Tag Archives: Rohypnol

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.

How Rohypnol Affects Your Sleep

It’s no secret that a good night’s sleep is an essential component of good health.1 Plus, it just makes you feel better, sharper, not to mention a whole lot more pleasant to be around. But for those who find the proverbial eight hours a little more elusive, it can be tempting to take a sleep aid.

And while many prescriptions meant to help with sleep are administered under the care of a trusted physician in limited amounts, some, like Rohypnol, which is banned in the United States for medical use, aren’t safe in moderate, let alone large, doses.

Some countries outside of the United States still prescribe Rohypnol for alleviating insomnia, but one of the main problems is that Rohypnol’s effects change over time, become unmanageable and ultimately 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” are a nod to the memory loss that the drug produces, which sexual criminals exploit.

What draws people to Rohypnol, in particular, is the specific high it produces. People who abuse cocaine use it to balance out the stimulant’s effects, and opiate users take Rohypnol to amplify those drugs’ sedative effects. Its popularity as a recreational drug is similar to cocaine and heroin.

>>> READ THIS NEXT: Start with Drug Detox


How Rohypnol Affects Sleep

So what exactly makes Rohypnol appealing to people who struggle to sleep well? It works by empowering certain neurotransmitters, so the result is general relaxation that makes it easier to sleep. As a sleep aid, it is intended only for occasional use, no more than 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 so far beyond the medical recommendation.

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 quite possibly, fatal.

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

How Rohypnol Withdrawal Symptoms Affect Sleep

illustration of alarm clock with jumping sheepPeople may enjoy the sedative effects of Rohypnol, but it can quickly cause additional problems.

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, the very thing it was intended to eliminate, and nightmares.

Rohypnol Recovery Help

If you or a loved one is addicted to Rohypnol, the sleep it formerly delivered may have been replaced by restlessness and nightmares. Call our 24-hour helpline to learn about available help. Let this toll-free call at 760-548-4032 begin your escape from Rohypnol and help you regain restful sleep without the horrible side effects.

By Christa Banister, Contributing Writer


1 Sparacino, Alyssa. “11 Surprising Health Benefits of Sleep.” Health Magazine, March 4, 2018.

Preventing Rohypnol Overdose

Rohypnol is a benzodiazepine that is used in several countries for short-term treatment of insomnia and as a sedative before surgical procedures. Rohypnol’s effects include the following:

  • Sedation
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Prevention of convulsions or seizures

Despite potential medical uses Rohypnol is not legal in the United States. Rohypnol is commonly known as the date-rape drug, because it is often used to sedate women to ease sexual assault. Because Rohypnol has no taste or odor when it is dissolved, it can be put in a person’s drink without her knowing. Victims who have been drugged often have no memory of the attack, making it more difficult to catch their attackers. Rohypnol is also used recreationally by people in search of a high.

Signs of Rohypnol Overdose

Recreational Rohypnol users will typically take the drug in much higher doses than users taking the drug medically, making tolerance, addiction and overdose a real threat. Rohypnol overdose can also occur in those who have been unknowingly given the drug, as they may continue drinking or be given too high of a dose. Rohypnol is especially dangerous when it is taken in high doses or mixed with alcohol or other drugs. Some signs of Rohypnol overdose can include heavy sedation and impairment that results in an inability to walk or speak normally. When a person is heavily sedated and falls unconscious, respiratory depression can occur which can lead to death.

Club Culture and Rohypnol Use

A dangerous trend in America that has led to drug use amongst teens and young adults is the club culture. That is, the kind of party lifestyle that leads young people to clubs and bars where a specific type of drugs is common. Among these drugs is Rohypnol. These situations make abusing Rohypnol even more dangerous than it would be anyway, as it normally means that alcohol is being consumed as well. Add that to other drugs such as ecstasy and you have a truly dangerous situation, whether the user be a male or a female.

Get Help with Rohypnol Abuse

If you or someone you love struggles with Rohypnol abuse, we want to help. Call our toll-free 24 hour helpline today to speak with a trained addiction counselor who can help you learn about your options. Rohypnol overdose can kill. Don’t become another tragedy. Instead take the courageous step of getting help by calling today.

