This book, published in 2016, analyzes common perceptions and misperceptions about drink spiking — a pervasive fear and sometimes a troubling reality. Ideas about spiked drinks have shaped the way we think about drugs, alcohol, criminal law, risk, nightspots, and socializing for more than 150 years. This book examines the shifting cultural and gender politics of psycho-chemical treachery. It chronicles the rise of knockout drops and chloroform and the influence of Temperance and Prohibition on early drug scares. It also explores the role that 20th century techno-utopianism played in both the love and fear of brain-altering chemicals. In detailing the peculiar rise of “date rape drugs” it also questions whether we are truly ready to understand the dynamics of sexual violence despite decades of activism on the matter.
The book also provides rich case histories dating back to the early 1900s, assesses evolving scientific knowledge, and explains why the-often repeated term “alcohol is the number-one date rape drug” might obscure more than it reveals. The book takes a multi-disciplinary approach, and draws on research from the fields of criminal law, forensic science, public health, cultural history, and social problems analysis.