Drug Detecting Nail Polish

I don’t hate this idea! In fact, I quite appreciate it for what it is- perhaps the most discrete drug detection someone has developed to date! Even just looking at it from a scientific perspective, I love when people develop these things even if they never hit the market because it’s just so nifty. So big kudos to these developers, it’s not your fault this is making me give my exasperated sigh but it does and here’s why:

  • I know we need to come at rape prevention from all angles, but it’s so frustrating that all the products being developed seem to place the onus on the woman to not get raped. Will this blossom into new types of victim blaming? “They have this nail polish now so there was no reason for her not to know…” that’s a yucky slope to slide down.
  • I suck so hard at maintaining my nails, as you may have glimpsed in some of the pictures. Depending on how full of a manicure you need to detect this stuff, my nights may involve me getting to the bar, looking at my hands and saying “crap, I forgot to fix my nails.” Since I can barely remember my wallet…
  • The focuses always seem to be on stranger/drug rape, which absolutely does happen and is absolutely worth preventing! It’s just not the most prevalent kind of attack and continues to ignore the statistic that most rape victims are attacked by people they know and know fairly well. While I’m diligent about watching my beverage when I’m out at a bar (although a mere moment of inattention is all it takes…), I’m not so much when I’m in a group of friends at say, a house party where I know everyone. I bet most people wouldn’t think to check their drinks if their friend’s boyfriend handed it to them (or something) but he could still be a threat.
  • To work you have to stick your finger in your drink. If it’s negative, I just stuck my gross, touched-things-in-a-bar finger in my otherwise fine beverage. Ew.

This is great for the science behind it and for the experience the student developers will get from working on a project like this. High fives for everyone there. If this hits the market, I might pick some up (though honestly the days my drinking in public/large groups seem to be tapering off), and I would encourage colleges to make it available. Still, it’s barely a band-aid solution for a real problem.


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