Drug-facilitated crime (DFC) is defined as the concealed or forced administration of psychoactive substances (PAS) to victim for criminal purposes (sexual assault, robbery…). In this situation, the victim is under influence of PAS consumed unwittingly while, in cases of chemical vulnerability, PAS (mainly alcohol) are voluntarily consumed by victims, putting them in a more vulnerable and therefore dangerous position.
to remind about the harmful effects of voluntarily alcohol and other PAS intake in chemical vulnerability studies.
we report the results of French surveys on DFC carried out between 2003 and 2013. Data were collected mainly from forensic toxicological laboratories and forensic emergency units.
we analyzed 646 cases files for victims of DFC. Users of non therapeutic PAS were more predominant (448 / 69%) and younger (mean age 23.7 years) than users of all kinds of PAS (198 / 31%, mean age 25.7 years). As most victims were female (88%), sexual assault was the predominant offence in 88% of cases, followed by robbery (10%). Alcohol and cannabis intake were noted in respectively 93.5% and 33% of the first group and 70% and 27% of the second one. Victims presented anterograde amnesia (60%) and vigilance disorders (17%), effects usually sought by assailants.
victims are often surprised to find that alcohol consumption, with or without cannabis, can have forensic consequences with serious traumatic stress. According to our study, it is important to increase awareness among the general public and to make this problem known to professionals concerned by DFC.