History of Rohypnol Addiction

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

Admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day at our toll-free helpline to answer your call and to give you advice about treatment. At no cost, you can learn about intervention services, Dual Diagnosis treatment, family counseling, medically supervised detox, travel to and from rehab, insurance coverage for treatment and more. Call today to be connected with a network of facilities that will address your problems in individualized ways.

What Makes Rohypnol Different from other Substances?

Rohypnol, a brand name for flunitrazepam, is a unique substance. It differs from other legal and illegal drugs used today. It’s a benzodiazepine, so it has similar chemical properties as other sedative-hypnotic drugs like Xanax or Valium. Unlike these products, Rohypnol has not been approved for use in the United States. Other countries may prescribe it to treat insomnia and other health issues, but its risks typically outweigh its benefits.

Why Is Rohypnol Illegal?

Rohypnol has a high risk for dependence, addiction, and other serious health effects. This is why it is illegal to manufacture, possess and use Rohypnol in the United States. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean it can’t be easily found. The drug is notoriously smuggled across the Mexican border into the States. It is also available to purchase online. Rohypnol has a unique legal status.

It’s classified as a Schedule IV drug, but because it isn’t approved for medical use, trafficking the drug results in the same penalties as for Schedule III, II or even I drugs.

Why Is Rohypnol a Problem?

Rohypnol was most popular in the early 90s. This is when it earned its label as a “club drug” and a “date rape” drug. This drug is notorious for its connection to sexual assaults. The drug is commonly given to a victim because it can induce sleep, relax the muscles, and interfere with memory. Sexual assault victims are unable to resist and often have trouble remembering the assault or recalling important details when the drug wears off. Rohypnol can come in colorless, odorless, and tasteless forms which is how sexual predators sneak the drug into drink or food.

How Does Rohypnol Work?

Rohypnol comes in pill form. However, when it is misused, most people crush up the pill and snort it or add it to a drink. Individuals may liquefy the crushed substance and inject it in order to achieve even quicker results. Rohypnol works by enhancing the activity of GABA (gamma anion butyric acid). GABA is a neurotransmitter, a chemical messenger in the brain. It tells the brain to calm down or to slow certain activity. Rohypnol increases the release of GABA. This in turn impairs several different processes including memory, thought processes, cognition, muscle coordination, and emotional reactions.

What Are the Risks of Rohypnol Use?

There are several negative effects of Rohypnol use. These risks and dangers can arise after just a single time using. Common side effects of Rohypnol use include the following:

  • Retroactive amnesia
  • Drowsiness
  • Visual disturbances
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Memory impairment
  • Tremors
  • Night terrors
  • Poor reaction timeHeadache
  • Confusion
  • Impaired speech
  • Seizure
  • Respiratory depression
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma
  • Death

While Rohypnol differs from other benzodiazepines in many ways, it doesn’t differ in its ability to interfere with health and wellbeing. It too can cause physical and psychological dependence and produce withdrawal syndrome. But even here it isn’t the same as other drugs.

Sedation explains, “The sedative, antianxiety, amnesic, and muscle-relaxing properties of flunitrazepam are similar to those of diazepam except that its sedative and sleep-inducing properties are more pronounced and longer lasting than those of diazepam.” Flunitrazepam is 15 times stronger than diazepam, another benzodiazepine drug.1

This makes addiction much more likely and use much more risky. It makes getting treatment for Rohypnol use, abuse or addiction that much more essential.

What Happens During Rohypnol Treatment?

Rohypnol treatment usually begins with detox. During medically supervised detox services, patients receive 24-hour-a-day medical monitoring and personal assistance as they overcome withdrawal symptoms.

Symptoms of Rohypnol withdrawal can include the following:
  • Aggression
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Hallucinations
  • Vomiting
  • Convulsions
  • Coma

Attempting to detox without professional help is dangerous and difficult. And detox is just the beginning of a person’s recovery journey. It’s followed by a comprehensive rehab program to help an individual address the factors influencing drug use and keeping him or her trapped in the cycle of addiction. Anyone can break from Rohypnol and other addictions, but it takes support and treatment.

Find Treatment for Rohypnol or Other Benzodiazepine Addiction

If you are ready to learn more about treatment for Rohypnol or other benzodiazepine addiction, you can call our toll-free helpline any time. Get immediate help from a recovery professional, and let us answer your questions, provide information about addiction, and connect you to the treatment options that are right for you. We can help you find the people and services that will work for you and your unique recovery needs.

