Addictions: what is it, what are their types, their effects and what to do about them?

Chemical subjugation is a method of violence that has become popular in recent years in several countries, and that is why it is important to know what this type of substance consists of.

Submission drugs are substances used for different criminal purposes such as theft, sexual abuse and/or rape. These substances can completely or partially nullify the will of the victims and it is also common that they do not remember anything that happened or, if they have memories, they are generally incomplete.

In this article let’s see what submission drugs are all about and we will also provide some tips on how to act if you suspect someone might be using these substances with us or someone close to you.

    What are submission drugs?

    The use of submissive drugs is a criminal practice that has spread throughout the world in recent years, being used for various purposes, among which it is worth noting theft, sexual abuse and/or rape. The National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences of Spain revealed some data in this regard, among which it should be noted that it is estimated that 1 in 3 sexual assaults could have occurred while the victim was under the influence of drugs of submission.

    Submission drugs are substances that cause various effects on the victims such as a state of unconsciousness or semi-unconsciousness that can lead to confusion and which also makes it difficult to recognize what happened under the effect of this type of substance, when the victims experience partial or total amnesia of the events.

    Experts say chemical submission is primarily used to sexually assault victims; however, there have also been cases where this method has been used to rob elderly people from their homes, in order to modify the behavior of people with sleeping difficulties or to obtain money or goods when the victim is under the influence of these drugs.

    Depending on how the taking of the submitted drugs occurred, according to the scientific literature, there is 3 types of chemical submission.

    1. Premeditated or Proactive Submission of Chemicals

    In this case, we would be talking about the circumstances in which the perpetrator deliberately and covertly supplies the victim with one or more incapacitating substances or disinhibitors (submission drugs) for the purpose of sexually subduing and/or stealing from her.

      2. Opportunistic Chemical Submission

      In this other case, it would be cases where the aggressor takes advantage of a victim intoxicated by one or more substances or alcohol that he has previously ingested voluntarily; in other words, here the aggressor would have taken advantage of people under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

      3. Submission of mixed chemicals

      Finally, in these circumstances, the victim voluntarily consumed alcohol and/or other types of substances and, at the same time, the attacker would have secretly administered an incapacitating substance in greater quantity for the purpose of taking advantage of the victim.

        What are the most used submission drugs?

        In the category of drugs or substances that are generally used for the submission of chemicals, we can find a wide variety. Next, we will see which are the most used submission drugs and we will also explain their main effects.

        1. Alcohol

        To begin with, alcohol could be considered the most used substance in chemical submission because it is the most socially accepted and also the victims could consume it beforehand voluntarily, so that the aggressors can to profit from. the situation and attack when the victim is in the worst condition. This is an example of opportunistic chemical submission.

          2. Benzodiazepines

          These substances (for example, flunitrazepam, lorazepam, zopiclone, zolpidem, etc.) are hypnotic, neurological, anesthetic or sedative drugs which must be consumed exclusively on prescription and under medical prescription for various health reasons; however, today many abusers use these substances to dilute them in the drinks of the victims while they party so that they can ingest them unintentionally. When ingested with the drink, you may experience drowsinessso that the victim remains in a state of total or partial unconsciousness.

            3. Liquid ecstasy

            Ecstasy would be one of the main substances used for chemical submission, since it would be a colorless, colorless and tasteless drug, therefore imperceptible to those who ingest this substance. Another reason why this substance is quite often used for criminal purposes is that a few hours after being ingested, it is already undetectable in the bodyso it usually leaves no trace.

            There are those who ingest ecstasy of their own volition due to its effects of possible “increased sociability”, however, it can also cause drowsiness, confusion, obnoxiousness and headaches, so it is very dangerous because when a person who consumes this substance becomes more vulnerable to possible aggressors. However, its consumption is not recommended even if it is for recreational purposes.

            4. Burundi

            Popularly known as burundanga, it is also called scopolamine y It is one of the most widely used submission drugs to produce hallucinogenic effects in victims in addition to sleep, which can facilitate submission. On the other hand, this substance can also cause hypertension and, if ingested in large doses, can cause cardiac and/or respiratory deficiencies, so it is considered an extremely dangerous substance.

              5. Ketamine

              Among the most used drugs of submission, it is also worth mentioning ketamine, a dissociative anesthetic usually used for anesthesia in the field of medicine and veterinary medicine; however, due to its effects, it has unfortunately started to be used for chemical submission purposes.

              This substance usually comes in the form of a translucent liquid, although it can also be found in various forms: as a white powder (white crystals) or in capsules or tablets. That is why this substance can be administered in different ways: intramuscular, rectal, nasal, oral or pulmonary injections when smoked when it comes in the form of a white powder.

              In the middle of 2022 there were more cases in which the victims had been injected into the thigh or other parts of the body when they were at a party and some experts say that one of the substances which are most often injected in this type of case is ketamine. It is important that when someone detects that they have suffered a puncture or suspects it, they immediately seek help and, if possible, go to someone they trust and call the authorities or the security forces as soon as possible.

