What is Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam)?
Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam) is an intermediate-acting benzodiazepine with general properties similar to those of Valium (diazepam). It is used in the short-term treatment of insomnia, as a pre-medication in surgical procedures and for inducing anesthesia.
History of Rohypnol
Since the 1990s Rohypnol has been used illegally to lessen the depression caused by the abuse of stimulants, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, and also as an aid for sexual assault. The so-called “date-rape drug” was placed unknowingly in the drinks of victims, often at a bar or party (“club drug”). Due to the strong amnesia produced by the drug, victims would have limited or no memory of the assault.
How is Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam) Taken?
Rohypnol can be taken by mouth as a whole tablet, it can be crushed and snorted up the nose, or dissolved in a liquid prior to drinking.
Rohypnol may also be used with other drugs of abuse, such as alcohol or cocaine for various effects. Rohypnol can increase the intoxication of alcohol, or may be used to lower the irritability and anxiety linked with excessive cocaine use (binging).
Can Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam) Be Detected in a Urine Drug Test?
If Rohypnol exposure is to be detected, urine samples need to be collected within 72 hours of consumption and subjected to sensitive analytical tests. Very often, biological samples are taken from the victim at a time when the effects of the drug have already passed and only residual amounts remain in the body fluids. These residual amounts are difficult, if not impossible, to detect using standard screening assays available in the United States. Due to this, it is difficult to estimate the number of Rohypnol-facilitated rapes in the United States.
The problem is compounded by the onset of amnesia after ingestion of the drug, which causes the victim to be uncertain about the facts surrounding the rape. This uncertainty may lead to critical delays or even reluctance to report the rape and to provide appropriate biological samples for toxicology testing.
What Does Rohypnol Look Like?
Rohypnol is no longer available legally in the United States. Rohypnol, previously available as a white tablet that dissolved without color, taste, or smell is now formulated as an oblong caplet that is light green with a blue core. The manufacturer instituted this change to help identify tampered drinks at clubs. When dissolved in clear liquids the blue core will turn the clear liquid to blue. However, when dissolved in darker-colored liquids, the blue dye may not be noticeable. Generic versions of Rohypnol may not contain the blue dye.
Sides Effects of Rohypnol?
While Rohypnol has become widely known for its use as a date-rape drug, it is abused more frequently for other reasons. It is abused by high school students, college students, street gang members, rave party attendees, and heroin and cocaine abusers to produce profound intoxication, boost the high of heroin, modulate the effects of cocaine.Teenagers and young males age 13 to 30 have been noted as the primary abusers of Rohypnol.
Rohypnol is usually consumed orally, and is often combined with alcohol. Rohypnol use causes a number of adverse effects, which may last 12 hours of more, including:
loss of motor control
decreased reaction time
lack of coordination
agression or excitability
loss of memory of events while under the influence (amnesia)
respiratory depression with higher doses.
Can You Get Addicted to Rohypnol?
Chronic use of Rohypnol can result in physical dependence and the appearance of a withdrawal syndrome when the drug is discontinued. Rohypnol impairs cognitive and psychomotor functions affecting reaction time and driving skill. The use of this drug in combination with alcohol is a particular concern as both are central nervous system depressants and will increase each other’s toxicity. Injection of any illegal drug puts the user at risk of contracting HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), hepatitis B and C, and other blood-borne illnesses.
How is Rohypnol supplied?
1mg and 2mg