Detecting Drugs In Your Drink

Yu Shing Ting
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Friday - October 22, 2008
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Marilyn Rodgers with the Drink Detective

Have you ever thought that someone may have spiked your drink?

I admit there were a few times when I had “that weird feeling” and decided to dump my drink just to be safe.

A friend of mine wasn’t so lucky. During a trip to Las Vegas she found herself in the Emergency Room after getting really sick from only a few drinks with friends at a nightclub. The doctor told her there was a good chance someone drugged her drink.

In 1977, Marilyn Rodgers took a sip of fruit punch that was unknowingly spiked with a hallucinogen and believes that may have caused her to give birth to her son three months premature.

“It was in San Francisco and I was six months pregnant,” she explains. “I went to a nice party and didn’t know the fruit punch was spiked and within a day I gave birth to my son.

“I was like most victims of drug pushers and sex predators in that I didn’t tell anybody because of fear of retaliation or other social consequences. What would people think of me?”

Fast forward to the 21st century and Rodgers, whose sons are in the music band the Buckz Boyz, was reminded of her experience when her son was the victim of a possible drink spiker at a local nightclub.

“He had one drink and became belligerent and started to fight with the security,” says Rodgers. “He was stammering and stuttering, and they kicked him out of the nightclub. I think someone didn’t like him and drugged him.”

These two personal experiences, as well as her observation of at-risk behavior by audience members at some of the events her sons play at, led Rodgers to create a mission called Safe Day Events, which promotes healthy living through music, dance, products and services.

Her newest tool is the Drink Detective, a small card that tests drinks for the presence of more than 60 drugs in three categories: benzodiazepines, which include Rohypnol and Valium, gamma hydroxybutyrate and ketamine.

The Drink Detective is manufactured in the United Kingdom and is a simple test consisting of an eyedropper, two blotters and a test strip.

According to Rodgers, there are a variety of ways to use the Drink Detective. One is to keep it in your purse, and if you ever feel groggy, nausea, dizzy or more tired than normal from even just one sip of your beverage, whether alcohol or non-alcohol, you can ask the beverage manager or a friend you trust to test your drink for you.

The second way is to have them around at a gathering or on the bar, and point them out to strangers during the party.

Another way is if you find a bag of unknown substance, you can take a moistened Q-tip, roll it on the powder then roll it on the blotter, and it will test whether the substance is a drug.

“Don’t think this could never happen to you,” says Rodgers, a former school teacher. “It can happen in mixed social circles with people of all ages. People who spike a person’s drink usually do it to rape them, rob them, to retaliate or play a joke on them.”

Rodgers says her goal is to take her safety awareness campaign global. For now, she’s busy promoting the Drink Detective and her Safe Day Packs (which include various safety items, such as highway safety signs, finger ID kits and safety tips) at different events throughout the Island.

Her next event is the Get the 411 on Today’s Youth conference at the Hawaii Convention Center Oct. 30 and 31.

In an effort to get the Drink Detective into “everyone’s pocket” and in businesses, Rodgers says she’s selling the Drink Detective at cost for $2.50, while supplies last.

For more information, e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 232-6152.

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