New Cocktail Napkin Detects If There Are Drugs In Your Drink

“Everyone deserves to know what is in their drink.”

College student Danya Sherman is fighting against assault with her invention KnoNap, a cocktail napkin that can detect if a drink has been compromised with a date-rape drug, which often has no color, smell or taste. 

The napkin, which is under development, is easy, and most importantly, discreet to use. All the user has to do is apply a few drops of the drink onto the napkin; if the drink is drugged, a small and bold colored dot will appear on the napkin.

"I believe that complete social change requires inclusivity," Sherman told A Plus. "To this end, we created a product that can be used in any social setting and by anyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Napkins are readily accessible in social settings, which promotes KnoNap's discretion."

Sherman's company has received immense support, including over $60,000 in grants and an honor at the Toyota Mother of Invention at a Women in the World salon in Washington, D.C. 


Statistics show out of the overall female population, women in college are most likely to be victims of sexual violence, so having inventions such as KnoNap available is especially important. Sherman, who is a junior at George Washington University, knows this all too well. In the summer of 2016, while studying abroad, Sherman was out with a friend who she later discovered spiked her drink. (About 80 to 90 percent of sexual assault on college campuses are perpetrated by a date or an acquaintance.) According to a study, about 1 in 13 college students report having been drugged, or suspect that they were drugged. In a pursuit of seeking closure, Sherman chose to create something that would empower others to be safer in social setting and make sure less people have to ever say #MeToo

"I like to stress that KnoNap is not a napkin company, but rather a safety company," Sherman told A Plus. "We acknowledge that awareness of the issue of drug facilitated assault is crucial in combatting it. To promote education and a greater public awareness for the issue, we are partnering with universities, Title IX offices, and police departments. "

KnoNap joins other tech companies creating ways to help people defend themselves against date-rape drugs. Last year, a group of teenage girls created straws that can detect one of the three most commonly used date-rape substances — Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine. There's also Undercover Colors, a nail polish that changes colors if it comes into contact with a drugged drink. 

UPDATE: This article has been updated to include comments from Danya Sherman.  

(H/T: Glamour)

Cover image via  Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock


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