The Bar Napkin That Could Sweep Date Rape Drug Tech

A new product that will hit shelves in late 2018 will help detect the presence of date rape drugs in beverages.
Image: Max Pixel

The KnoNap is a special napkin that allows people to test if their drinks have been tainted with a date rape drug. The napkin will test for 26 of the 40 most commonly used rape drugs. 

A new bar napkin product expected to hit the shelves in 2018 could help alert you if your drink has been contaminated with a date rape drug. The napkin tests for 26 types of drugs.

Created by Danya Sherman, a junior at George Washington University, the KnoNap is a product designed to mimic the look of a simple bar napkin, but with specialized corners that can be used to test if a drink has been tampered with.

Each napkin looks and acts like a regular napkin,” Sherman told WTOP in Washington D.C. “The only thing is that on each corner, you just take a drop of your drink, and if there’s drug presence indicated, there’ll be a clear color change next to where you put your drink.”

Sherman was prompted to create something after being drugged and assaulted by a friend while studying abroad in Spain.

According to Sherman, KnoNap can detect more than two dozen of the most common substances used in drug-facilitated sexual assault crimes.

Available Date Rape Drug Detection 

The only product currently available to detect date rape drugs in the marketplace is a coaster developed by Drink Safe Technologies, which alerts drinkers to the presence of GHB or ketamine, which are two of the four most common drugs used in drug-facilitated sexual assault, according to the Drug Enforcement Association (DEA).

Editor’s Note: Updated September 20, 2018: A new single-use device called Lets Be Clear by Undercover Colors is now available.

Ketamine is a  Schedule III non-narcotic substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Most illegal ketamine, also known as Special K, is diverted or stolen from legitimate sources, and is widely distributed at night clubs, raves and private parties for its hallucinogenic effects.

Date Rape Drug Detection Aimed at College Campuses & Beyond

Sherman noted that KnoNap is date rape drug technology that also tests for benzodiazepines, a class of drugs used to spike the drinks of the unknowing.

“Those include Rohypnol, Xanax, Valium — the drugs that are commonly used on and around college campuses as rape drugs. Our product tests for at least 26 of 40 most commonly used drugs as rape drugs.”

For Sherman, she hopes her product will allow people to live safer, more confident lives in a society that is still operating in the #MeToo era.

What I hope my company is able to push for is social change, greater awareness of the issue, but, at the end of the day, empower individuals to be safer so that no one else has to say, ‘Me Too,'” she said.

Learn about other technologies in development or in Food & Drug Administration review to detect date rape drugs:

5 Gadgets That Alert Drinkers to Date Rape Drugs

About the author

Rachel Engel

Rachel Engel

Author Rachel Engel is also Associate Editor of Military1.com. She is based in Kansas.