Roofies, the street name for Rohypnol, are powerful sedatives belonging to the benzodiazepine class, initially developed in the 1970s for treating sleep disorders and anxiety. However, their potent sedative and amnesic properties have led to their notoriety as a primary drug used in sexual assaults. Roofies are particularly dangerous due to their odorless and tasteless nature making them nearly undetectable when slipped into beverages. Although Roofies are not legally prescribed in the U.S., they are available in South Africa under Schedule 6 prescription and as a Class C drug in the UK.

Abuse of Roofies often involves taking them orally, sometimes combined with alcohol or other drugs to enhance their effects. Illegally obtained, including through online sources, possession and distribution of Roofies carry severe legal consequences. Symptoms of abuse range from confusion and lethargy to aggressive behaviour and severe forgetfulness with physical impacts including muscle relaxation and respiratory depression. The danger escalates significantly when Roofies are mixed with alcohol.

Predominantly known for causing deep incapacitation, Roofies leave victims without any memory of the event making them particularly insidious in cases of sexual assault. Symptoms start with nausea and dizziness, advancing to severe disorientation, memory loss and impaired judgment. Certain forms of the drug may contain a dye that turns light-colored drinks blue, though this is not detectable in darker liquids.

Recreationally, Roofies are used in some countries as a party drug, despite their associated risks, especially among young people. Their misuse can lead to tolerance and dependence with withdrawal symptoms that include headaches, anxiety and muscle pain. In emergencies, particularly when mixed with other substances, Roofies can lead to life-threatening overdoses, requiring immediate medical attention.

To mitigate these risks, it’s advised to be vigilant with beverages and immediate medical care is essential for those suspected of Roofies consumption. Treatment and support are critical for individuals addicted to Roofies to navigate the challenges of withdrawal and overcome the drug’s harmful effects.

The Date Rape Drugs

Date-rape drugs are substances used to facilitate sexual assault or rape by impairing the victim’s ability to resist or recall the event. These drugs, including certain medications and alcohol, can cause confusion, reduce defensive capabilities or induce memory loss. Sexual assault using these drugs doesn’t necessarily occur during a date; the perpetrator might be a new acquaintance or someone known for a long time.

Key substances used in such assaults include GHB, a depressant known by various names and prescribed for narcolepsy in some cases; Rohypnol, a potent tranquilizer not legally available in the U.S. but used in other countries for anesthesia; and Ketamine, an anesthetic that causes dissociation from reality, also explored for treating severe depression. Often, these drugs are used in combination with alcohol to intensify their effects, although alcohol alone can significantly impair a person’s ability to defend themselves or remember the assault.

What are Roofies? - Your Ultimate Addiction Guide

Street jargon for the 'date rape' drug rohypnol, these are powerful sedatives belonging to the benzodiazepine class, initially developed in the 1970s Get help from qualified counsellors.

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