Smart Woman: Date Rape Drug Detection

Smart Woman: Date Rape Drug Detection

With more calls to crack down on sexual assaults in college communities, a group of students is using its skills to design a nail polish that can detect certain date rape drugs.
Many say sexual assaults and the use of date rape drugs are all too common on college campuses and in bars.

"Its just an unfortunate reality you almost adopt when you go to college when your a girl," Mary-Clare Molina, a college student, said.

Sexual assaults on campuses are so widespread that four male college students decided to come up with a unique way to stop it before it happens. According to the group's Facebook page, they've created a nail polish, called Undercover Colors, that can detect popular date rape drugs such as Rohypnol, Xanax, and GHB. While wearing the product, users can stir their drink with their finger and the nail polish will change colors if it detects a present date rape drug.

"Its scary, you hear lots of stories about things that happen to girls, and to know that I could stick my finger in a drink and know I am safe, that would be a reason to buy a nail polish like that," Ginesse Barrett, a college student, said.

While many agree it's a good idea, experts say it creates a false sense of security. Out of the many date rape drugs in existence, the nail polish only tests for a handful of the most common ones.

"Every day they are changing the chemical formula. Labs are having a hard time keeping up with the chemical makeup of these things, so a nail polish couldn't possibly cover everything out there," Peri Novick, a college student, said.

What experts do like is that the nail polish is bringing awareness to a common crime on university campuses. However, students like Molina say that while empowering women is important, more needs to be done in the way of prevention.

"We spend a lot of time teaching girls how to learn not to get raped, instead of teaching boys not to rape," Molina said.

The students who are developing the nail polish say that their goal is to shift the fear from the victims to the perpetrators. Experts say with coasters and straws coming on the market that also test for date rape drugs, it might just work.

According to the students, they're still developing the nail polish and are in need of more investors.
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