What is Rohypnol®?
Rohypnol® is a trade name for flunitrazepam, a CNS depressant that belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Flunitrazepam is also marketed as generic preparations and other trade name products outside of the United States.
Like other benzodiazepines, Rohypnol® produces sedative-hypnotic, anti-anxiety, and muscle relaxant effects. This drug has never been approved for medical use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration. Outside the United States, Rohypnol® is commonly prescribed to treat insomnia. Rohypnol® is also referred to as a “date rape” drug.
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How is it abused?
The tablet can be swallowed whole, crushed and snorted, or dissolved in liquid. Adolescents may abuse Rohypnol® to produce a euphoric effect often described as a “high.” While high, they experience reduced inhibitions and impaired judgment. Rohypnol is also used in combination with alcohol to produce an exaggerated intoxication. Rohypnol is also misused to physically and psychologically incapacitate victims targeted for sexual assault. The drug is usually placed in the alcoholic drink of an unsuspecting victim to incapacitate them and prevent resistance to sexual assault.
What is their effect on the body?
Like other benzodiazepines, Rohypnol® slows down the functioning of the CNS producing: Drowsiness (sedation), sleep (pharmacological hypnosis), decreased anxiety, and amnesia (no memory of events while under the influence of the substance). Rohypnol® can also cause: Increased or decreased reaction time, impaired mental functioning and judgment, confusion, aggression, and excitability. Rohypnol® causes muscle relaxation. Adverse physical effects include: Slurred speech, loss of motor coordination, weakness, headache, and respiratory depression. Rohypnol® also can produce physical dependence when taken regularly over a period of time.
What are its overdose effects?
High doses of Rohypnol®, particularly when combined with CNS depressant drugs such as alcohol and heroin, can cause severe sedation, unconsciousness, slow heart rate, and suppression of respiration that may be sufficient to result in death.