Rohypnol, commonly referred to as roofies or the date rape drug, is a potent sedative in the benzodiazepine family, first synthesized in the 1970s. Initially used medically for treating sleep disorders and anxiety, its strong hypnotic and amnesic effects have led to its infamy as a drug often used in sexual assaults. Rohypnol’s odorless and tasteless characteristics make it nearly undetectable when mixed into drinks, earning it street names like “roofies” and “Rophies.” Although not prescribed in the U.S., it’s available in South Africa as a Schedule 6 drug and classified as Class C in the UK.

Users take Rohypnol orally or by other methods, sometimes to enhance the effects of alcohol or other drugs. Despite its restricted legal status, it is still obtained illegally, including through online sources. Possession or distribution of Rohypnol carries severe legal penalties. Abuse symptoms range from lethargy and confusion to aggressive behaviour and forgetfulness with physical effects including muscle relaxation, visual disturbances and respiratory depression. Mixing Rohypnol with alcohol heightens its danger significantly.

Rohypnol causes deep sedation and incapacitation, leaving victims with no memory of events. It’s notorious in sexual assault cases due to its easy solubility in liquids. The initial symptoms of Rohypnol ingestion include nausea, dizziness, disorientation and confusion, progressing to memory loss and impaired judgment. Some tablets contain a dye that turns light-colored drinks blue, although this is not detectable in darker beverages.

Despite being prescribed in some countries for insomnia, Rohypnol’s misuse as a recreational drug is prevalent, particularly among adolescents. Its abuse can lead to tolerance and dependence with withdrawal symptoms like headaches, muscle pain and anxiety. In emergency situations, especially when combined with other substances, Rohypnol can lead to overdose, necessitating immediate medical intervention.

To address these risks, vigilance with drinks is advised and those suspected of consuming Rohypnol should receive urgent medical care. Treatment and support are important for individuals regularly using Rohypnol to overcome addiction and its hazardous effects.

What is Rohypnol? The Infamous Date Rape Drug

Rohypnol, also known as the illicit date rape drug "roofies”, is a depressant and sedative used to put an individual to sleep. Get help from qualified counsellors.

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