DrinkSavvy's Amazing New Anti-Date-Rape Cup Detects Roofies

Crowdfunded startup DrinkSavvy has developed a line of date-rape drug detecting products which will be available in September to early backers, rape crisis centers, and to the general public within the first half of 2014. The advent of these products, which include plastic cups, straws, and glassware, is nothing short of a boon to potential victims of sexual assault.

Mike Abramson, the founder of DrinkSavvy, decided to tackle the problem of drug-facilitated date-rape after a first-hand experience as a victim of this type of assault. Indeed, sexual assault is a very widespread and difficult issue to address, often occurring in situations where trust is necessarily given and judgment ignored. With a sexual assault occurring every two minutes in the U.S., and one in six women falling victim to rape or attempted rape within their lifetimes, a product designed to preemptively identify and shut down sexual assault seems to be a sorely needed component of a larger effort to address the problem.

DrinkSavvy’s cups and straws are not the only products aimed at thwarting date-rape coming to market; several years ago 2LoveMyLips, a lip gloss product which includes inconspicuous drug testing strips, was developed, and in 2011 an anti-date rape straw was developed by a team of Israeli professors. The critical difference between these products and DrinkSavvy's, and the reason why DrinkSavvy should not be overlooked, is in the ease of use. Both the lip gloss and the anti-date rape straw require active testing by the user to determine the presence of date-rape drugs, while DrinkSavvy's products will alert users to the presence of these drugs on their own. Furthermore, Drinksavvy’s products detect the three most common date rape drugs, rohypnol (roofies), GHB, and ketamine, while the other products only detect two. Both the lip gloss and anti-date rape straw must be brought along with the user to be useful, and the straw is not really a straw.

DrinkSavvy’s cups and straws are actually functional as date-rape-drug detectors, and if they become a ubiquitous presence in social establishments and at social gatherings, the opportunity for drug-facilitated date-rape will dramatically decrease. Finally, in terms of commercial production and availability, DrinkSavvy is the only company actually in the process of rolling out its products to consumers.

Given their ease of use and the positive impact they could have on such a widespread problem, it seems only natural that DrinkSavvy’s products should be adopted as standard equipment in bars, clubs, and any social establishment with a significant chance of enabling sexual assault. Yes, there could be instances of ineffective counterfeit products, or switcheroos behind the scenes, but the benefit is still obvious: overall, less people will fall victim to sexual assault. Investing in an inexpensive way to protect your clientele, guests, friends, relatives, and in general, anyone looking to enjoy themselves without being taken advantage of is a wise investment in my opinion, and DrinkSavvy was smart to find this niche.

In fact, if DrinkSavvy’s date-rape drug detecting cups and straws find success, why stop there? A whole line of products designed at detecting various substances could be useful for much more than protecting those who are vulnerable to sexual assault. The idea could even work for example to protect consumers with severe food allergies, alert consumers to the presence of pesticides, or really, detect any undesirable substance in their food and drink. Products like these becoming the mainstream are probably a ways off; however, if they come to fruition, they could lead to entirely new ways of engaging with our food.

In the meantime, let's simply look forward to the release of DrinkSavvy's ingenious anti-date rape cup and towards their future developments.