What is Rohypnol?
Rohypnol drug (Flunitrazepam) is a Benzodiazepine with general properties similar to those of other Central Nervous System Depressants like Valium. In Europe and South America, the drug is used for the short-term treatment of insomnia and sleep disorders. Like with many drugs used to facilitate sleep, users of the Rohypnol drug may develop a Rohypnol drug addiction. A powerful tranquilizer that is capable of rendering someone unconscious within minutes, Rohypnol drug can be taken by mouth as a whole tablet, crushed and snorted up the nose, injected, or dissolved in a liquid.
The tablets are typically odorless, tasteless, and dissolve undetectably in liquid. In response to reports implicating Rohypnol drug in drug-facilitated sexual assaults, its manufacturer reformulated the tablets to prevent abuse. The drug now also comes in the form of green tablets that include a dye that turns blue when dissolved in liquid, making the drug more easily detected in some drinks. However, the original white tablets are still regularly available and sold illegally.
The Rohypnol drug is legally manufactured and available in about 60 countries around the world but is neither legally manufactured nor approved for sale within the United States. Rohypnol is categorized in the US as a Schedule IV narcotic, but the penalties for possession, trafficking, and distribution of Rohypnol drugs are equal to those of a Schedule I substance. Possession of the drug is a third-degree misdemeanor; selling it is a fourth-degree felony.
Individuals in the United States have used Rohypnol illegally since the 1990s, often to help mitigate the depression that results from using Stimulants such as Cocaine and Methamphetamine. Rohypnol drug is also frequently used in the commission of sexual assaults, which is why it is often knowns as the “Date Rape Drug.”
The most common names for Rohypnol are Roofies, Forget-Me Drug, Date Rape Drug, Roche, and Ruffles. Teenagers and young adults, primarily individuals aged 13 to 30, are the principal users of Rohypnol. Most users are male. The drug is popular on high school and college campuses and at raves and clubs. According to the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future survey, nearly 2% of high school seniors in the US report having used the Rohypnol drug at least once in the past year.
How Is The Rohypnol Drug Used?
Rohypnol pills are often swallowed, either with water or by being chewed and then dissolved under the tongue. Pills typically come in 0.5, 1, or 2-milligram doses, but users may take several to maximize the effects. Some users will crush the pills and snort the resulting powder, smoke it on top of marijuana, or even inject it.
Teens using heroin, cocaine, LSD or ecstasy might take the Rohypnol drug to either enhance the positive effects or soften the negative effects of these drugs. Rohypnol and alcohol is another popular combination at clubs and parties. Once it enters the body, the effects of Rohypnol take about 20 minutes to kick in and can last for 12 hours or even longer.
Rohypnol Drug: The Date Rape Drug
The Rohypnol drug is among the most infamous of date rape drugs. It was first synthesized in Switzerland in 1975 — intended for medical use. Not long after, though, reports of misuse surfaced around Europe. Rohypnol drug pills became especially popular among sexual predators, who would covertly drop a pill in someone’s drink and, after it quickly dissolved and was consumed, take advantage of the person who drank it.
The most common form of Rohypnol is white, odorless, and tasteless — making it nearly impossible to detect when slipped in a drink. Manufacturers eventually reformulated it into green tablets that turn drinks blue when mixed, making it easier to spot. But both types of pills still exist in production, and cases of date rape involving the drug remain an issue in the U.S.
After going out the night before to a party, you wake up and cannot remember what happened or how you got where you are now. You only remember having two drinks the whole night, so how did you end up here? Unfortunately, this is an all too common story and if this has happened to you, you are not alone. You may have been slipped the Rohypnol drug without realizing it.
While Rohypnol is used in some countries to treat severe insomnia or anxiety, it is illegal in the United States. Instead, the Rohypnol drug is frequently used illegally at parties. Some people will take roofies recreationally to counter the effects of stimulants like cocaine or meth. Other people will take Rohypnol to enhance the effects of marijuana or hallucinogens.
Street Names For The Rohypnol Drug
You may know Rohypnol pills as “roofies.” This is perhaps the most common term used in situations where people feel they were slipped drugs at a bar or nightclub. Other street names for Rohypnol include:
- Forget-me pill
- Mexican Valium
- Mind erasers
Another street name is “Roche,” after the pill’s inventor Hoffman-La Roche. The word “Roche” is also written on many Rohypnol pills.
Rohypnol Drug Addiction
Regular use of the Rohypnol drug results in increased tolerance to the drug, requiring users to take larger doses over time to achieve the same effect. Chronic or continued use of Rohypnol can result in physical dependence and the appearance of withdrawal symptoms when the drug is discontinued. Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe and include headache, muscle pain, confusion, anxiety, restlessness, tension, numbness, delirium, shock, insomnia, and convulsions.
