Drink coasters that detect date rape drugs? College students in New Mexico have them

A college in New Mexico is handing out a new tool in the fight against sexual assault on campus: a drink coaster that can detect date rape drugs.

University of New Mexico is providing students with the coasters that can detect GHB and ketamine, two common “club drugs” used to “incapacitate unsuspecting victims,” according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The university notified students that the coasters are available in a Facebook post.

Stay safe at a party by using one of these coasters to test your drink for hidden drugs,” the university’s office of substance abuse prevention wrote on Facebook.

Instructions on the coasters tell students to put a drop of a beverage onto two spots, smear the liquid gently, then wait for it to dry. If either spot turns blue, it could mean the drink was drugged.

The university sent the coasters to fraternities and sororities, and some students have picked them up in person, Amber Greene, a marketing assistant in the substance abuse prevention office told ABC News.

“We’re always doing prevention work to try to keep students safe when they’re out drinking,” Greene told ABC.

The university considers the coaster an important but small part to prevent sexual assaults and believes it could discourage predators, Randall Sterling, a research assistant in the office, told CNN.

“We hear tales. We all know someone (affected),” Sterling told CNN.

The university isn’t the first to give students date rape drug testing kits.

After a University of North Florida student reported that her drink was drugged at a party and she was sexually assaulted, the school provided free test kits that are about the size of a business card, WJAX reported.

In Canada, students at Selkirk College in British Columbia could buy date rape drug test kits at the school’s bookstore, CBC reported in 2018.

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Chacour Koop is a Real-Time reporter based in Kansas City. Previously, he reported for the Associated Press, Galveston County Daily News and Daily Herald in Chicago.