Drug facilitated sexual assault--a review

J Forensic Leg Med. 2008 Jul;15(5):291-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2007.12.005. Epub 2008 Apr 18.


This review was undertaken to identify the evolutionary process in the current understanding of allegations of drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA), so that those who work in this field may gain a better understanding of the complexities involved in such cases. Several definitions of DFSA are provided as well as a list of intoxicating substances which have so far been incriminated in this crime. Perception and alcohol use is addressed, whilst an examination of intoxication and victim outcomes reveals disturbing but important information which needs to be centrally placed within health education campaigns with a degree of urgency. The review identifies the effects of alcohol on sexual behaviour, drinking patterns and specific quantitative research indicating very high alcohol levels in some instances. In practical terms, suggestions are made following Operation Matisse, to address prevention, early detection and easier identification of DFSA cases so that victims' needs are prioritised and appropriately addressed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Crime Victims
  • Forensic Medicine
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs / adverse effects
  • Narcotics / administration & dosage
  • Narcotics / adverse effects
  • Sex Offenses*
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*


  • Illicit Drugs
  • Narcotics