The thought was ‘just another giveaway’ that could help keep University of New Mexico students safe when they’re out with friends.
“I think students get bombarded with having things given to them, so we were just going to hand the coasters out when it was convenient,” said COSAP Project Specialist, Rachel Abeyta. “We were just hoping students would be interested in them.”
Within weeks the specialized coasters became a hot topic, but the initial idea to purchase them came with much reasoning and research.
"We looked at different colleges that also had them," Abeyta said. “We thought this would be a good thing for students to have as a tool and keep on them, something they can use to prevent themselves from getting hurt by someone who has bad intentions.”
In September, UNM’s Campus Office of Substance Abuse Prevention (COSAP) ordered 250 drug detection coasters from Drink Safe Technologies. COSAP uses the manufacturer to purchase other popular giveaways for students, including its prescription lock boxes.
“We’re real excited to see that people want to use them, it's something they can use to help themselves.” - Rachel Abeyta
Students can use the coasters to test for the presence of GHB and ketamine, commonly known date-rape drugs.
“You put a drop of your drink on the coaster and if it turns blue, then you know your drink is contaminated,” Abeyta said. “That’s why we really liked the item because the instructions are really clear and easy to follow."
Once word got out, Abeyta said their coaster supply didn’t last long.
“We only have about 50 left,” she said. “We’re real excited to see that people want to use them."
Abeyta said they hope to order more coasters this year, until then, there is a limited supply.
“We’re just spreading the message to watch your drink, watch your friend’s drink and make sure you’re being safe,” Abeyta said.