Innovation

This College Is Offering Coasters That Can Detect Date-Rape Drugs

The coasters test for gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and ketamine, which are two of the most common date-rape drugs.

Youtube/UNM

The University of New Mexico is offering free date-rape-drug-detecting coasters in the hope of preventing student sexual assault.
 
The coasters test for gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and ketamine, which are two of the most common date-rape drugs. To test them, users can take a drop of their drink and rub it into the two circles located on the coasters. If either circle turns blue, it means that the drink has been tampered with.
 
Students can get the coasters for free. According to the office’s senior research scientist Randall Sterling, student fees pay for the coasters, which are also shared with campus groups like Greek organizations.
 
The coasters were developed by DrinkSafe Technologies and are only $0.85 each to buy. They also disclaim on the back of the coaster that a blue circle doesn’t always guarantee that either date-rape drug is specifically present, but that "there is something detected that should not be present."

Though action against college sexual assault has increased over the years, it is still a problem plaguing campuses across the country. In a campus climate survey pertaining to nine public, private and community colleges and universities, the DOJ said that as many as 51% of women claimed they had been sexually assaulted by their senior year. 

However, most of these incidents weren’t formally reported to authorities, and were instead informally reported to friends of family — due in part to the fact that so few perpetrators of sexual assault are punished
 
College-aged women (18-24) are up to four times more likely to be sexually assaulted. And it’s not just women who are at risk — male college-aged students are 78% more likely than non-students of the same age to be victims of rape or sexual assault. 

Those who need help or more info regarding an assault can call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline (800-656-4673) or visit their website.