Rohypnol is the brand name of a sedative-hypnotic medication called flunitrazepam, banned from importation and prescription use in the U.S. This medication, also known by the slang term “Roofie,” has chemical properties that classify it as both a “club drug” (used at parties and other gatherings by teens and young adults) and a “date rape” drug.
Basic Facts About Rohypnol
Rohypnol belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines, which doctors use to treat health problems such as anxiety disorders, sleeplessness, seizures and alcohol withdrawal. Although many of these medications are available for legal prescription use, doctors in the U.S. cannot prescribe Rohypnol.
Like other benzodiazepines, Rohypnol reduces the baseline rate of activity in brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) and produces primary effects such as sedation/sleepiness, a drop in blood pressure, muscle relaxation and mental relaxation. Side effects of Rohypnol include a confused mental state, muscle trembling, headaches, lightheadedness, sleep disturbances caused by nightmares, and episodes of unusual or unexpected aggression. People who take Rohypnol can also experience memory problems or a complete loss of memory called anterograde amnesia, which wipes out the ability to recall events that take place while under the influence of the drug. Speak Confidentially with a Journey Advisor at 844-878-1979.
While most users who knowingly take Rohypnol ingest the drug in its original tablet form, others crush Rohypnol tablets and smoke, inhale or inject the resulting powder. Effects of the substance first appear in roughly 15 minutes and can last for as long as half a day or more. Substances purposefully used in combination with Rohypnol include alcohol, marijuana, MDMA (Ecstasy, Molly) and the hallucinogen LSD.
In addition, some heroin and cocaine users also take Rohypnol in order to ease some of the unwanted side effects associated with those drugs. People who mix Rohypnol and alcohol can seriously decrease their normal nervous system function and lose consciousness or develop dangerously shallow breathing that can lead to death.
When used repeatedly, all benzodiazepines produce changes in normal brain function that can lead to the onset of physical dependence. In turn, people physically dependent on benzodiazepines can develop symptoms of addiction such as drug cravings, increasing tolerance to the effects of benzodiazepines, uncontrolled patterns of benzodiazepine consumption and the onset of withdrawal when the brain doesn’t receive the amount of benzodiazepine it has come to expect.
Regular Rohypnol abusers expose themselves to significant risks for dependence and addiction. Specific withdrawal symptoms associated with use of the drug include tingling or numbness in the toes or fingers, hallucinations, a delirious or disoriented mental state, seizures and the highly dangerous low-blood-pressure-related condition known as shock. Speak Confidentially with a Journey Advisor at 844-878-1979.
Rohypnol as a Date Rape Drug
Certain forms of Rohypnol illegally sold in the U.S. have no color, odor or taste. This means that they can’t be readily detected if slipped into an alcoholic drink or any other kind of beverage. On its own, Rohypnol can make a person forget what happens while he or she is under the drug’s influence. The addition of alcohol intensifies the amnesiac effects of Rohypnol and also makes exposed individuals lose consciousness and/or lose their ability to control their body movements.
Together, these properties render Rohypnol a dangerous tool in the commission of sexual assault. In many cases, victims are unaware that they were drugged and have no memory of what happened to them while incapacitated. Since the 1990s, federal law in the U.S. has designated enhanced penalties for people convicted of using Rohypnol or any other similar incapacitating substance while committing a sexual assault or a violent assault. Speak Confidentially with a Journey Advisor at 844-878-1979.