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DrinkSavvy: It's Like a ELISA Test for Date Rape Drugs

DrinkSavvy: It's Like a ELISA Test for Date Rape Drugs

LOS ANGELES—Adult performers are probably more aware than most Americans about the dangers of date-rape drugs like GHB, Ketamine and Rohypnol. After all, actresses often on public view when they attend openings, walk red carpets, attend conferences, dance in nightclubs, attend parties and (believe it or not) have actual dates with people they don't fuck on camera. But what that means is, they're particularly vulnerable to some jackass slipping something in their drinks in hopes of knocking them out or "loosening them up" in order to rape them, or at least trick them into having sex they hadn't planned and wouldn't want.

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Enter DrinkSavvy, a new crowd-sourced project on the Indiegogo.com website.

"The problem is that date rape drugs are odorless, colorless, and tasteless once they’re in your drink," noted Mike Abramson, founder of DrinkSavvy. "We all know not to leave our drinks unattended, but the reality is, it’s impossible to keep an eye on your drink all night. So what’s the solution? With the help of Dr. John MacDonald, a professor of chemistry at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and with the help of Contract Researching Organizations, DrinkSavvy is developing material that will immediately change color to warn you if a drug is slipped into your drink."

Of course, the problem with date-rape drugs goes far beyond the drugs themselves, or even the rape. As blogger Phaedra Starling recently wrote, women are particularly vulnerable in American society to unwanted attention and even touching, to the point where some (if not most) women look upon all men as potential rapists.

"When you approach me in public, you are Schrödinger’s Rapist," Starling wrote, referring to the famous physics paradox. "You may or may not be a man who would commit rape. I won’t know for sure unless you start sexually assaulting me. I can’t see inside your head, and I don’t know your intentions. If you expect me to trust you—to accept you at face value as a nice sort of guy—you are not only failing to respect my reasonable caution, you are being cavalier about my personal safety.

"Fortunately, you’re a good guy. We’ve already established that. Now that you’re aware that there’s a problem, you are going to go out of your way to fix it, and to make the women with whom you interact feel as safe as possible."

Starling goes on to analyze various male/female contact scenarios, explaining why women might feel danger in each—"The possibility is never 0%," she writes—and suggesting solutions and behavior modifications that decrease danger and make women feel more at ease, though she makes it clear that, "I set my own risk tolerance."

The Drinksavvy project, which has just 18 days left to reach its $50,000 funding goal, is to produce drinking straws, stirrers, plastic cups and even glassware coated with a harmless chemical that will turn color in the presence of one of the above-named drugs, and they hope eventually to expand the project to detect a wider variety of unwanted drink "additives."

"While DrinkSavvy’s initial goal is to perfect our design to make our products available online and free to select rape crisis centers, DrinkSavvy’s ultimate goal is to use the success of this campaign to convince bars, clubs, and colleges to make DrinkSavvy the new safety standard and eventually make drug-facilitated sexual assault a crime of the past," Abramson said in the site's (very low rez) promotional video. "So please, back DrinkSavvy to be a part of something that will change the world for the better. Back DrinkSavvy to be a part of something that has never been done before, and back DrinkSavvy to prevent someone you care about from possibly being the victim of drug-facilitated sexual assault. Thank you all so much in advance, and remember, when you’re out drinking, drink smart, drink safe, DrinkSavvy."

Sounds like a good idea to us!






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Mark Kernes

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