Blog | Drug Abuse

How Cost and Availability Influence Rohypnol Use

Rohypnol is the trade name for a medication called flunitrazepam, a benzodiazepine that acts on the central nervous system (CNS). Benzodiazepines act as CNS depressants, producing sedative-hypnotic effects, and are used legally to treat anxiety, insomnia, seizures and alcohol withdrawal. Rohypnol is a drug with a high potential for addiction. As with all benzodiazepines, it can take just two weeks for an addiction to develop. Consistent use of Rohypnol can also lead to an acquired tolerance. People who use this drug on a regular basis will likely become tolerant and will have to increase their dose to obtain the same effects.

Rohypnol was created in 1972 as a means to induce deep sedation in the hospital setting. It did not take long for this medication to be used recreationally, as occurs with many medications. This drug produces high levels of intoxication and is abused most often by those who already use heroin and cocaine. Because of the effects of Rohypnol, it is also used at parties and raves.

Unfortunately, Rohypnol is not only used illicitly for intoxication, but also used as a means to perform sexual assault due to the high potency of the drug and its ability to cause amnesia. The victim of sexual assault has no recollection of the event after Rohypnol’s effects wear off. Because of its use as a date-rape drug, Rohypnol has been banned in the United States.

Cost and Availability in the United States

In 1996, the United States congress passed the Drug Induced Rape Prevention Act, which provided more penalties for distribution of Rohypnol. While it is illegal to manufacture or purchase Rohypnol in the United States, this drug can still be found circulating amongst dealers. It is brought into the country by traffickers who ship it in through mail services or by distributors who travel across borders and smuggle it in. Because of this, Rohypnol is more widely available to those living near the Mexico and Canada borders. Its availability is high in cities like Los Angeles and El Paso, and the drug is more frequently used in those cities.

The use of Rohypnol in the US for recreational purposes is lower than many other drugs, but it is still used at concerning rates. According to the 2010 Monitoring the Future Survey, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), between 0.6 and 0.9 high school students report using the drug. Where available, Rohypnol is often illicitly sold at the cheap price of less than 5 dollars per tablet, making it appealing to the school-aged population. It is used predominantly between the ages of 13 and 30.

Get Help for Rohypnol Addiction

Abuse of Rohypnol can lead to serious health consequences and addiction. If you or someone you know has become addicted to Rohypnol, it is important to seek appropriate treatment. Please call our toll-free number today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you have about treatment for Rohypnol addiction.