In 2016, Christian Crescenzo DiRuggiero–a 20-year old Supply Chain and Entrepreneurship double major at a large university in Texas–had a vision. This vision was a safer experience for everyone when socializing with sorority and fraternity friends, going to bars, restaurants, and clubs without risk of the unthinkable happening.
As a freshman in the fall of 2014, one of Christian’s first assignments in a business class was to “find a need on campus that can be solved through entrepreneurship.” That night, when working at his on-campus job at a 2200-seat university hall, a women’s sexual assault awareness workshop turned a gear in his head, and an idea was born. He heard gut-wrenching, heartfelt stories of former and current female students who had been sexually assaulted. Some victims were drugged while drinking–then sexually assaulted while at their most vulnerable. And it’s no small matter. Every year, approximately 293,000 Americans become victims of sexual assault8 Of those cases, an estimated 35.4% are victims of DFSA, or Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault, approximately 104,000 individuals9. Many of these crimes happen in bars and clubs, where drugs can be surreptitiously slipped into an unsuspecting victim’s drink. Common date rape drugs include GHB and Ketamine. Unfortunately, many drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) victims know the perpetrator.
Christian polled friends, coworkers, and students alike across campus, looking for the easiest and most discreet way for an individual to test a drink before having a sip. A common denominator surfaced. Many young ladies polled mentioned that going out meant not taking much makeup with them, and the only thing commonly brought was a simple tube of lip gloss along with ID and cash and their mobile phone. And this tidbit of information was the inspiration behind Christian’s idea.
Combining and concealing date rape drug detection technology in a card that fits inside of a smart phone “pocket” or a lip gloss container garnered an enthusiastic response from campus students. A patent application was immediately filed for the lip gloss concept.
Another idea was also born–combining date rape drug detection technology on a business card for both men and women to conveniently carry and use. A product design was created and further enhanced by adding a flap to the detection card, which protects the test areas labeled A (for Ketamine) and B (for GHB) from being damaged or contaminated. Virtually every student carries a smart phone and many have attached a pocket to the back of their phone where the Creep Alert card can be discretely stored.
After receiving an “A” on the project and with the support of his classmates and family, Christian decided to take it a step further and actually make his project a reality. Christian began making calls, looking to cooperate with existing drug-detection companies familiar with the “date rape” drugs, GHB and Ketamine.
The Creep Alert® name was conceived to resonate with students and to send a clear message. Don’t let a “creep” ruin your night or your life. Stay safe and have fun when going out by being aware of the dangers of drink spiking, which can render a person completely helpless, defenseless, and vulnerable.
Today, Christian’s dream of a lip gloss product that discreetly acts as a drink spiking detector is now in development with the support of a world class supply chain partner, and will be making its marketplace debut soon. Test cards were launched as a precursor to the lip gloss product. Christian’s drink spiking detection cards have gained attention from several university law enforcement departments across the country and are offered at wholesale pricing to these organizations. Consumers can also purchase the drink spiking detection cards directly through the website.