiked. Most people, are unable to tell if someone has added a drug to their beverage until they have had a drink. Nevertheless, these are some of the common things to look for:

Disinhibition-The person is no longer self-conscious and has a strong urge to do whatever comes to mind
Difficulty in concentration or speaking
Difficulty maintaining balance
Nausea and vomiting
These may progress to loss of consciousness, disorientation or confusion on waking up
Most of these symptoms mimic features of excessive alcohol use but occur 15 to 30 minutes after ingesting the drug.

Although, most drugs are added to drinks, it is important to note that some persons add hard drugs or substances to food items too. In Nigeria, there have been anecdotal reports of individuals behaving irrationally after eating cakes during parties. Some persons regularly add cannabis or other drugs to meals such as noodles and beans too, so you may need ask before eating.
Re: Scientists Now Have A Better Way Of Detecting A Common ‘date Rape’ Drug by RxH8: 12:49pm On Aug 17, 2017
What can you do to prevent your drinks from being spiked?

Consider these suggestions from experts:

Never leave your drink unattended and keep an eye on your friends’ drinks.

Don’t accept a drink from someone you don’t know.

Consider sticking to bottled drinks and avoiding jugs of cocktails.

Don’t give out your address to someone you’ve just met.

If you think your drink has been tampered with, don’t drink it – tell a trusted friend or relative immediately.

Before going out, let someone know where you’re going and what time you expect to be home.

Make plans for your journey home.

Avoid taking expensive equipment with you or anything that could be a target for thieves.

If you are travelling abroad, be aware of the local area and where you can find help.


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