Thursday 29 September 2016

This new product enables you to test your drink to see if it has been spiked with date rape drugs

Sasha Brady

Published 18/05/2016 | 15:07

Test Your Drink will allow users to test their drinks for predatory date rape drugs such as GHB or Ketamine.
Test Your Drink will allow users to test their drinks for predatory date rape drugs such as GHB or Ketamine.

A new product has been invented that enables people to test their drinks to see if they have been spiked with date rape drugs.

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Test Your Drink is a small kit that contains six sheets of test spots that you can dip into your drink to test for common date rape drugs such as Ketamine and GHB.

Both drugs are labelled as "date rape drugs" due to their effect of putting users into a deep unconscious state and disrupting memories.

"The sheets will change colour if a date rape drug is present," explained inventor Gary Bates, when speaking to Independent.ie

"Unfortunately date rape is a massive problem. I have two children in university and they have plenty of stories about fellow students who have had their drinks spiked. That's what prompted the project.

"Since I started the process, I've had so many people come forward with a horrifying story about something similar that happened to them.

"Our message is, 'don't leave your drinks unattended' but if you are worried that something might have happened, these sheets will give you peace of mind."

According to figures from Rape Crisis Network Ireland, around 80 per cent of rape cases occur when women have consumed alcohol.

The products have been successfully tested by the University of Ulster and Mr Bates has entered his company into a competition run by Richard Branson for start-ups, called VOOM.

Winners will have the chance to win a share of a £1m (€1.3) investment from Richard Branson.

The Derry businessman said he hopes to win the competition to boost his company's profile and provide funds to make the kit more available to the general public.

In the meantime, he is meeting drinks company Diageo to see if Test Your Drinks can be distributed in bars across the UK and Ireland to raise awareness of drink spiking.

The products will be available to purchase from the company's website, Test Your Drinks, within the next few weeks and will be priced at approximately €1.50 per pack.

Mr Bates, whose family live in Wexford, has another product called Gum Wrap, which is widely distributed in Ireland.

It's a small cardboard pack containing 10 sheets of paper which can be used to wrap chewing gum and dispose of it responsibly to avoid the expensive task of gum removal.

He is currently working with The Gum Litter Taskforce who produce an annual gum litter awareness campaign with Wrigley's in the UK and Ireland called Bin It Your Way.

His Gum Wrap business encouraged him to develop Test Your Drink.

“We are encouraging the public to get behind us as a local business and vote for Test Your Drink," he said.

"To do this, simply go to the Voom website (www.vmbvoom.com ) go to ‘Browse Pitches’ and enter in the search field the name ‘Test Your Drink’."

The competition closes on May 23.

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