Seizures caused by withdrawal from Rohypnol may occur more than a week after use has stopped. Regular use of Rohypnol over an extended period may also result in physical dependence and addiction. Many individuals that are addicted to Rohypnol will combine the drug with other substances, such as alcohol or Cocaine. Mixing sedatives like Rohypnol with alcohol can be extremely dangerous and potentially lethal, as both are Central Nervous System Depressants and can slow breathing and heart rate. At high doses, the body may shut down and cause the individual to go into respiratory distress.
Symptoms of Rohypnol Drug Abuse
Tens of thousands of teens experiment with Rohypnol, and not just in party atmospheres. Many abuses this highly potent drug to cope with co-occurring mental health issues (e.g. ADHD, anxiety) or simply for the thrill of trying something new.
This drug abuse starts young. Drug use in middle school is just as much a reality as experimentation in high school. As with many substance habits, it can begin innocently enough. But in a flash it can become a life-altering addiction, over time, may demand an intervention. If your son or daughter is abusing Rohypnol, you might notice some telltale signs. These can include:
- Extreme lethargy or prolonged sleeping patterns
- Lowered inhibitions
- Missing class or failing grades
- Aggressive behavior
- Apathy towards family or obligations
Rohypnol Drug: Short-Term Effects
Rohypnol effects can range from mild to severe. The extent of the side effects will largely depend on the dosage, interaction with other drugs, the user’s body weight, the user’s experience with drugs, and the individual health of the users. Especially if this drug interacts with other substances in a person’s system, the effects of Rohypnol can be more severe and even dangerous.
Rohypnol is often used at parties, so many people will have alcohol in their system. Because alcohol is a depressant that also slows down the body, their interaction can lead to more severe effects. The first Rohypnol effects can begin as soon as 15 minutes after ingestion
Immediate Rohypnol effects will often include:
- Loss of memory
- Impaired mobility
- Slow reaction time
- Slurred speech
- Blurry vision
- Decreased heart rate
- Slowed breathing
In some cases, more serious side effects of Rohypnol may arise, and a person could experience symptoms like loss of consciousness, feeling of paralysis, vomiting, and trouble breathing. These symptoms may also be a sign of a Rohypnol overdose and require immediate medical attention.
The After Effects of Being Roofied or Taking The Rohypnol Drug
The effects of roofies are almost immediate and may last more than twelve hours. During the end of these twelve hours, one of the many side effects of being roofied includes the comedown. People who regularly abuse Rohypnol can also become addicted to the drug and experience powerful withdrawal symptoms. The aftereffects of taking Rohypnol often involve symptoms such as:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle pain
- Tingling sensation
The Long-Term Effects of Rohypnol
The long-term Rohypnol effects are largely still unknown, but prolonged abuse of benzodiazepines has been connected to addiction, potentially permanent cognitive impairment, memory problems, increased risk of hip fractures, and car accidents from driving with these drugs in a person’s system. If you find yourself addicted to Rohypnol or another benzodiazepine, it is best to get benzo addiction treatment sooner rather than later to prevent permanent and serious damage.
Rohypnol Drug Addiction and Withdrawal
If a person begins taking Rohypnol, they may soon realize they can’t stop. Rohypnol addiction is very real — not just as a psychological dependency, where the user feels an underlying need to keep using, but as a physical dependency as well. When a person abusing Rohypnol goes without taking the drug, they can experience a painful drug withdrawal — the body’s violent reaction when a drug of addiction isn’t received.
Withdrawal symptoms of Rohypnol dependency may include:
- Muscle pain
- Numbness of the extremities
- Loss of identity
Rohypnol withdrawal can cause seizures up to a week after an addict’s last use. Rohypnol treatment will provide a lengthy supervised detox period, where the person can work through these withdrawal symptoms without the urge to seek a fix. Many cases of addiction are simply users trying to avoid withdrawal by repeatedly using drugs or alcohol. If you identify symptoms of Rohypnol use in someone you love, you should immediately reach out for help to prevent the continued use and the litany of risks that comes along with it.
Rohypnol Drug Addiction Treatment
If you or a loved one is addicted to any drug — including Rohypnol — then the best path toward recovery is through professional treatment. This might mean a simple detox followed by regular therapy appointments, outpatient treatment, or inpatient drug rehab. At the first sign of a problem, contact a treatment professional to discuss your options. Your doctor can assess your level of addiction, and recommend a treatment avenue.
Rohypnol Drug addiction & abuse are serious conditions that can cause major health, social and economic problems that should not be taken lightly. We Level Up Treatment Center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from this by detoxification and treatment with professional and safe care. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can give you further information about the abuse of this drug. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.