Every year, an estimated 1 million people are date raped, and many of them are victims of date-rape drugs, potent mixtures that disrupt the central nervous system. These drugs, often slipped into alcoholic beverages, can cause drowsiness, amnesia, and blackouts, and they’re incredibly difficult to detect. But one startup wants to change that.
The company, DrinkSavvy, is creating drinkware that changes colour when date-rape drugs are present, going from clear to red. Mike Abramson, DrinkSavvy’s founder, was inspired to create the cups after he himself was drugged. “I was thinking that I needed to develop something that was discreet, effortless, and continuous,” he says. The startup also wants to create straws and other kinds of drinking apparatuses that can help with detection.
While Abramson’s initiative is certainly admirable, you probably won’t see these cups in your local pub anytime soon. So far, DrinkSavvy has reached just $19,000 of its $50,000 goal on fundraising site Indiegogo.com. And other questions about the product remain: Just how discreet will this colour-changing be? Will the cups be able to detect the many different kinds of drugs?
“I worry that creepy kitchen chemists will evolve to create new drugs that can’t be detected by this technology,” says Laura Beck at Jezebel. “Here’s hoping ‘She didn’t use a colour-changing straw’ doesn’t become the new ‘Did you see how she was dressed?’ argument.”