What is Rohypnol?
Description of Rohypnol?
Rohypnol is the trade name for Flunitrazepam, which is a depressant that acts on the central nervous system (CNS) in a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are typically prescribed to treat seizures, anxiety, insomnia, and other sleep disorders, though they are also sometimes used as muscle relaxants. Sedative-hypnotics like Rohypnol are dose-dependent drugs meaning that lower doses are used for sedation and relaxation, while higher doses are used to promote sleep. Rohypnol is ten times more powerful than Valium, and is commonly prescribed around the world, including in Europe and Latin America, thought it has never been approved for sale or use in the United States. As a result, Rohypnol is smuggled into the United States, and sold illegally on the street, often still in the manufacturer’s original packaging. Rohypnol used to be made as round white pills, but have since been changed to long green pills. Both pills are available on the street, and both are odorless, tasteless, and contain a dose of one or two milligrams of flunitrazepam. The white pills can dissolve undetected in liquid, while dye was added to the green ones to make it more easily detected if slipped into a drink.
What is the Scientific Name of Rohypnol?Flunitrazepam
What is the Chemical Formula of Rohypnol?C16H12FN3O3
What is the Origin of Rohypnol?
Benzodiazepines, the class of drugs to which Rohypnol belongs, were first discovered by accident in the 1955 by Leo Sternbach, and were later produced by Swiss pharmaceutical company Hoffman-La Roche. In the 1960s and 1970s Hoffman-La Roche created several new tranquilizers by modifying the basic structure of the benzodiazepine molecule. These new tranquilizers included Rohypnol in 1975. It wasn’t until the early 1990s that Rohypnol began to be misused and abused in the United States, despite the fact that it was never approved for production or distribution in the United States.
What is the Legal Status of Rohypnol in the US?
Rohypnol is a U.S. Schedule IV Drug that is not approved for use or sale
What are the common street names of Rohypnol?
- Forget Pill
- Forget Me Pill
- La Rocha
- Lunch Money
- Mexican Valium
- Mind Erasers
- Poor Man's Quaalude
How is Rohypnol Used?
Rohypnol is produced solely as pills that come in doses of 1 – 2 milligrams which are taken orally. Most people use Rohypnol by its intended oral route, though occasionally people will crush the pills and snort the powder to increase the absorption rate or dissolve and inject the drug intravenously. Some users also combine the power with marijuana to be smoked. Many people take Rohypnol for the purpose of enhancing the effects of other drugs, including marijuana, alcohol, LSD, and ecstasy. Another method is to use Rohypnol to reduce or to relieve withdrawal symptoms of cocaine and heroin.
How Long Does Rohypnol Stay in Your System?
It takes approximately 30 minutes for the drug to take effect and it peaks at around 2 hours. Residual effects may last up to 8 to 12 hours for a single dose, or longer depending on route and dosage. Rohypnol can result in memory loss or blackouts that last from 8 to 24 hours after ingestion when combined with alcohol or other drugs. This side effect has made Rohypnol a popular drug to use for date-rape and sexual assault.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Short-Term Rohypnol Use?
What are the Short-Term Effects of Rohypnol Use on the Body?
- Decreased Blood Pressure
- Difficulty with Motor Function
- Difficulty with Speaking
- Muscle Relaxation
- Respiratory Depression
- Visual Disturbances
What are the Short-Term Effects of Rohypnol Use on Behavior?
- Aggressive Behavior
- Lowered inhibitions
- Memory Impairment
- Relaxed Feeling
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Long-Term Rohypnol Addiction?
What are the Long-Term Effects of Rohypnol Use on the Body?
- Increased Blood Pressure
- Muscle Relaxation
- Physical Dependence
- Slowed Heart Rate
- Slowed Pulse Rate
- Suppressed Breathing
- Visual Disturbances
What are the Long-Term Effects of Rohypnol Use on Behavior?
- Memory Impairment
- Psychological Dependence
How to diagnose if you are Addicted to Rohypnol?
Since it is not approved for use in the United States, there are no doctor prescribed uses for Rohypnol and all use is categorized as being illicit. Similar to most Benzodiazepines, Rohypnol has a strong potential for abuse and dependency. Rohypnol addicts may show signs of a wide range of symptoms including appearing drunk or similarly intoxicated, slurring their words, and struggling to maintain their balance. An addict may seem to become more distant as their mood and sleeping habits change dramatically. Rohypnol addiction may lead to other changes in behavior as well such as loss of interest in activities and hobbies, and poor performance at work or school. Addicts tend to care only about getting their ‘fix’ so it is important to be aware of any drug seeking behaviors. Over time a tolerance to the drug builds up which causes users to need more and more of the drug to get the same effects.
What are the Withdrawal Effects of Rohypnol?
- Extreme Anxiety
- Loss of identity
- Muscle Pain
- Tingling of Extremities
How is Rohypnol Addiction Treated?
Rohypnol causes a physical dependence that needs to be treated with great care in a customize detox process. It is not recommended that a Rohypnol addict attempt to quit ‘cold turkey’ without proper medical supervision. Benzodiazepines such as Rohypnol can enhance the function of the gamma-Aminobutyric acid or GABA neural pathways in the brain which causes the causes brain function to slow down. To compensate and correct the imbalance the body automatically reduces production of the gamma-Aminobutyric acid over time. During withdrawals from Rohypnol there will be deficient levels of GABA in brain leading to a sharp spike in unregulated brain activity. The dramatic increase in brain activity can result in mood swings, anxiety, insomnia, nervous tension, depression, and many other unpleasant side effects. Withdrawal can be very difficult and potentially dangerous without proper professional medical care to help reduces the symptoms and prevent a relapse. Due to very severe withdrawal symptoms, especially for chronic heavy users, it is recommended that abusers of Rohypnol be treated at an inpatient rehabilitation center. Specialized health care professionals should monitor detox to ensure the patient’s health and safety, and minimize any discomfort they may feel. Usually it is necessary to wean the user from the drug gradually instead of stopping suddenly. Rehabilitation professionals will also be able to prescribe certain medications to help mitigate the worst of the withdrawal symptoms which can last for weeks or even months, depending on the length and severity of the addiction.
In addition to detoxing, rehabilitation centers offer many treatment therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, to help addicts adjust to life without the drug by developing new, healthier behaviors and helping them to avoid temptations that could trigger a future relapse. The patient may also take part in aftercare and support groups with other addicts who have similar experiences and who can provide emotional support and wisdom gained from already going through rehabilitation. Since many addicts use Rohypnol in combination with other drugs, it is vital that they go through a comprehensive and customized rehabilitation program that can ensure all of their needs will be meet so that they can lead a healthy and substance-free life.
What is the Extent of Rohypnol Use?
Official US government statistics suggest that males between the ages of 13 and 30 make up the majority of Rohypnol. A US survey of school students from 2001 showed that 1.1 percent of 8th graders, 1.5 percent of high school sophomores, and 1.7 percent of high school seniors had abused Rohypnol at some point in their lives. According to the 2010 Monitoring the Future Survey, Rohypnol use in the US, has gone up by 0.2 percent since 2009 where previously use had remained relatively stable between 1999 and 2010.