Quebec emergency rooms now equipped with kits to detect date-rape drug

By The Canadian Press

All emergency rooms in Quebec’s healthcare network are now equipped with kits to detect traces of psychoactive substance intoxication in urine, including gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), commonly known as the date-rape drug.

Quebec authorities claim that these kits will make it easier for victims of unknowing intoxication to report sex offenders to the police and provide them with better support.

Anyone who believes they have been intoxicated can now go to any emergency triage unit in any region of Quebec and request a legal urine kit. The intoxication must have occurred within the previous 48 hours, as after this time it becomes more difficult to detect substances.

The test detects over 200 intoxicants, including GHB, but the detection window varies from one substance to another. For example, GHB remains detectable within 10 to 12 hours of intoxication.

In addition to the kits, each victim will be taken care of to facilitate the reporting process. They will first be informed of the possibility of lodging a complaint with the police, if the test proves positive, and of the resources available to help them.

The emergency department will collect the urine sample and, with the person’s consent, contact the local police department. The kits will then be analyzed by the Laboratoire des sciences judiciaires et de médecine légale (LSJML).

The police department concerned will then communicate the results to the victim to discuss further investigation, if necessary.

This process is voluntary, and the victim may decide not to pursue it at any time.

Quebec’s Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, says he wants to ensure that people who may have unknowingly fallen victim to intoxication have rapid access to the kits needed to detect it, especially as the holiday season approaches and social gatherings become more popular.

The government reminds us that the Info-aide violence sexuelle organization offers assistance to victims of sexual assault and those around them at all times, throughout Quebec.

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