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Want to stay safe during freshers? Don't forget your straw

18th September 2012 12:33:48

Straws that can detect date-rape drugs in drinks are on their way to the commercial market.

Israeli scientists have developed a reusable 'Anti-Date Rape Straw', which can detect ketamine and gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, the two most widely-used date rape drugs.

American business DrinkSavvy is also developing a series of products that can detect common date rape drugs and ecstasy.

The so called ‘straw’, developed by Israeli scientist Michael Ioffe and Israeli professor Fernando Patolsky, is actually non-functional and instead requires the user to mix a sample of their drink with a chemical within the straw. The reaction within the straw will determine what, and if any, drugs are present. The straw cannot be used an infinite number of times but instead only until it detects any drugs in the drink. The straw will then change colour, depending on the drug, and then cannot be re-used.

However, products that are currently being created by DrinkSavvy do not require the user to test their drink but rather how the products, such as cups, straws, stirrers, bottles and cans, will react upon coming into contact with any drugs.

The founder, Mike Abramson, expalined: “DrinkSavvy products do not require the end user to test and re-test their drink throughout the night, because the same plastic cup, glass, or stirrer that the user is drinking with is also the indictator itself. This provides continuous monitoring of the beverage because the indicators on our products are constantly in contact with the beverage.”

While it is comforting to read reports of these products being put into development, people should not become complacent. Precautions must still be taken against the risk of drugs being placed in drinks. These products must act as an extra preventative measure, instead of replacing all others.

DrinkSavvy’s products and the straw are expected to become commercially available next year. Further information on DrinkSavvy can be found on their webpage and their Facebook page.

Hopefully these products will reduce the far too frequent occurrences of people being drugged on a night out and will help to keep people safe.

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