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Creating a Safer Drinking Culture: How an 18-Year-Old Invented a Spiked Drink Test

A cost-effective and user-friendly spiked drink test has been developed by an 18-year-old, with the aim of making it widely accessible. Angie Fogarty spent several years working on the small device, which changes color to indicate the presence or absence of certain drug substances. While similar products exist, Fogarty was determined to create a solution that was both affordable and easy to use.

Fogarty’s interest in women’s health led her to focus on drink spiking and drug-facilitated sexual assault. She felt disheartened by the constant stream of headlines on the subject and was determined to take action. Her device was a finalist in the 2023 Regeneron Science Talent Search, and she explained to Smithsonian Magazine that she wanted to create a solution that could make a real difference.

The spiked drink test developed by Fogarty is a small, dot-like device similar in size to a hole punch. Upon contact with liquid mixed with other compounds, the device changes color to red or green, indicating whether the drink has been spiked or not. Fogarty wanted to ensure the test was user-friendly and easy to use to encourage people to use it. The two-color system is designed to detect diphenhydramine (DPH), a common drug found in Benadryl in cases of drink spiking.

Although it is unclear when the spiked drink test will be available for purchase, the fact that Fogarty was able to create it is inspiring. Her invention may prove to be a useful tool for women, men, and anyone concerned about their drink’s safety. While it is disheartening that drink spiking is a concern, it is reassuring to know that innovative solutions like Fogarty’s are being developed to keep people safe.

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