Tag Archives: prescription drug abuse

Rohypnol Use in Different Cultures

Rohypnol is the brand name for the generic drug flunitrazepam. Rohypnol is a benzodiazepine that works to depress the brain’s central nervous system.

Rohypnol is also known under the names:

  • Roofies
  • La roche
  • Rib
  • R2
  • Roofenol
  • Rope

This drug is illegal in the United States and has even been banned from medical settings. Rohypnol is a very powerful and dangerous drug. Its most known side effect is anterograde amnesia: memory loss that occurs when the drug is in the user’s system.

The drug’s effects also include the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Extreme relaxation
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Disorientation
  • Impaired speech
  • Mental confusion
  • Blackouts

In addition to these dangerous, potentially life-threatening side effects, Rohypnol use can also cause dependence, addiction and fatal drug overdose.


Rohypnol Use in the United States

Rohypnol is banned in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration does not approve the drug, and its use is illegal. Pharmacists cannot sell the drug, doctors cannot prescribe it, and retailers cannot sell it. However, this does not mean that Rohypnol use doesn’t exist within U.S. borders.

While it was originally designed for medical purposes, Rohypnol has become a popular choice for recreational drug users in the U.S. This type of drug is popular in the night-life scene and is an accessory for those going to raves, night clubs, and overnight parties. Rohypnol is even being used in conjunction with other drugs and alcohol to increase the intended effects.

Tragically, Rohypnol is also used to take advantage of and assault other people. “Roofies” are known as the “date rape drug” because this substance has been used so often to subdue and commit crimes and assaults against unsuspecting victims.

In addition to the many health risks and dangers of Rohypnol abuse, drug regulators want to keep Rohypnol off the streets because of its high involvement with sex-related crimes. The drug causes amnesia effects, so victims often have a difficult time recalling, or even remembering, details of the assault, including the assailant. Fortunately, advances in lab technology mean that detecting this drug and prosecuting those who use it to commit crimes has become easier.

Rohypnol Use Around the Globe

While Rohypnol is not legally available in the U.S., there are over 50 countries around the globe that do authorize its production, distribution, and use. The drug is most prominent in European countries, Columbia, and Mexico. Other countries prescribe Rohypnol to aid sleep problems and for general anesthesia. Rohypnol is also used to treat withdrawal symptoms of other drugs like crack or cocaine.

pills arranged into the shape of a world mapBecause other countries have access to Rohypnol, many drug traffickers have found it extremely profitable to smuggle the drug across U.S. borders. Coastal states like Florida and Texas have high Rohypnol abuse rates because there are many ports of distribution available in these areas.

Rohypnol is used for recreational purposes in other countries as well. The drug is widely popular and easy to obtain. Some South American countries even have the drug available over-the-counter. Since the drug is inexpensive and easy to obtain, recreational drug users in other countries abuse the drug in the same way as Americans.

Treatment Help for Rohypnol Misuse

Whether the drug is legally obtained or not, Rohypnol abuse is a volatile and destructive activity. Long-term use can cause physical dependence and addiction. If you or a loved one is ready to stop abusing Rohypnol, we can help.

Please call our toll-free helpline today to speak with an experienced recovery professional. Our support staff is available 24 hours a day to assist you with all your questions and needs when it comes to finding Rohypnol treatment and recovery care. Don’t spend one more day risking your entire future on drug abuse. Call 760-548-4032 for help now.

Types of Opiate Treatment

Naturally occurring in nascent pods of the poppy plant, opium is a potent sedative that has given way to intoxication over the course of thousands of years. Acting on the body’s Central Nervous System (CNS), opium acts as a depressant with euphoric properties, causing users to experience a combination of painlessness, psychological numbing and euphoria – largely due to the effects of morphine, which comprises 12 percent of the drug.

Modern-day opium has been bred selectively in order to increase its natural content of morphine, codeine and thebaine, making the drug more powerful than its prior incarnations. Though opium smoking no longer experiences the widespread prevalence it once did, the drug is still harvested today – largely for conversion into opium-derived heroin.

The Severity of  Dependency

Opium poppiesOpium is one of the most physically addictive substances in circulation – and the drug and its derivatives (known as “opiates” or “opioids”) have reputations for being notoriously hard to kick. In addition to acting on the body’s pain receptors, sited primarily throughout the brain stem and spinal cord, opium also takes action on chemicals known as neurotransmitters in the brain.

These chemical changes initiated by opium are largely responsible for the “high” that users experience when the drug is ingested. As opium affects two important chemical messengers in the brain – particularly GABA and, subsequently, dopamine – users experience euphoria. Over time, dopamine levels become disrupted, leaving users craving opium in order to achieve baseline feelings of well-being and happiness.

In addition to the physical aspects of opium addiction, psychological addiction can take hold as well. The brain’s reward centers become affected by ongoing opium or opiate use, leading to their operant conditioning by the drug. As a result, even cues that remind users of impending opium use – such as drug paraphernalia – can even begin to elicit a reward response in the brain as time and association build.

