06/06/2017
Brilliant.

Words by

Nikki Escalante

After learning of the devastating statistics on campus assaults, three US teenagers have created a special straw to help prevent drug-facilitated sexual assault.

Miami students Susana Capello, Carolina Baigorri and Victoria Roca have invented the ‘Smart Straw’, which allows consumers to test their drinks for unwanted substances.

In appearance, the ‘Smart Straw’ looks like any other. However, built-in sensors detect the presence of Rohypnol, GHB and Ketamine – the three most common substances found in date rape drugs.

Prior to developing the product, the girls conducted a survey at Northwestern University. Results showed that 50% of participants knew someone who had been drugged at a party, while 85% said they would use the straw.

Following these reports, the high school students were motivated to create a solution.

“Rapes assisted by drugs or alcohol are all too common,” says Susana. “We just want to give any gender a simple tool to protect themselves.”

The ‘Smart Straw’ was brought to the public eye when it was pitched during a Miami Business Plan Competition last month. The event, which welcomes young entrepreneurs, saw Susana, Carolina and Victoria win over 300 others.

“We know it’s not a solution because it can’t end rape,” Baigorri adds. “But we were hoping to lower the amount of rape and dangerous situations you might be in through drugs.”

To kickstart the project, the girls will launch a crowdfunding campaign. They are reportedly in touch with a testing kit manufacturer, in process of creating the straw.

Via Miami Herald.

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