International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 123, Issue 3, pp 213–219 | Cite as

Chemical submission: results of 4-year French inquiry

  • S. Djezzar
  • F. Questel
  • E. Burin
  • S. Dally
  • the French Network of Centers for Evaluation and Information on Pharmacodependence
Original Article


Psychoactive substances may be administered without the knowledge of a victim in order to induce incapacitation and thus facilitate criminal actions. The characteristics of the victims and the drugs used in such suspected chemical submissions (CS) were analyzed in 309 cases collected from October 2003 to December 2007 through a national survey. Out of 309 cases, 158 met all criteria of CS. The victims were mostly female (n = 89, 56%). The type of aggression was mostly sexual assault (in 79 cases 50%). Benzodiazepines and related drugs were detected in 129 victims (82%) and were mostly clonazepam, zolpidem, and bromazepam whereas flunitrazepam and gamma hydroxybutyrate, well known for their use in CS, were identified in 11 (7%) and five (3%) of the 158 victims. CS is not an anecdotal phenomenon in France. Information for health professionals and workers in forensic structures as well as education of the general population associated with preventive measures such as drug dosage form changes should contribute to improved care management of victims and decreased risk.


Chemical submission Rape drugs Drugs criminal use Benzodiazepines 



This study was supported by the Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Produits de Santé and by the Mission Interministérielle de Lutte contre la Drogue et la Toxicomanie.

Network of Centres d'évaluation et d'information sur la pharmacodépendance, centres anti-poisons, centres régionaux de pharmacovigilance: J. Arditti (Marseille)—C.E. Barjhoux (Grenoble)—A. Boucher (Lyon)—J.H. Bourdon (Marseille)—A. Buisine (Paris)—M. Debrus (Paris)—D. Debruyne (Caen)—D. Fompeydie (Paris)—M. Galliot-Guilley (Paris)—R. Garnier (Paris)—V. Gibaja (Nancy)—M. Gony (Toulouse)—H Gourlain (Paris)—F. Haramburu (Bordeaux)—P. Harry (Angers)—P. Jolliet (Nantes)—M. Lapeyre-Mestre (Toulouse)—R. Leboisselier (Caen)—M. Mallaret (Grenoble)—H. Peyriere (Montpellier)—V. Pinzani (Montpellier)—A. Roussin (Toulouse)—I. Sec (Paris)—C. Vigneau (Nantes).

Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Produits de Santé (AFSSAPS): M.A. Courné, N. Richard.

In addition to the named authors, the following persons also participated in the study:

J.C. Alvarez; CHU Raymond Poincaré—E. Baccino; Hôpital Lapeyronie—N. Bourokba; CHU Raymond Poincaré—P. Chariot; GHU Nord Jean Verdier—F. Chastang; Hôpital Côte de Nacre—P. Dalmon; CH de Chambery—J.M. Devaux; Laboratoire Toxlab—H. Eysseric; CHU de Grenoble—L. Fournier; CHU Hôtel Dieu—Y. Gaillard; Laboratoire d’Analyse et de Toxicologie—C. Ganière-Monteil; CHU Hôtel-Dieu - J.M. Gaulier; CHU de Limoges—M.F. Kergueris; CHU Hôtel-Dieu—M. Lavit; Hôpital Purpan—C. Le Meur; Laboratoire Lumière—J.C. Mathieu-Daude; Hôpital Lapeyronie—P. Murat; CHU de Poitiers—G. Pépin; Laboratoire Toxlab—P. Plaisance; GH Lariboisière-Fernand Widal—D. Resiere; GH Lariboisière-Fernand Widal—C. Rey-Salmon; Unité médico-judiciaire Pédiatrique, CHU Trousseau—D. Richard; CHU de Clermont—Ferrand - C. Sayag; Hôpital Purpan—V. Scolan; CHU de Grenoble—N. Vinneman; Hôpital Purpan—P. Werson; CH Sud-Francilien.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Djezzar
    • 1
  • F. Questel
    • 2
  • E. Burin
    • 1
  • S. Dally
    • 1
  • the French Network of Centers for Evaluation and Information on Pharmacodependence
  1. 1.Pharmacodependence CenterHôpital Fernand Widal, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de ParisParisFrance
  2. 2.Forensic EmergenciesHôpital Hôtel Dieu, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de ParisParisFrance

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