Blog | Drug Abuse

How Rohypnol Affects Sleep

People abuse Rohypnol for the ways it affects sleep, but this effect changes over time, is unmanageable and can cause more problems than it solves.

How Rohypnol Works

Rohypnol is popularly known as a date-rape drug, or a tool that assailants use to enable sexual assault. Some of the slang terms for it, such as the “forget pill” and “forget me drug,” reflect the memory loss that the drug produces, which sexual criminals exploit. However, many people abuse Rohypnol for the high it produces. People who abuse cocaine use it to balance out the stimulant effects, and opiate users take Rohypnol to amplify those drugs’ sedative effects. Its popularity as a recreational drug is similar to that of cocaine and heroin.

How Rohypnol Affects Sleep

Although the US has banned Rohypnol for medical use, some countries still prescribe this drug to alleviate insomnia. Rohypnol works by empowering certain neurotransmitters, so the result is general relaxation that makes it easier to sleep. As a sleep aid, it is best used occasionally, so use should be limited to two to four weeks at the most. Doctors must limit Rohypnol doses to the smallest possible level.

However, when people abuse this drug, they tend to take doses that exceed medical guidelines, and they do this for a considerable time. The damage to sleep appears quickly, which can include the following problems:

  • Lower quality of sleep. Rohypnol shortens the periods of sleep called slow wave and rapid eye movement sleep. These phases have restorative properties that shallower phases cannot achieve.
  • Insomnia. While limited use can help someone get to sleep, prolonged use can quickly have the opposite effect. This change can devastate regular Rohypnol users if they take the drug to counter cocaine’s stimulating effects.
  • Drug interactions. When people abuse Rohypnol in combination with other drugs, the effects on sleep can magnify. For instance, many people take Rohypnol while they drink alcohol. The sedation created by the two drugs can be difficult to control, and possibly fatal.

People may enjoy the sedative effects of Rohypnol, but it can quickly cause additional problems.

How Rohypnol Withdrawal Symptoms Affect Sleep

The effects of Rohypnol can linger and complicate recovery. Over time, the body adapts to drug, which means the body will experience strong withdrawal symptoms when Rohypnol use stops. This can affect sleep by causing insomnia and nightmares.

Rohypnol Recovery Help

If you or a loved one is addicted to Rohypnol, the sleep it formerly brought may have been replaced by restlessness and nightmares. Call our 24-hour helpline to learn about available help. Let this toll-free call begin your escape from Rohypnol and help you regain restful sleep.