                6. Butyrolactoma

                Butyrolactone, also known as GBL (gamma-butyrolactone), is a precursor to GHB which is usually diluted in water or any type of carbonated drink as it should not be mixed with alcoholic beverages. This central nervous system depressant is usually taken orally and could knock out a person in minutes, curing the effects in 1-3 hours. The method of using this substance is usually through a few drops that are thrown into the drink of the victims, so one must be very careful and not lose sight of our drink at any time.

                The short-term symptoms of this substance are usually: headaches or headaches, tremors, urinary incontinence or difficulty breathing; while the long-term effects include: euphoria, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, confusion, memory loss, unconsciousness, decreased heart and breathing rate, drop in body temperature, convulsions and there is also the risk of the victim going into a state of coma or the bequeath causing death.

                The warning signs of an assault with drugs of submission

                The Most Common Symptoms When Someone is High on Submission Drugs These are the ones we will list below:

                • Anterograde amnesia: inability to remember new events while someone is under the effects.
                • Sedation: thus the capacity for attention, vigilance and response to the aggressiveness of the aggressor is reduced.
                • Hallucinogenic effects, as well as spatial and temporal disorientation of the victim.
                • Disinhibition: thus the victim could end up accepting acts that she would not have accepted under normal conditions.

                On the other hand, you sleep the main warning signs that you could have been a victim of submission drugs, so it is important that you take this into account and act immediately by asking for help:

                • You have difficulty moving or you move less easily than usual.
                • Your head is starting to hurt.
                • You feel nauseous or want to vomit.
                • You are very sleepy.
                • You have blurred vision.
                • You see and hear strange things.

                In addition to the signals mentioned above, you need to add the signs that could alert you that you have been sexually abused due to chemical submission:

                • You are in a state of disorientation.
                • You could not remember what happened in the last hours or even in the last moments.
                • You have badly put on clothes or you even notice that you are missing an item.
                • You find yourself in an unfamiliar place and you can’t remember how you got there.
                • You meet strangers.
                • When you meet someone you know or your friends tell you that you were acting strange the last time they saw you.

                This last signal is important to keep in mind and, in the event that someone behaves strangely, their friends will be on the lookout and will not lose sight of that person at any time and under any circumstances until she is safe in her home.

                How to act if you have been a victim or have suspicions?

                If a person feels that he has suffered a puncture or a puncture in an area of ​​his body or even that his drink has a different color and he also feels indisposed to tell people in his closest environment, you should immediately seek the help of any witnesses or people in the vicinity who could offer help and get her out of the danger zone.

                As soon as possible you should contact the emergency service, which in the European Union and even in some Latin American countries is the telephone number 112, in order to inform them of what has happened and so you can receive medical assistance and protection on the part of the Security Forces and Bodies as soon as possible, as well as so that they can search for the aggressor. During the assistance, the victim of a chemical submission must be accompanied and safe in order to avoid any type of aggression.

                It is important to get to a health center quickly so that the professionals carry out the relevant evaluation and analyzes to detect the possible submission of drugs in the body which could confirm the clues of crime.

                In the case of the victim’s close environment, they must not be separated from her at any time so that she is safe and it is also important that they accompany her to the health center. They may also be the ones who notify the victim’s relatives so that they can help him as soon as possible.

                  Prevention tips against possible aggression with chemical submission drugs

                  In addition to the steps to take as a means of action against submission drugs, it is important to keep in mind some useful tips to prevent possible attacks with this type of substance:

                  • Drugs should not be taken because, in addition to their harmful effects, they make us more vulnerable to the aggressor.
                  • Do not abuse alcoholic beverages.
                  • Monitor at all times what we drink and eat so as not to receive drugs of submission.
                  • Pay your full attention when we serve food or drink.
                  • Do not at any time abandon our food or drink, or leave them under the supervision of strangers.
                  • Beware when offered food or drink that we did not order.

                  Bibliographic references

                  • Bechtel, LK & Holstege, CP (2007). Criminal poisoning: drug-facilitated sexual assault. Emerg Med Clin North Am., 25(2): p. 499 – 525.
                  • Navarra hospital complex (2017). Possible submission of chemicals in case of emergency. Pamplona: Hospital Complex of Navarre.
                  • Cruz-Landeira, A., Quintela-Jorge, Ó. & Lopez-Rivadulla, M. (2008). Chemical submission: epidemiology and keys to its diagnosis. Med Clin., 131(20): p. 783 – 789.
                  • García-Repetto, R. & Soria, ML (2011). Chemical submission: challenge for the forensic toxicologist. Rev Esp Med Legal, 37(3): p. 105 – 112.
                  • Lopez, E. (2018). Submitting Chemicals: An Informative Guide for Teens and Young People. Cuad Med Forense, 24(1-2), p. 23-26.
                  • Lopez, M. et al. (2005). Chemical submission: Context, current situation and prospects. Action protocols for multicenter studies. Journal of Toxicology, 22(1): p. 119-126.
                  • Ministry of Justice (2012). Instructions for action in the event of a sexual assault
                  • with suspicion of drunkenness. Madrid: Ministry of Justice.
                  • Observatory of Problematic Addictions and Consumption (sf). Chemical submission: Approach for a public policy of prevention. Buenos Aires: Defense.

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