Rohypnol is a benzodiazepine. This means it functions a lot like Valium or Xanax. However, it’s a lot stronger than either of these. Because it’s so strong, it’s not legally available in the U.S. This means that even if you’re using it for its intended purpose, to help you sleep or manage anxiety or other mental health symptoms, you are still abusing the drug. If you are using it as a party drug, the fact that it’s being misused may be even more obvious. Rohypnol abuse can cause problems, but treatment is effective and available.
How Does Rohypnol Work?
Benzodiazepines work by affecting the production of a brain chemical called GABA. This neurotransmitter is a bit different than other chemical messengers in the brain. It is an inhibitor unlike other brain chemicals such as dopamine.Dopamine is released when the brain or body recognizes something as positive or pleasurable. It creates a surge of even more pleasure and excitement. GABA, on the other hand, is designed to block the reception of the brain chemicals that cause anxiety or fear. By inhibiting the ability of neurons to recognize anxiety-filled messages, GABA allows us to relax and be calmer in the face of internal or external stress.
Some Facts About Rohypnol Abuse
Benzodiazepine abuse isn’t a new problem, and it isn’t one that’s disappearing quickly either. This may seem like a frustrating fact when you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, but it’s actually a reason for hope! When you choose to speak up and ask for help, you will quickly find you aren’t alone. You will find people just like you as you begin the journey to recovery. You will find people just like you now living a sober life and offering encouragement, hope and help. STAT News shares, “Between 1996 and 2013, the number of adults who filled a benzodiazepine prescription increased by 67 percent, from 8.1 million to 13.5 million. Unlike opioid prescribing, which peaked in 2012 and has decreased nearly 20 percent since then, benzodiazepine prescribing continues to rise.”1 No matter where you are in life, you will find someone with a story similar to yours. You will find treatment professionals who understand who you are and where you come from. You will find the support, care and compassion you need for a healthy, drug-free future.
How Do I Know If I Need Help?
If you suspect that you or someone you know may struggle with Rohypnol, look for some of the signs of abuse and addiction. If you experience withdrawal symptoms if you can’t take the drug or take less of it than usual, this is a clear sign that your body, and most likely your brain too, is dependent. This is an early warning sign of abuse and addiction. Other signs of addiction include the following:
- An inability to stop taking the drug even if you want to
- Choosing to find and use drugs instead of going to school, working or meeting other responsibilities
- Finding little pleasure in activities that used to mean a lot to you such as organized sports, playing with your children or spending time with your significant other
- Legal problems stemming from your use of Rohypnol including intoxicated driving charges
In general, if you are changing how you think, act or feel because of Rohypnol, it’s time to take action. Medical and addiction professionals can help you determine just what type and level of care you need. Treatment gives you or your loved one a real chance to live a healthy and happy life.
What Does Treatment for Rohypnol Abuse Involve?
Treating addiction begins with reaching out to professional resources. Call Michael’s House to learn more about what we offer and how we can help. With our support you can find the counseling and care you need to begin your lifetime of recovery. The National Institute on Drug Abuse shares the following principles of effective treatment:
“No single treatment is appropriate for everyone. Matching treatment settings, interventions, and services to an individual’s particular problems and needs is critical to his or her ultimate success…Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug abuse.”2
Michael’s House does this and more. We offer personalized treatment plans based on your individual needs. Every person is unique. You deserve the specific treatment you need. Call today to learn more and get started.
1 Lembke, Anna. “Benzodiazepines: Our Other Prescription Drug Epidemic.” STAT News. 22 Feb. 2018.
2 “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment.” National Institute on Drug Abuse. Jan. 2018.