This New Device Lets You Check If Your Drink's Been Spiked

Photo: Henrik Sorensen/Getty Images.
It's difficult to estimate the extent of the UK's drink-spiking problem. The NHS says "hundreds of people are thought to be victims" every year, but also notes that "many more incidents happen abroad or go unreported due to embarrassment or memory loss".
But the terrifying consequences of this crime, punishable with up to 10 years in prison, aren't in doubt. Symptoms range from lowered inhibitions to unconsciousness, which can lead to a victim being sexually assaulted.
Two years ago, US startup Undercover Colors made headlines when it announced it was developing a nail polish that would be able to detect so-called "date rape" drugs such as Rohypnol and ketamine.
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The nail polish evidently proved impossible to perfect, but the same startup has now released a detection device that seems nearly as convenient to use. It's roughly the size of a coin, easily attached to a keyring, and works in much the same way as a pregnancy test. Check out Undercover Colors' demonstration below.
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.
"After four years in a lab, we are so excited to unveil the most effective test for detecting spiked beverages," the company writes on Facebook. "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."
A starter testing kit is available now through the Undercover Colors' website, priced at $34.99 (£27) plus shipping, which will rack up the cost a bit for UK consumers.
Undercover Colors' testing kit isn't the only new product designed to protect people from drink-spiking. Last year a group of high school girls in the US said they were working on a special straw which will test for GBH and ketamine, two of the most commonly used drugs used to intoxicate victims.
"We know it’s not a solution because it can’t end rape," co-inventor Carolina Baigorri said at the time, "but we were hoping to lower the amount of rape and dangerous situations you might be in through drugs."
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