Two Israeli Researchers Find the Solution to Date-Rape Drugs

DATA PUBLISHED BY THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE suggest that approximately 200,000 women were raped in the United States with the aid of date rape drugs in 2007 alone, but only 16% reported that they had been raped. Date rape drugs, also known as ‘club drugs,’ play a major part in the statistics of rapes in America, which indicate that around half a million women suffer from date rape every year.

The majority of victims are teens and young adults at trance parties, clubs and bars, and the most common drugs are GHB and Ketamine. Professor Fernando Patolsky and Doctor Michael Yoffe of Tel Aviv University’s school of chemistry say that they have developed a personal sensor that can detect in real-time the presence of the most common date rape drugs in beverages, with 100% accurate results.

The two developers created a system which is based on optical signal changes. The device sucks up a tiny drop of the suspect beverage and puts it in contact with a patented chemical formula. If a drug is present, it will react with the chemical formula, causing it to change from a clear state to a dirtier one. When a ray of light comes into contact with a beverage spiked with a date rape drug, a signal change occurs and the system will alert the user. “We haven’t decided how it will let you know,” says Dr. Michael Yoffe, “maybe it will just light up or a part of it will rotate or maybe it will send a signal to your cell phone because you want to be discreet about it.”

Professor Fernando Patolsky

Yoffe says that the chemical formula is non-poisonous and will therefore not require government approval prior to production. He also believes that the system will be cheap to produce.
Once released to the public, the device will be no larger than the head of a pin, thus allowing club-goers to check their drinks without others noticing.

Yoffe and Patolsky expect the first batch of sensors to be commercially available within a year and a half.

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