The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services has launched a program to begin distributing drink safety test kits that detect illegal substances in beverages, officials announced this week.

Request forms for the kits are now available for businesses and organizations in the city.

“We are taking proactive steps to prevent drink spiking and promote a safe environment for all,” Mayor Rex Richardson said. “This $25,000 initiative is a significant investment in our community’s safety, and we are proud to be promoting personal safety.”

The SipSafe testing kit is designed to detect the possible presence of drink-spiking drugs like GHB, known as the date rape drug, and ketamine.

Other cities in Southern California, including West Hollywood, have established similar initiatives, which the Health Department is modeling its program after, officials said.

Vice Mayor Cindy Allen first recommended the implementation of SipSafe and the measure was co-sponsored by Councilwomen Mary Zendejas and Suely Saro.

The initiative was unanimously approved by the City Council late last year.

“As the City continues to grow, it is important that we take additional steps to ensure the safety of patrons at alcohol-licensed establishments. Especially for our women patrons, this program makes our City so much safer and more inviting,” Allen said.

“We are confident that this program will have a meaningful impact in preventing drink spiking incidents,” Health Director Kelly Colopy added.

For more information about the SipSafe program or to request test kits, click here.