It’s hard to estimate the magnitude of the UK’s drink-spiking problem. The NHS states “hundreds of people are thought to be victims” every year, and are concerned because many more incidents happen abroad or go unreported due to embarrassment or memory loss.
But the terrifying consequences of this crime, punishable with up to 10 years in prison, aren’t in doubt. Symptoms range from lowered inhibitions to unconsciousness, which can lead to a victim being sexually assaulted.
Two years past, US startup Undercover Colors made waves with headlines implying it was developing a nail polish that would have the ability to detect so-called “date rape” drugs like Rohypnol and ketamine.
The nail polish apparently proved impossible to perfect, but the same startup has now released a detection device that seems nearly as convenient to use. It’s approximately the size of a coin, easily attached to a keyring, and works exactly like a pregnancy test. Check out Undercover Colors’ demonstration below.
After four years in a lab, we are so excited to unveil the most effective test for detecting spiked beverages. With just one drop, we give you a portable, quick and accurate way to determine the presence of commonly used date rape drugs in more than 100 liquids.
“After four years in a lab, we are so excited to unveil the most effective test for detecting spiked beverages,” the company writes on Facebook. “With just one drop, we give you a portable, quick and accurate way to determine the presence of commonly used date rape drugs in more than 100 liquids.”
Undercover Colors’ testing kit isn’t the only new product created to protect people from drink-spiking. A year ago, a group of high school girls in the US said they were working on a special straw which will test for GBH and ketamine, the most commonly used drugs used to intoxicate victims.
“We know it’s not a solution because it can’t end rape, but we were hoping to lower the amount of rape and dangerous situations you might be in through drugs.” co-inventor Carolina Baigorri said.