Rohypnol (sometimes known as a “Roofie”) is a brand name of flunitrazepam, a benzodiazepine similar to Valium, but 7 to 10 times stronger. Although usage or production of this drug is illegal in the US, some nations have legalized the drug to treat insomnia, to anesthetize patients and to curb pain. Addiction and overdose cause problems similar to benzodiazepine addictions, but professional treatment is available to help people get and stay clean from this powerful substance.
History of Rohypnol
Rohypnol has been used in Europe since 1972, when the Swiss company Roche produced it. It was used in medicine to sedate people, and it was introduced to the US around 1984. It is so powerful and so addictive that the government made this drug illegal. While illegal, Rohypnol is still available in the US, and many people use it to facilitate sexual assault or to decrease problems from methamphetamine abuse. Additionally, Rohypnol addiction has continued in many countries due to black-market distribution: countries from Western Europe provide this drug rather often. Rohypnol dependence has been the cause of many deaths related to intoxication and severe overdose, especially when used with alcohol. Sedation from this drug starts after a few minutes and can last up to six hours.
How Rohypnol Became a Recreational Drug
Rohypnol is such a powerful sedative that some people have used it to incapacitate and sexually assault victims. Predators use this drug to rape people, because they mix a tablet in a drink and give it to victims who unknowingly consume the liquid and drug. This is a common method, because high doses of Rohypnol cause amnesia, meaning the victims usually have little to no memory of the event. To reduce this crime, in 1990 Roche designed a new tablet that turns water blue when dissolved, and it can only dissolve quickly in hot liquids. However, illegal production of the drug still exists, so people can still access fast-dissolving tablets.
Other people abuse this drug to boost the effects of heroin and to control the depression from cocaine addiction. Some people even use it between uses of their drugs of choice to increase levels of intoxication and to relax. These are dangerous practices, so users must seek professional help to get and stay clean from Rohypnol.
Help Quitting Rohypnol Abuse
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