By Alanna Hilbink

1Malamed, Stanley ed. Sedation. 2018.

Rohypnol Tolerance and Abuse

Users can develop a tolerance for a drug with frequent drug use. That’s because your body continually adapts to the foreign chemicals and sets a higher equilibrium level. This is called developing a tolerance. Once a new level is set, a person must take more drugs to achieve the same effect previously achieved on less.

Moreover, if a person doesn’t increase the dosage to keep up with rising tolerance levels, the body can start incurring withdrawal symptoms. This is the essence of an addition, and it can be especially dangerous with a drug like Rohypnol.

Dangers of Rohypnol Tolerance

It is not a winning endorsement if more people know Rohypnol as the “date-rape drug” than by its actual name. Rohypnol is banned in the U.S. but is easily obtained in Europe and Latin America. The following are some of its potential dangers:

  • Amnesiac effects that make it a popular tool for sex offenders and kidnappers
  • Addiction similar to alcohol, withdrawals worse than opiates
  • Change the way the brain functions until well after recovery
  • Potentially damage vital body organs
  • Strong synergistic effects with alcohol
  • Seriously affect a person’s judgment and actions

Benzodiazepines like Rohypnol present serious dangers for someone who abruptly quits. A sudden stop in Rohypnol use can cause the following symptoms:

  • Dangerous delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • A sense of going mad
  • Potentially fatal seizures

Psychological effects also include anxiety, psychosis, violent behavior and suicidal thoughts.

What Is Your Rohypnol Tolerance Level?

Whether you are self-medicating anxiety or chasing a high, you need to evaluate your Rohypnol tolerance level to see if an addiction has taken hold. The following are signs of addiction:

  • You need larger doses to achieve the same effect
  • You are often preoccupied with acquiring more pills
  • You experience insomnia or anxiety without the drug
  • You limit your social circle to users
  • You suffer headaches that only the drug can take away

If you exhibit any of these signs or have been using for an extended period, it’s time for a realistic evaluation of your tolerance level. It’s likely raised and in need of treatment.

Treatment for Rohypnol Addiction

Because of the drug’s many health risks, proper treatment is recommended for high Rohypnol tolerance levels. Detox is medically supervised and designed to reduce physical withdrawals and mental health complications. Facilities achieve many of these goals by using a tapered approach that weans a person off the drug at a steadily decreasing rate. In other words, tolerance levels are slowly lowered until the body returns to its natural equilibrium. Unfortunately, even then, it can take up to a year for long-term side effects like insomnia and light sensitivity to disappear. Professional treatment includes ongoing aftercare to monitor the symptoms, provide support and help keep your recovery on the right track.

Help with Rohypnol Tolerance

We are here to help. Call us today on our toll-free 24 hour helpline to speak with a caring addiction expert about tolerance levels, addiction treatment and Rohypnol recovery. We can even check your health insurance to see if treatment is covered. We are available 24 hours a day.

Why You Should Avoid Rohypnol

The dangers of addiction can drastically affect a person’s life and rob them of years of health and happiness. Drugs of abuse tend to have a comprehensive effect on a person’s life in multiple ways, creating difficulties physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally. Rohypnol is an addictive, illicit drug that can cause long-term damage for a person when abused.

Physical Dangers of Rohypnol Abuse

Rohypnol is up to ten times more powerful than Valium and can easily lead to overdose, overwhelming the body with the drug. Rohypnol’s main ingredient, flunitrazepam, is known to induce minor amnesia when taken in sufficient doses and is used in other countries with anesthesia for medical procedures.1 The amnesia the drug produces though can be used manipulatively for sexual assault and even as a set up for other crimes, like robberies.

Other physical side effects of Rohypnol include:
  • Relaxed muscles
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of coordination

These physical side effects in combination with the amnesia make is so easy to use as a date rape drug. Although the manufacturer has taken steps to prevent this use, it is still a problem.2

Emotional Costs of Rohypnol Abuse

Because Rohypnol causes short-term memory loss, many people will continue use to escape the loss of something in their life, to avoid feeling certain emotions or to simply ignore a circumstance in their lives. It can cause serious mental blackouts and inevitably erase memories and events from every having occurred in a person’s life. These implications are serious enough to put a person in danger.

