Tag Archives: Gail Weinreb

Detecting date rape drugs before you drink

A July 3, 2013 article by Gail Weinreb for Globes.co features an Israeli company’s (Drink Science) nanotechnology-enabled date rape sensor,

Date rape drugs are anesthetics used by the pharmaceutical industry. Users of the drug obtain them illegally, but do not develop them at home, so there is little variability between the different versions, and they can be detected by a single test. However, a test for detecting date rape drugs does not solve the problem of the rape of a victim who has ingested the drug or other drugs such as Ecstasy (or rape that does involve the use of drugs at all), but only the specific use of anesthetics.

The chemical part of the test uses a solvent, which when it comes in contract with a date rape drug, precipitates making the beverage turbid. The product is designed like a drinks mix or cosmetics (such as eyeliner). A woman drops the product into the glass and waits for a reaction. In cases of a dark nightclub, for example, where it is impossible to see whether the drink has become turbid or remained clear, the test includes another trick – it has an LED light. The light diminishes in turbidity. “We found 100% accuracy in the drinks we tested,” Avidor [CEO Dr. Yoav Avidor] said. “The product works on many kinds of drinks.”

According to Weinrreb’s article, Avidor expects the product to be on the market in nine months.

Unfortunately, there’s not much information about the company or the product on its website although you can find news coverage dating from August 2011 about the product. The company does offer this description of itself and the product on its Facebook page,

Drink Sciences is a start-up that’s developing a straw/stirrer that detects date rape drugs in drinks. We are focused on helping prevent Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault, a crime with growing incidence rates in the US and globally.

I wish them good luck with launching their product into the marketplace when, presumably, they’ll have a name for it.