It is an unfortunate aspect of our society that predators find ways of incapacitating victims with things like date-rape drugs added to drinks. But there is an enterprising group of students who have created a quick way to test for drugs in drinks - nail polish! This from PSFK newsletter:
Undercover Colors allows women to find out if their drinks have been tampered with by just dipping their finger in it.
It is an unfortunate problem in our society that there is a practice of slipping drugs into someone’s drink in order to lead them away and sexually assault them while they cannot consent. They can be employed in any situation, whether at a bar, a party, or even in a person’s own home. Now, women can test their drinks before taking a potentially drugged sip just by dipping their manicured finger in it.
A group of students North Carolina State University, Ankesh Madan, Tyler Confrey-Maloney, Stephen Grey and Tasso Von Windheim, have created a drug-sensitive nail polish called Undercover Colors. The product changes color when it comes in contact with some of the more popular date-rape drugs. GHB, Rohypnol or Xanax will cause the chemical change indicating there is something extra is in the drink, though it may not be sensitive to other drugs or chemicals. They have been looking for potential investors, but have over $100,000 from both an interested investor and money they won from a competition.
There are other date-rape drug identifying supplies, including drug-sensitive coasters, (DrinkSafe Date Rape Coaster ) and cups and straws that change colors and other types of testing kits such as the Date Rape Drug Detection. The coasters are available for purchase at $5 USD each while the cups and straws should be available within the next year.
The ultimate question is why this nail polish needs to exist? The answer may seem obvious — because women are constantly worried about having drugs slipped into their drinks which can lead to being led away, raped and possibly even murdered. What this nail polish, and other drug testing paraphernalia, does is put the responsibly on the potential victim to find drugs rather than trying to stop the aggressor from placing drugs in drinks. Critics say that not only is it putting the burden on women but it is detracting from the real issue of sexual violence and assault.