Goodbye innocence, hello vigilance. Faced with the proliferation of testimonials from women who had been drugged at parties without their knowledge, five Nantes students came up with the idea of creating an “anti-drug straw”. The latter allowed the user to detect the presence of GHB in her drink.
For several months, testimonials under the hashtag #BalanceTonBar have been circulating on social networks. A way for young female victims of sexual violence to make people aware of the dangers of GHB, also known as the date rape drug. This odorless and colorless molecule with calming, anxiolytic and euphoric properties is completely invisible to the naked eye. This is how it has become the weapon of choice for sexual predators who secretly slip it into their victims’ glass.
Leïa Schwartz-Le Bar, Roxane Viel, Emma Mériau, Agathe Samson and Eloïse Tomeï are in their twenties. They study in Nantes de LEA (Foreign Applied Literature, International Trade Section). And when they are not in class, they sometimes party. But the carelessness has not been the same for a few months now… “We all know someone who has been a victim of it”they tell our colleagues from BFMTV.
“Go in the evening with peace of mind”
So when an entrepreneurship contest is launched, their subject is all found. They get it in their head to make an anti-drug straw “go to the evening with peace of mind”† “We had to build a business plan around an innovation”, tells BFMTV.com Roxane Viel. “And we thought it would be a good idea to market an anti-drug straw because we all know, directly or indirectly, someone who has been a victim of this scourge.”
To test the topicality of their project, the students start by conducting a survey. Of the 1,000 responses received, more than 50% of people confirmed that a member of their environment had already been a victim of GHB poisoning. 80% of those surveyed expressed their concerns about this.
So, to get young party girls dancing again, they imagined a device attached to a stainless steel straw. The light yellow colored ring would change color on contact with GHB and turn dark green. To find out the feasibility of their project, the students contacted a chemist.
For the time being, the invention is only in the project phase. But if this drop were to see the light of day, many tragedies could undoubtedly be avoided…