Although Rohypnol is not manufactured or sold legally in the United States, it is still subject to widespread abuse all across the country. It is legally prescribed in over 50 other countries and is widely available in Mexico, Colombia, and Europe, where it is used for sedation for general anesthesia and to treat insomnia.
Rohypnol is frequently abused at raves, night clubs, parties, and bars. It is known to intensify the effects of alcohol and other drugs such as heroin and cocaine. It is abused by college and high school students, especially in Texas and Florida. It’s also well known for its use as a “date rape drug.” According to Dr. Stephen Dowshen, M.D., for Teens Health, teen girls and women often report being raped after Rohypnol was slipped into a drink.
Because the drug also causes a type of amnesia, it makes it harder to remember things that happen while under the influence of the drug.
Rohypnol abuse is dangerous and has many serious and sometimes life-threatening side effects that can last up to 12 hours or more.
Some of these include:
- Loss of motor control
- Lack of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Gastrointestinal disturbances
- Respiratory depression1
Street Names for Rohypnol
Rohypnol is a type of benzodiazepine. Like others in its class, rohypnol is a central nervous system depressant that produces amnesia, relaxes muscles and lowers inhibitions.1 Illegal drugs like rohypnol are often known by many street names. These names are often derived from how the drug look people feel to simply shortened versions of the actual name.
Some of the street names for Rohypnol include:
- Mexican Valium
Being under the influence of the drug is referred to as being “roached out.” Rohypnol has become widely abused in Texas, where it is referred to as “R-2” or “Roaches.”
Along with being known as “the forget-me pill,” Rohypnol is also known as “Mexican Valium.” This may be because Rohypnol use in Mexico is similar to Valium use in the United States. Both Valium and Rohypnol reduce anxiety and promote sleep, but because Rohypnol is 7-10 times stronger than Valium it comes with a higher risk of abuse. Rohypnol is also readily available in Mexico by prescription while it remains illegal in the United States.
One of the more common street names for Rohypnol pills is “roofies.” Although there is no accurate, historical information as to how the term “roofies” came to be, it is possible that the name is simply a shortened version for the actual name of the drug. Many illegal drugs, or prescription drugs that are used illegally like Rohypnol, have shortened names that are not as easy to identify on the street.
Using street names for drugs is also a way to hide drug use from those who are not familiar with the terminology. In any case, Rohypnol pills or “roofies” are very dangerous. The side effects can be deadly, especially when the drug is combined with alcohol. Rohypnol is also highly habit-forming, so those who abuse the drug are at risk for drug addiction.
Help for Rohypnol Addiction
Chronic use of Rohypnol can result in physical and emotional dependence and addiction. If you or a loved one is abusing Rohypnol or has become addicted, we are here for you. Call our toll-free helpline, 760-548-4032, 24 hours a day to speak to an admissions coordinator about available treatment options. You are not alone. Call us now.
1 “Rohypnol.” Edited by Steven Dowshen, KidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation, May 2018.
2 Kuwana, Ellen. “Rohypnol.” Neuroscience for Kids, University of Washington. Accessed May 29, 2015.
3 “Rohypnol Drug Fact Sheet.” U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, 29 May 2018.