Addiction not only affects the person using the drugs but also those in their spheres of influence. When a loved one is suffering from addiction, they will likely neglect important relationships and responsibilities causing enduring strain.

Benefits of Rohypnol Drug Treatment

Drug treatment will not only assist in the Rohypnol detox process by making withdrawal manageable, but it will also help patients rebuild their lives and relationships.

Through a variety of therapies and counseling, mental health professionals help patients identify and address underlying issues that led to an addiction. Healing can begin in treatment, and patients can once again make new memories instead of attempting to erase them with continued Rohypnol use.

End the Dangers of Rohypnol Abuse

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to Rohypnol, please call our toll-free helpline. We are available to help 24 hours a day and can provide information about Rohypnol, addiction and recovery. Make the first step toward change, and call now.
By Becca Owens

1“Rohypnol.” Drugs.com. 4 September 2018.
2“Drugs of Abuse.” US Drug Enforcement Administration. 2017.

Is Rohypnol Legal in the United States?

In the United States it is illegal to manufacture, sell, use or be in possession of Rohypnol. However, the substance is still produced legally and used medically in many other countries throughout the world.

Rohypnol was made illegal in the U.S. mainly because of its connection with cases of drug-related sexual assault and rape.

The US government passed a law in 1996 known as the Drug Induced Rape Prevention and Punishment Act because of the high number of sexual assault and rape cases related to Rohypnol use.1 Rohypnol can produce numerous sedating effects, which made it the drug of choice in drug-induced sexual assault cases. The law allows people convicted of drug-related sexual assault or rape to receive more severe punishments such as longer prison sentences and higher fines.

What Are the Penalties of Rohypnol Use and Possession?

Possession of the substance, even when unrelated to sexual assault, is also illegal in the US, and the penalties are the same as for Scheduled I drugs like heroin, Ecstasy and LSD.2 They include the following:

1. Simple possession

With no proven intent to sell or distribute, simple possession is illegal under federal law and every state law. Under federal law a person who is convicted of simple possession of Rohypnol can face a prison sentence of no more than three years and a fine of no less than $5,000. State law penalties differ from state to state.

2. Possession with intent to distribute

Federal law states that a person convicted of possession of Rohypnol with intent to distribute can face a prison term of no less than 10 years and up to life in prison. A fine of up to $4,000,000 can also be added under the full extent of federal law. If the distribution of Rohypnol resulted in the death or severe bodily harm of the recipient, the prison sentence is increased to not less than 20 years and up to life in prison. Intent to distribute can be deemed even if the person gives the drug to only one person.

Rohypnol’s Drug Schedule Classification

Possession of Rohypnol is often penalized with extreme prejudice due to its dangerous connection to cases of sexual assault and rape. Rohypnol is categorized as a Schedule IV controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The CSA was signed into law in 1970 and is regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Rohypnol is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance because it meets the following criteria:

  • It has a low potential for abuse in relation to substances in schedule III
  • It has a currently accepted medical use (although not in the United States)
  • Abuse of the substance may lead to physical or psychological dependence3

Rohypnol is considered a dangerous substance with the potential for dependence and addiction. Seeking out and receiving professional treatment from a licensed rehab facility is essential to overcome addiction and experience a health recovery.

Need Help Finding Treatment for Rohypnol Abuse?

If you or someone you know is struggling with Rohypnol abuse and needs help, please call our toll-free number, 760-548-4032. Our admissions coordinators are standing by 24 hours a day in order to help you find a treatment program that will work for you. Don’t let addiction keep you down.

1 H.R.4137 – Drug-Induced Rape Prevention and Punishment Act of 1996.” Congress.gov. Accessed June 16, 2018.

2 Rohypnol.” Drugs.com. May 18, 2014.

3 “Rohypnol.” US Drug Enforcement Administration. Accessed June 16, 2018.

How to Identify Rohypnol by Sight and Alternative Names

When dealing with a drug such as Rohypnol it is very important to know as much about it as possible, including what it looks like and its alternative names. Rohypnol is a menacing drug because many people are not even aware that they have taken it until the effects are felt.

Rohypnol is known as a “date rape” drug because predators can give people the drug without their knowledge and the victims often have no awareness or memory of what transpires when they are under the influence of the drug.

What Does Rohypnol Look Like?

