A start-up that made headlines four years ago for developing a nail polish that would detect date drugs is finally releasing a test kit for sale starting this week.
According to CNBC, a new button-sized drug-testing kit can identify common date-rape drugs in drinks. The test is sold by Undercover Colors, a company that tried to bring a drug-testing nail polish to market four years ago. Four classmates at North Carolina State University came up with a way to give women a way to quickly and quietly test their drinks at bars and parties with nail polish that changed colors when dipped into drinks laced with date rape drugs. Once applied to your fingernail, all you have to do is swirl your finger in your drink.
The class of drugs the test looks for includes Xanax, Valium, and Rohypnol. These are all some of the most common date-rape drugs, or roofies, in use according to statistics. Here's what you need to know, though: most of these drugs are tasteless and odorless, making them nearly impossible to detect, and can make people drowsy or even cause them to black out.
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After four years in a lab, we are so excited to unveil the most effective test for detecting spiked beverages. With just one drop, we give you a portable, quick and accurate way to determine the presence of commonly used date rape drugs in more than 100 liquids. Tag 5 friends you want to share this with. #letsbeclear
"They can cause amnesia without necessarily making you pass out or fall asleep, but they can also sedate you to the point of, basically, incapacitated," Undercover Colors biochemist Nick Letourneau told reporters from a press pool during a demonstration of the nail polish. He added, "A lot of these are prescribed for things like anti-anxiety and insomnia, so that, combined with alcohol, makes a particularly dangerous combination."
According to CNBC, "It takes about a minute to process and looks like a quarter-sized medallion with a foil coating on one side that resembles a miniature pregnancy test when peeled back." To use the test, you either drop some of the drink on the test, or you can dunk the hole test into the drink. The readout will show 2 lines if it's safe to drink or one dark pink like if the drink has been spiked with one of the drugs.
The Undercover Colors come at an affordable price and they are convenient, too. The Undercover tests are small enough to carry in a purse or wallet and can be purchased online for $34.99 for a five-test starter kit or $49.99 for 10 tests.
Now for those that are thinking the timing of these kits couldn’t come at a better time, you’re right. With a lot of kids headed back to school and college campuses, the company is hoping to help promote a safer environment, both on and off school premises. That’s because many statistics show that college sexual assaults occur between August and December, and freshmen are attacked almost twice as much as other undergraduates.
The company says it hopes to make potential perpetrators afraid to spike a woman's drink because there's now a risk that they can get caught.