The city of Lausanne announced that it would spend CHF 5,000 on 4,000 silicon glass covers to help those frequenting bars and night clubs in the city protect themselves from being drugged with a drug known as GHB, reported 20 Minutes.
GHB is a well known date rape drug, a category of drugs used to incapacitate people leaving them vulnerable to sexual assault, including rape. GHB can easily be added surreptitiously to an open glass. In some cases it is injected.
The drug exists as a liquid or a powder and is also consumed as a recreational drug, which can result is the taker passing out, ending up in a coma or in some cases in death if the dose is too high. Odourless, its salty taste can be obscured by the strong flavours in some drinks.
Data on the scale of the GHB problem in Switzerland do not exist, according to Marc Augsburger, a toxicologist who spoke to RTS in November 2021. The drug is easy to test for, however, systematic testing for it began less than a year ago in Switzerland and no data has yet been published. The first data is expected within a year.
The drug made the headlines in Lausanne in October 2021 when rumours emerged of a sizeable group of university students being drugged in a Lausanne club. However, there was no hard evidence proving the allegations, according to a report by RTS. The nightclub referred to in the allegations, which appear to have been spread by anonymous social media accounts, launched a criminal investigation to get to the bottom of the matter.
The silicon glass covers come in small packets like condoms, can be stretched to fit most glasses and have an opening for a straw. Invented by a father and son team from Lille, France, the Drink Watch covers are washable and reusable. According to news reports, the idea of providing the covers in Lausanne was initiated by La Belle Nuit, an association aimed at improving the quality of nightlife in the city and promoting measures to reduce the risks associated with going out at night.