Opium users may also have to contend with underlying psychological or emotional issues that opium intoxication may have provided an initial escape for, many of which worsen with time left untreated.

Issues in Treatment

Treating opium and opiate addiction dependency presents one of the foremost challenges in addiction treatment.

Due to the strength and severity of withdrawal symptoms and cravings that opium, heroin, morphine, and prescription opiates create, physical addiction can be notoriously hard to break.

As a result, many forms of opium addiction treatment rely on pharmaceutical methods of detoxification, despite controversy surrounding the employment of such treatment regimens. Other treatment regimens favor natural detoxification in combination with intense therapeutic work instead, guiding patients through the withdrawal phase without the use of heavy pharmaceuticals.

Drugs Used in Medical Addiction Treatment

While most residential opium recovery centers will include some form of detoxification and therapy, the targeted treatments used in opium addiction treatment programs vary by facility. Here are a few of the most popular drug-based treatment modalities used in opium addiction recovery.

  • Methadone Opium Treatment

    Methadone has gained much attention for its ability to act as a substitute for strong opiates such as opium, heroin and morphine. As a synthetic opiate, methadone has the ability to impede targeted effects of heroin and other opiates, helping to prevent the severe withdrawal symptoms in users that often drive opiate addicts back into use.

    Used for decades in the treatment of heroin, methadone does not emotionally numb, alleviate pain in or intoxicate the user and provides roughly a day free of cravings for those on the drug. However, methadone use remains controversial, partially due to its addiction potential, overdose complications and its potential interference with other medications.

  • Buprenorphine Opium Treatment

    Buprenorphine initiates less potent opiate effects in the body than other medications used in opium treatment. Unlike methadone, buprenorphine does not tend to carry a high risk of overdose.

  • LAAM Opium Treatment

    Another pharmaceutical method of treatment for opium and opiate addiction is known as levo-alpha-acetyl-methadol (LAAM). Also a synthetic opiate, LAAM prevents the euphoric high that drugs like opium and heroin produce while keeping cravings and withdrawal symptoms at bay. Lasting up to three days, LAAM is often used in outpatient settings where patients receive tri-weekly doses. However, when patients stop receiving LAAM, heroin or opium cravings will generally recur.

  • Naloxone and Naltrexone Opium Treatment

    Two other drugs, known as naloxone and naltrexone, act as opiate antagonists. When users take heroin, opium or morphine, the pleasurable effects they would normally incur become blocked by these pharmaceuticals. Withdrawal symptoms may still occur with naloxone and naltrexone use, but the drugs have been shown effective in opiate relapse prevention – particularly in studies of those recently released from prison.

  • Rapid Detox Opium Treatment

    Some treatment centers engage in “rapid detox” methods – essentially combining anesthesia-induced sleep with dispensation of medications that are intended to accelerate the withdrawal and detoxification process.

    Rapid detoxification methods remain controversial, because addicted individuals become enabled to simply “sleep” through the majority of the withdrawal phase – considered an integral experience in recovery by many in the addiction treatment field. Additionally, the rapid detox method has also remained controversial due to serious – and fatal – complications that can arise.

Drug-Free Recovery

Despite pharmaceutical measures aimed at temporarily preventing relapse, drug-free opium addiction treatment methods tend to bring about lasting sobriety for many. Methods of drug-free, medically supervised detoxification and targeted therapies can help individuals comfortably and safely pass through the withdrawal and cravings stages of recovery.

Here are just a few drug-free options employed in effective opium addiction treatment:

Natural Detoxification

During natural detoxification, medications dispensed to opium or opiate addicts remain conservative. Anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, and anti-psychotics may be prescribed to alleviate any withdrawal-induced or preexisting mental health issues that may impede recovery. Over-the-counter medications may be given to help the patient remain comfortable during his or her stay and mitigate withdrawal symptoms. Medical supervision is provided during natural detoxification as well, to guard against complications and to ensure monitoring of vital signs and overall health.

Counselor coaching patientClinical Therapy as Opium Addiction Treatment

Sessions with a qualified mental health counselor have been shown to make rehabilitation more effective than simply detoxification or group meetings alone.

Clinical therapy methods used in opium or opiate addiction treatment can range widely, from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) approaches that focus on behavior and belief modification to reward-based contingency management therapy (CMT). Depending on the opium treatment facility, patients may also undergo other therapies alongside traditional cognitive therapy, such as EMDR or art therapy.

12-Step Opium Treatment Modalities

One of the most time-tested methods of opium and opiate addiction treatment help is the 12-step model. Through participation in group meetings and working of the 12 tenets of addiction recovery, patients can gain understanding, insight, and support for practical, daily recovery. Best of all, 12-step group meetings can be located in virtually any locale throughout the nation, allowing recovering opium addicts to continue their recovery upon graduation from a residential drug treatment facility.

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