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Future Fingernail Polish Could Save You From Date Rape

June 28th 2018

Summer -- a wonderful time of year when the weather warms and we get outside and enjoy visits to the lake, picnics in the park, hikes on the mountain, and family/friends’ barbeques. However, such outings and experiences can come with hazards.

There is no shortage of tips about how to stay safe in the summer, from proper sun screen to water safety, but do we have the same mindset about safety when we drink alcohol? Often drinking goes hand-in-hand with summer activities. We may have arranged a designated driver or Uber to get home, but how do we stay safe from a person putting something in our drinks?

There are many clever ways under development which can test to see if a drug has been added to a drink. Some of these are not on the market at this time, but are due to be released in the next few years. There is one product currently available. Here are some examples of such new technology:

  • Available now are coasters that fit in your wallet or purse. You apply a few drops of your drink and hold it in light to see if GHB or Ketamine is in your drink.
  • Undercover Colors is wearable technology for your fingers. A woman dips her polished fingernail into a drink and the color of the polish will change if date rape drugs are present. This product is planned to be released in the fall of 2018.
  • Smart straws turn blue in the presence of the most common date rape drugs; these are coming soon.
  • USB-like devices, still under development, use red and green LED lights that tell the user if a drink is safe or not. It could also send smartphone alerts if a drink is drugged and can charge right from your computer.
  • Cups On the horizon also, these cups could alert you of possible drugs in your drink.

These amazing new developments will be invaluable tools in combatting sexual assault. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), one in six women will be assaulted in her lifetime, and every 98 seconds another person experiences sexual assault.

Drug-facilitated sexual assault, commonly referred to as date or acquaintance rape, is when a substance is added to a drink (usually alcohol) to incapacitate a woman or man for the purpose of sex. These drugs render the victim unable to give consent or to resist. Date rape drugs are often odorless, colorless and tasteless. Just as you would prepare for being in the sun, you can also be prepared for these situations as well.

Here are some tips to be proactive when drinking in public:

  1. Don’t leave your drink unattended. Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know or trust.
  2. Bring a friend with you and check in with each other. Make a deal at the beginning of the night that no one goes home with a stranger, and make sure you go home with your friend or your group.
  3. Trust your instincts. If you are suspicious, go with your hunches.
  4. Be aware of how you feel. If you start to feel very sleepy or woozy quickly, contact 911 or a trusted friend right away.

What to do if you’re sexually assaulted:

  1.  If you wake up and you do not remember what happened the night before but show signs of amnesia, go to the police. Do not shower. Make a report even if you are not sure what happened.  
  2. Contact your nearest sexual assault agency; in Casper, that is the Self Help Center. (307-235-2814). Available at the Center are advocates for those who have been raped or assaulted.
  3. You may feel ashamed or embarrassed, but remember: sexual assault is not your fault. Your advocate and the police victim/witness coordinator are there to help you sort through your emotions and the process of reporting.
  4. You are not required to report a sexual assault if you’re over 18 years of age; however, you can be the one who prevents such a crime happening to another person.

Be smart and safe during the upcoming 4th of July holiday – and every day!

sexual assault, rape, safety, protect yourself from date rape, technology to detect date rape drugsalcohol, Self Help Center Casper WY

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