New Sensor To Detect Date Rape Drugs

By Robyn Nazar for ExamHealth September 20, 2011 Comments

Scientists have developed a small pocket-sized sensor that can quickly detect for the presence of date rape drugs in beverages. This new device could help prevent sexual assault against thousands of women each year as a result of being drugged.

Date rape drugs are a class of medications that makes one highly vulnerable to sexual assault. The two most common drugs, GHB and ketamine, are tasteless, colorless and are most often slipped into the beverages of unsuspecting women. These drugs act quickly, causing loss of fine motor control, confusion, dizziness, loss of memory, and sometimes loss of consciousness.

The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that each year nearly 400,000 women are victims of sexual assault as a result of date rape drugs – over half of which go unreported. Since there is currently no way for women to detect GHB or ketamine in their beverages, heightened awareness and never accepting drinks from strangers are the only protection women have against falling victim to date rape drugs.

However, scientists from Tel Aviv University in Israel are now saying that they have developed a new device that can detect these drugs with 100% accuracy. The small sensor uses light rays and optical technology to detect for the presece of GHB and ketamine. The sensor simply has to be dipped into a beverage and, if the drink is drugged, an alarm will sound.

Lead researchers Professor Fernando Patolsky and Dr. Michael Ioffee explained in a news briefing that the final sensor product, which won’t be ready for another two years or so, will be lightweight and slim like as a pen, and can be discretely carried in a purse or pocket. The sensor will use refillable cartridges which can be replaced after several uses and will likely cost less than dollar.

Dr. Ioffee says that in addition to finalizing this sensor, they also hope to expand it to detect for other types of date rape drugs as well.

Via http://www.emaxhealth.com
Photo by Kit Haselden Photography

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