NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Reports of drink spiking incidents are on the rise. Products once referred to as “date rape drugs” have been used by criminals to facilitate robbery and assault on men and women.
Now, a new invention can detect a spiked drink and could help would-be victims avoid sipping a dangerous substance.
Michael Abramson has his drink spiked at a bar.
“You wake up the next morning without any type of memory and you start to think about what could have happened,” he told CBS 2’s Alice Gainer, “It’s literally as if you are instantly drunk but way more intoxicated than you ever thought possible.”
Drink spiking can leave victims helpless and incapacitated.
“It’s a vulnerability drug and one way it can make people vulnerable is to sexual assault but that’s not the only way,” explained retired police officer Eugene O’Donnell.
Criminals have been known to use the drugs to rob, humiliate, and kidnap their victims. It can happen to anyone anywhere. Nearly half a million people are drugged annually at bars, clubs, and on college campuses, according to the Justice Department.
“It’s sort of an ideal drug to facilitate a near perfect crime because it takes the victim who would typically be your best witness, it takes them out of the picture. They’re not able to give you a reliable account,” O’Donnell said.
Abramson was lucky. He was rescued by a friend before his situation went from bad to worse. The incident led him to invent Drink Savvy a line of cups, straws, and cocktail stirrers that can detect the presence of a drug.
Drink Savvy products can detect the presence of the three most common date rape drugs; GHB, Ketamine, and Rohypnol.
Many people told CBS 2 that they take precautions to protect their drinks but Abramson hopes that his product will make them even safer.
“The more people we can protect the safer that we can make everybody, the better” he said.
The product will be priced similar to other cocktailware. Abramson hopes to expand his line of products to be offered at restaurants, bars, and on college campuses in 2014.
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