Rohypnol is the generic drug name for the sedative/depressant Flunitrazepam. But, it is known more commonly by its street name, “Roofie”.
Under the name Roofie, most people associate the drug with sexual assault, as it is known widely as a “date rape drug.”Although there are several other drugs that fall into the “date rape drug” category, including GHB andKetamine, and the “Colombian Devil’s Breath” (Scopolamine); Rohypnol has become so synonymous with date rape, that any drug that is slipped to a victim in order to facilitate sexual assault, is often called a “Roofie.”
Other street names for Rohypnol include:
- Forget-me pill
- La rocha
- Mexican valium
History of Roofies:
Rohypnol is a powerful sedative belonging to the Benzodiazepine family of drugs, and was prescribed in the United States as a short-term treatment for extreme insomnia or as a sedative for patients undergoing procedures such as a colonoscopy. Since the 1990s, Rohypnol has been illegal in the United States, but it still remains available on the black market, purchased for use as both a date rape drug or self-administered for intoxication.
The effects of Rohypnol can include:
- slurring of speech
- unsteady gate
- drowsiness, confusion
- a loss of inhibitions
- memory loss
This last effect of memory loss is what Roofies are most well known for, as the victim of a spiked drink may wake up the next day with little or no memory of the previous night. Unfortunately, these memory lapses, or “blackouts” can also be associated with alcohol, and since the majority of cases involving victims being drugged with Rohypnol also involves the victim drinking, often they may discount the memory loss as a result of “too many drinks” and not realize that they had been drugged.
The sedative effects of the drug make it a popular, and very dangerous, choice for abusers of methamphetamines or other “uppers” like cocaine when they want to sleep but are unable, or want to try to avoid the “crash” of coming down off their high.
Method of use:
Rohypnol is normally ingested orally, but it can also be ground into a powder and snorted, or it can be dissolved in a liquid and injected. The original Rohypnol pills were white and looked much like a generic aspirin. Beginning in the late nineties, the manufacturer of Rohypnol, Hoffman-La Roche, Inc. began making the drug in a light green/tan color that dissolved slowly and released a blue dye. This helped make the drug more difficult to slip unknowingly into clear drinks, but can still easily be disguised in dark colored drinks; plus, there are generic forms of the drug or illegally manufactured versions that are still white and dissolve clear in liquid.
Tips for avoiding “Roofies”
- Drink clear colored drinks (new Rohypnol turns blue in liquid), and be on the lookout for a bitter or other strange tastes in your drink
- Don’t accept drinks from strangers or anyone else you don’t trust unless you see the bartender make the drink and it never leaves your sight.
- Never leave a drink unattended
- Be alert! Watch your friends, and have them watch out for you. Be mindful of your level of intoxication. If you feel like you may have been drugged, tell someone immediately
Sober Living by the Sea is a treatment center in Southern California that specializes in rehabilitating people for long periods of time leading to successful outcomes. If you are concerned about your drug use (or the drug use of a loved one) call us today for information from an addictions specialist.