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Rohypnol
Author: du Toit
Rohypnol

What Is Rohypnol?

Rohypnol is the trade name for flunitrazepam. It is a sleeping pill marketed by Roche Pharmaceuticals. On the street it is often called roofies, roche, R-2, rib and rope. The drug is a very potent tranquillizer similar to Valium, but much, much stronger. It produces a sedative effect, amnesia, muscle relaxation and a slowing of psychomotor responses.

The drug is often distributed on the street in its bubble packaging, which makes it appear legitimate and legal. Illicit use of Rohypnol was first reported in Europe in the late 1970s. Rohypnol is not approved for use in the United States. It is often used as a date-rape drug or ‘sex drug’.

Another very similar drug to Rohypnol sometimes sold as ‘roofies’ is clonazepam, also known as Rivotril.

Side-Effects Of Rohypnol

Rohypnol intoxication begins approximately 20 to 30 minutes after ingestion and peaks within two hours. Depending on the dosage, the effects usually last up to 8 hours.

The side effects of using Rohypnol include the following:

  • blackouts
  • memory loss
  • decreased blood pressure
  • muscle relaxation
  • sedation
  • tiredness
  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • problems with vision
  • disorientation
  • disinhibition
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • aggression
  • fearlessness
  • withdrawal seizures
  • physical and psychological dependence

Rohypnol With Alcohol

Both Rohypnol and GHB can be extremely dangerous or even lethal when mixed with alcohol and/or other depressants, depending on dosage and the sensitivity of the victim or user.

Only 10 minutes after ingesting Rohypnol, for example, a person may feel dizzy, disoriented, too hot or cold and nauseated. They may also have a difficult time speaking and, eventually, will pass out. The person will then have no recollection of events that occurred.

Mixing ‘roofies’ with alcohol can be very dangerous and may cause respiratory depression, aspiration and possibly death.

Sex Drugs / Date Rape Drugs

The dangers and realities of sexual assault are exacerbated when drugs and alcohol become involved. Alcohol and drugs can inhibit resistance, increase aggression and impair decision-making skills. Sexual assault and acquaintance rape are types of violence that are most likely to occur in social settings that foster rape-supportive attitudes and norms.

Rohypnol and GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) are prescription drugs that have crossed into the realm of illicit use. These two drugs, along with the GHB analogues (drugs that produce similar effects) have been implicated in a huge number of reported cases of rape (from both known and unknown assailants).

The drugs are slipped into victims’ drinks, and within minutes they become defenceless to sexual assault and have little or no memory of events the next day. Law enforcement and anti-drug activist groups now routinely refer to these as ‘predatory drugs’ because of the criminal way in which they are being used.

In my private practice, I get a scarily high number of young women who come to my rooms because they have been raped through having drugs put in their drinks. It is so very vital that if you are going out on a date or to a club for drinks with your friends that you please never leave your drink exposed or become separated from your friend. Or more on this you might want to read my article on 15 ways to prevent being date raped or my research series on how to avoid getting raped.

How do I get help for myself or my loved one?

The first step in getting help is finding out whether you have a problem. A psychologist with specific training in the treatment in this area can effectively perform a professional assessment and, if required, will recommend the most appropriate treatment. Read more about clinical psychologist Emile du Toit and how he is best suited to assist you in person or virtually online.

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