The Rape-Drug Detector You Dip Into Your Drink

Illustration for article titled The Rape-Drug Detector You Dip Into Your Drink

Who wants a magic drink stirrer that will tell you whether a would-be rapist has spiked your drink in an attempt to remove your defenses? Kind of a genius idea, if the scientists can get it funded, though it obviously would have relatively limited scope.

An Israeli scientist who co-developed the device told the AFP, "You just dip it into your drink, it might actually look like a stirrer in the final production, it's tiny, very tiny." The stirrer has a clear formula that gets dirty when either ketamine or GHB are detected in the drink.

They're still tweaking with the notification process: "We haven't decided how it will let you know. Maybe it will just light up or a part of it will rotate or maybe it will send a signal to your cell phone because you want to be discreet about it." Ioffe added, "We have some very, very optimistic preliminary results. All we need is money."


The drugs in question, of course, are also known as "date rape drugs," though the phrase "date rape" just makes it sound like a kinder, friendlier kind of rape. (And anyway, would you really consider a random dude at a bar your "date?") And plenty of rapists have other ways of preying on women without drugs, including targeting very drunk or passed out women. And though this is a remote possibility, if the device became widely in use, would women who didn't use it be blamed for not exhausting all anti-rape possibilities? In any case, good to see science on the case.

Israeli Scientists Develop Date Rape Drug Detector [AFP]

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Why does the notification need to be subtle? Given the way these drugs are typically used, the woman in question probably isn't going to be in a situation where the guy attempting to drug her is going to be able to respond with immediate violence (while sitting at the bar, in the middle of a crowded party, etc). So why not have it note the presence of ketamine etc in a really obnoxiously obvious way that the woman can then use to shame her attempted assailant with?