According to the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), Rohypnol is the trade name for the drug flunitrazepam, which is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. The drug is neither manufactured nor approved for sale within the United States. Unfortunately, Rohypnol has been illegally available in this country for many years and is often used to counteract the side effects of stimulants such as cocaine.

Rohypnol is also used to make people unaware of their surroundings, thus making them defenseless against sexual assault.

Initially, Rohypnol was manufactured as a small, white caplet that clearly dissolved in liquid. However, in 1997 the manufacturer responded to concerns about the drug’s role in sexual assaults and reformulated a smaller dose encased in dull green caplets with a blue core. When dissolved in a clear liquid, this blue core will tint the liquid; however, the dye can be disguised in dark-colored liquids.

What Are the Street Names for Rohypnol?

NDIC provides a comprehensive list of alternative names for Rohypnol including:

  • Circles
  • Forget-me pill
  • Forget pill
  • La rocha
  • Lunch money drug
  • Mexican valium
  • Pingus
  • R-2
  • Reynolds
  • Roach-2
  • Roaches
  • Roachies
  • Roapies
  • Robutal
  • Rochas dos Rope
  • Rophies
  • Rophy
    • Ropies
    • Roples
    • Row-shay
    • Ruffies
    • Wolfies

If you are aware of being given a drug with any of these names, you need to understand that the U. S. Sentencing Commission increased the penalties associated with the possession, trafficking, and distribution of Rohypnol to those of a Schedule I substance.

Rohypnol Side Effects

Womenshealth.gov, a website sponsored by the Office on Women’s Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, describes many aspects of Rohypnol and indicates that the effects of Rohypnol can be felt within 30 minutes and can last for several hours. If you are drugged, you might look and act like someone who is drunk. You might have trouble standing. Your speech might be slurred. Or you might pass out.

Rohypnol can cause additional problems, including the following:

  • Muscle relaxation or loss of muscle control
  • Difficulty with motor movements
  • Nausea
  • Memory loss and black out
  • Confusion
  • Problems seeing
  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Stomach problems
  • Death

The site also advises that it is often difficult to tell whether you have been drugged or not primarily because most people do not remember being drugged or anything afterwards for an extended period of time. Because Rohypnol leaves the body very quickly, it is often very difficult to prove that you were given the drug.

How to Protect Yourself from Rohypnol

Unfortunately, people who want to avoid being victimized by Rohypnol must be vigilant in various social situations. WomensHealth.gov suggests tips including the following:

  • Do not accept drinks from other people
  • Open containers yourself
  • Keep your drink with you at all times, even when you go to the bathroom
  • Do not share drinks
  • Do not drink from open containers such as punch bowls
  • If someone offers to get you a drink from a bar or at a party, go with the person to order your drink
  • Watch the drink being poured and carry it yourself
  • Do not drink anything that tastes or smells strange
  • Socialize with a nondrinking friend to make sure nothing happens
  • If you realize you left your drink unattended, pour it out
  • If you feel drunk and have not had any alcohol or if you feel like the effects of drinking alcohol are stronger than usual, get help right away

While these precautions can certainly minimize the risk of being given Rohypnol without your knowledge, seek medical help if you wake up feeling disoriented, have no memory of a period of time, your clothes are torn, or you feel that you may have had sex.

Is Rohypnol Addictive?

After Silence is a website hosted by survivors of rape and sexual abuse. In their article on Rohypnol, they indicate that the substance can cause physical dependence. Withdrawal symptoms include headache, muscle pain, confusion, hallucinations and convulsions. Seizures may occur up to a week after cessation of use.

If you are abusing Rohypnol you are at risk of becoming addicted, even if you’ve only been taking the drug a short time.


Get Help for Abuse from Rohypnol

If you were given Rohypnol without your knowledge and you were subjected to sexual assault, you need help in working through this abuse. While you may have taken care of your immediate physical health needs, you also need to work through the emotional and mental harm that this experience created. We want to help.

Please call our toll-free helpline today at 760-548-4032. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about counseling resources.

The Tragic Problem of Rohypnol, Roofies, and Trauma

In the early 1990s awareness increased about a drug that was often referred to as the “date rape” drug. Known on the streets as “roofies,” Rohypnol has never been approved for any medical use in the United States. Therefore, it is illegal to manufacture, distribute or possess Rohypnol in this country.

