(flunitrazepam) is the brand name of a sleeping pill prescribed
for insomnia in Mexico, South America, Europe, and Asia. It has
NOT been approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
in the United States but this has not stopped its distribution.
Rohypnol belongs to the family of medications called benzodiazepines,
which includes Valium, Librium, and Xanax.
is being called the "Date Rape Drug" or the "Quaalude
of the '90s" because it is the newest drug to be abused by
adding it to alcohol. When combined with alcohol, marijuana, cocaine,
or other drugs, it can provide a rapid and dramatic "high."
Even if used by itself, Rohypnol's effects are very similar to intoxication.
names for Rohypnol include Roofies, Roche, Rope, Ruffies, R-2, Roaches,
Rib, and Mexican Valium.
effects does it have on the body?
Rohypnol has been prescribed as an effective sleeping pill and is
also used as a sedative and preanesthetic medication in some countries.
The effects of flunitrazepam are fairly long-acting. When combined
with alcohol or other drugs, Rohypnol can impair judgment and motor
skills and cause memory loss or blackouts (lasting 8 to 24 hours
after ingestion). Loss of inhibition can also occur, with or without
alcohol. A person under the influence of Rohypnol can appear to
be drunk, display no coordination, bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech.
Sedation can occur as soon as 20 minutes after ingestion. The drug's
effects will peak within 2 hours and may persist for up to 8 hours
or more, depending on the dosage. Other adverse effects associated
with flunitrazepam include visual disturbances, drowsiness, confusion,
decreased blood pressure, memory impairment, gastrointestinal disturbances,
and urinary retention. When mixed with alcohol, Rohypnol may cause
respiratory depression, aspiration, or even death. Although classified
as a depressant, Rohypnol can rarely induce excitability or aggressive
of abuse on many college campuses include stories of women waking
up naked in unfamiliar surroundings with no memory of the preceding
hours. They may have been sexually assaulted without any memory
of what took place. It is important to note that sexual assault
or abuse of Rohypnol is not gender biased. Although most cases are
reported by females, this drug has the same effect on males. Both
males and females have the right to seek treatment after sexual
assault and/or suspected Rohypnol abuse.
does Rohypnol look like?
This drug is shipped in bubble packaging or blister packs that appear
very similar to aspirin. They are typically white in color, although
counterfeit products have appeared in brownish-pink tint. Rohypnol
tablets are single or cross-scored on one side with "ROCHE"
and "1" or "2" encircled on the other. When
dissolved in alcohol, soft drinks, water, or any other liquid the
drug is colorless, odorless, and tasteless (although some report
that it has a slightly bitter taste when mixed with alcohol).
there a drug test for Rohypnol?
Yes. A urine test can detect the presence of Rohypnol up to 60 hours
after ingestion. This test can be ordered by a practitioner on any
student seen as a patient at Elson Student Health or at the University
of Virginia Hospital. Rohypnol can be more difficult to detect than
similar drugs because it is in low concentrations and is cleared
quickly by the body.
there other drugs that are being abused like Rohypnol?
Yes. People have been "spiking" drinks for decades with
legal or illegal substances. Although Rohypnol is getting the most
recent attention, reports of GHB (Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate) have also
been increasing. GHB is found naturally in the body but the synthetic
product created in the 1980s was purchased by body builders (over-the-counter)
as an anabolic steroid alternative. When combined with alcohol it
results in a reaction similar to Rohypnol. GHB is not approved for
use in the US and has been banned from over-the-counter sales by
the FDA. It continues to be available in the underground market.
can I lower my risk?
Watch your drink.
- Watch out for each other
- Avoid punch bowls.
- Open your own bottle or container - don't accept opened drinks.
- Tell others about Rohypnol. Awareness is a major factor in this
or any other kinds of abuse.
- Remember that Rohypnol is odorless, colorless, and tasteless
and can be added to ANY drink - even water.
you suspect you or a friend may have ingested Rohypnol, be sure
to get tested at Student Health or at the hospital Emergency Room.
The drug is detectable for up to 60 hours but cases should and can
be reported at any time.
any suspected abuse of Rohypnol to proper legal authorities in order
to protect yourself and others from harm. It is a federal offense
to administer any controlled substance to any person without his/her
knowledge, with the intent of committing a violent crime.
can I find out more information or get help?
fact sheet was compiled by the Department of Student Health, Office
of Health Promotion, University of Virginia (434) 924-1509
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