Health

Michael Abramson Invents DrinkSavvy, A Cup And Straw System Detecting Date Rape Drugs

| by Jonathan Wolfe
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About 25% of rape victims report that drugs were in some way a factor in their rape. Worcester Polytechnic Institute graduate Michael Abramson is trying to do something about that.

Abramson, who was drugged himself several years ago, has developed cups and straws that would change color if someone slipped a number of common date-rape drugs into your drink.

“I got the idea after the unfortunate experience of being drugged myself,” Abramson said.

“It was about three years ago. I was at a club in Boston and I had my first drink of the night and a few sips into it started to feel much more like my 15th drink. And the next thing I really remember is my friends throwing me over their shoulders and saying, 'They’re throwing you out, they’re throwing us out.'"

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So how does Abramson’s product, DrinkSavvy, work?

“Your straw would actually change color. Any part that is touching the drink would actually then change color. And it would be designed, too, so it would be clear that there was a color change happening, there would be no question about it,” Abramson said.

Abramson, who is now working on the products with two professors from his alma mater, hope to soon develop glassware in addition to the plastic cups and straws that have already been developed.

Abramson hopes to have the cups and straws ready for sale to the public by September. His patent on the product is currently pending. In the meantime, Abramson is working on ways to make the pricing of his products comparable to standard cups and straws already on the market.

In addition to the two professors from his former school, Abramson is receiving tons of support for his work. He has an office in the MassChallenge startup center in Boston, and he has raised over $52,000 through the crowd funding site Indiegogo.

“I get emails almost weekly from people who have had much worse experiences than I have,” Abramson said. “And it’s really sad to hear but it’s also encouraging for me to get on it and try to make something that can actually prevent it from happening to anybody else.”

Check out this video demonstrating a prototype of the DrinkSavvy Cup:

Sources: WGBH, DrinkSavvy