According to the Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica – UCLA Medical Center, Rohypnol is the brand name for flunitrazepam. This drug is a benzodiazepine, which is the same category as medications, such as Valium and Xanax. Benzodiazepines are used primarily to produce sedation, sleep or muscle relaxation; to reduce seizures and anxiety; and to produce anterograde amnesia, a desired effect for some surgical procedures.

How is Rohypnol Used?

Since Rohypnol is illegal in the United States, the drug is smuggled into the country in pill form, crushed into powder or even in liquid form. People who intend to use the drug on an unsuspecting victim will often place either the pill or powder into a drink because it dissolves quickly and has no smell or taste.

What Are the Effects of Rohypnol Use?

The physical effects of Rohypnol may be noticeable within twenty to thirty minutes after ingestion, can last for several hours, and can include the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Dizziness
  • Disorientation
  • Dis-inhibition
  • Impaired judgment
  • Reduced levels of consciousness

As a result, in a social setting that involves alcohol, many people who observe a person who has ingested Rohypnol will assume that the person is merely drunk. His or her speech may be slurred and the user may have difficulty walking – both common symptoms associated with excessive drinking.

However, a greater cause of alarm is when Rohypnol is combined with alcohol or other drugs. The combination can produce extremely low blood pressure, respiratory depression, difficulty breathing, coma or even death.

Trauma Associated with Rohypnol-Induced Rape

Woman hiding faceUnderstanding the impact of drugs that were used to facilitate rape was an assignment that the U.S. Attorney General gave to the Department of Justice in 1997.

The report, entitled, Drug-Facilitated Rape: Looking for the Missing Pieces, has provided considerable insight on this topic. While the research was unable to give specific statistics about the occurrence of drug-facilitated rape, it did provide several insights into the trauma associated with the rape.

Not surprisingly, many victims were as traumatized by the cruel and criminal act of being given the drug as they were by the physical rape that also occurred. Having been deprived of the ability to think clearly and having lost the ability to recall events causes many victims to struggle with a significant sense of powerlessness. Many victims of trauma suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms that include having recurrent, intrusive recollections, thoughts, flashbacks and nightmares.

To add insult to injury, for drug-induced rape victims, they are unable to have these flashbacks of a real experience and often have even more frightening assumptions because they do not know what in fact happened to them.


Reactions to Trauma Caused by Rohypnol-Induced Rape

Many people who endure a Rohypnol-induced rape do struggle with severe stress disorders that require care and treatment. Started in 1999, Helpguide.org is a nonprofit health organization that has a mission to provide free, unbiased information to people facing mental and emotional health challenges.

In their article on Emotional and Psychological Trauma, people who suffer with trauma can experience a range of emotional, psychological and physical symptoms including the following:

  • Shock, denial or disbelief
  • Anger, irritability, mood swings
  • Guilt, shame, self-blame
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Confusion, difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety and fear
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Feeling disconnected or numb
  • Insomnia or nightmares
  • Being startled easily
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Aches and pains
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Edginess and agitation
  • Muscle tension

Even experiencing these symptoms for a short period of time can have a significant negative impact on a person’s quality of life. Without treatment, these symptoms rarely diminish on their own, thus causing even more stress and discomfort in a person’s life.

Treatment for Trauma Caused by Rohypnol-Induced Rape

Many people struggle with the post-trauma healing process and are unsure of when to seek treatment. Helpguide.com identifies several conditions that should cause people to consider getting help, including the following:

  • Having trouble functioning at home or work
  • Suffering from severe fear, anxiety or depression
  • Unable to form close, satisfying relationships
  • Avoiding more and more things that remind you of the trauma
  • Emotionally numb and disconnected from others
  • Using alcohol or drugs to feel better

There are a variety of treatment options that are geared especially for dealing with trauma. It may make sense for you to understand your options and then seek a therapist who specializes in providing the treatment modality that you think will work best for you. Two common treatment options are cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps you process and evaluate your thoughts and feelings about a trauma and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), which is designed to unblock traumatic memories so that you can work through them.

Regardless of the treatment method you choose, getting help should be your first priority. It is important for you to get treatment as soon as possible to mitigate the chance for your symptoms to worsen over time.


Get Help for Trauma

At a time that you are feeling a loss of power, it is important to reach out to get the treatment you need. We can help you do this, so please call our toll-free helpline today at 760-548-4032. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about treatment for trauma.