Could Cups and Straws Prevent Date Rape?

drinksavvyEach year it is estimated that across the nation, 1 out of every 6 women has been the victim of attempted or complete rape in her lifetime. Millions of those completed or attempted assaults  are facilitated by drink spiking — and 80 percent of the victims are women.

The company DrinkSavvy is trying to change these statistics. By developing cups, glasses and straws that change color at the detection of invisible drugs, it hopes to make bars and clubs a safe space for all.

Garnering support and funding from grants and a public fundraising platform, company founder Mike Abramson from Boston worked with Worcester Polytechnic Institute chemistry professor John MacDonald. Together they created a practical test for GHB, ketamine and rohypnol—the most common drugs used in drink spiking.

One can already check for drugs with litmus tests, but those are cumbersome and beverages must be repeatedly tested. Abramson’s products aim to make testing for drugs easy and effective.

Abramson has already received interest from bars and clubs worldwide, and hopes to encourage “bars, clubs, and colleges to make DrinkSavvy the new safety standard.” The technology can even be used by drink companies to make their standard serving bottles and cans drink-savvy as well.

Although public distribution isn’t expected until 2014, venue owners and drink brands are invited to join a mailing list to receive the latest release and pricing information. Shipping to fundraising contributors is set to happen next month.

Photo of DrinkSavvy plastic cup from Twitter user mirkohumbert