Can drugs stop paedophiles from committing crime?

London, May 9 (IANS) With a view to reducing the risk of child sexual abuse, Swedish researchers are planning to examine the effectiveness of a drug to prevent paedophiles from committing crime.

In a unique trial, The Karolinska Institute in Stockholm is using a testosterone-suppressing drug as a preventative measure on patients seeking help for paedophile fantasies, The Independent reported.

Patients at the Karolinska Institute who have had paedophilic fantasies but have not acted on them are being given a drug normally used to treat advanced prostate cancer to see if it reduces the risk of them sexually abusing a child.

Christoffer Rahm is the initiator and the principal investigator of this treatment study.

“This project aims to reduce the number of child sexual abuse cases. In order to achieve this we are exploring one of the few feasible strategies, to establish a preventive, effective and risk reducing treatment for men with paedophilic disorder that is also tolerable for the patient,” the researchers wrote on the British science crowdfunding platform Walacea for raising a portion of the research fund.

“In addition to providing better treatment options to patients with paedophilic disorder we aim to introduce a reliable objective risk assessment tool. We want to shift focus from what happens when the damage is already done, and instead focusing on the earlier phase, to intervene before the child sexual abuse happens in the first place,” they added.

This crowdfunding campaign that closes on July 7, 2016 plans to raise funds for the first part of this project, the clinical trial to test the effectiveness of the drug degarelix.

In this trial of 60 patients, 30 receive an injection of the drug Degarelix and the other 30 are given a placebo.

Trial volunteers will be studied for the next two to three years, the report added.

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