crimesider

Date-rape drugs can be foiled, says Boston entrepeneur

(CBS) BOSTON - A Boston entrepreneur says he's developing a line of products to prevent bar-goers from falling victim to so-called date rape drugs.

CBS Boston reports that Michael Abramson has started the company DrinkSavvy, Inc., which is devising cups, straws, and stirrers to signal the presence of the so-called predator drugs, the most common of which is rohypnol - also known as roofies.

The drugs have no taste or odor. A victim who unwittingly ingests them can be unconscious in about 15 minutes, for up to 24 hours.

Abramson told CBS Boston that when the drugs come in contact with his array of products, sensing strips on them change color to warn the drinker that something about their cocktail has changed.

Abramson says he worked with scientists at Worcester Polytechnic Institute to develop the technology.

He says it's not expensive.

"The costs will be very competitive with normal drinkware that the clubs and bars are already using so there shouldn't be any financial disincentive not to really swap out their entire plastic cups straws and glasses for DrinkSavvy straws and glasses."

Abramson told CBS Boston he was motivated to develop the anti-date rape product line because he had his own bad experience.

"I went to the bar to get my first drink of the night and not long after that, it started to feel much like my 15th drink."

CBS Boston reports that a bar in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood will start testing the DrinkSavvy product line this fall, and the items are expected to be widely available early next year.

The testing strips on glassware are targeted for 2015.

Abramson said his goal is simple.

"....prevent at least one drug facilitated sexual assault from happening, and I think that would make this an incredible success."

  • Barry Leibowitz

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