Spiking of drinks with date-rape drugs "an urban myth"

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London, October 27 (ANI): Spiking of drinks with date-rape drugs may just be an urban legend, say scientists, who claim that women who booze themselves into a stupor generally use it as an excuse.

In a study of above 200 students from universities in London and southeast England, it was observed that most girls claimed date-rape drugs to be the reason for a "bad night out" when they had just drunk excessively.

The Kent University researchers suggested that a lot of young women also live in "active denial" of the fact that consumption of large amounts of alcohol can leave them "incoherent and incapacitated."

The researchers pointed out that even though more than half of the girls said they knew someone whose drink had been spiked, yet the police generally did not find that rape victims had been drugged with substances like Rohypnol and GHB.

"Young women appear to be displacing their anxieties about the consequences of consuming what is in the bottle on to rumours of what could be put there by someone else," the Telegraph quoted Dr Adam Burgess from the university's School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, as saying.

He added: "The reason why fear of drink-spiking has become widespread seems to be a mix of it being more convenient to guard against than the effects of alcohol itself and the fact that such stories are exotic - like a more adult version of 'stranger danger'."

Also, Nick Ross, chair of the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science, supported Burgess's view.

He said: "There is no evidence of widespread use of hypnotics in sexual assault, let alone Rohypnol, despite many attempts to prove the contrary.

"During thousands of blood and alcohol tests lots of judgement-impairing compounds were discovered, but they were mostly street drugs or prescription pharmaceuticals taken by the victims themselves, and above all alcohol was the common theme.

"As Dr Burgess observes, it is not scientific evidence which keeps the drug rape myth alive but the fact that it serves so many useful functions."

The study has been published in the British Journal of Criminology. (ANI)

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