Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam)

Street Names:"Roofies," "Rophies," "Roche," "Forget-me Pill," "Circles," "Mexican Valium," "Rib," "Roach-2," "Roopies," "Rope," "Ropies," "Ruffies," "R-2," "Roaches," "Poor Man's Quaalude", and "Mind Erasers."

"All of these victims reported significant memory impairment. Most could not recall what was done to them, who participated, or how many people were present while they were unconscious. Some could remember brief, intermittent periods of awakening, during which they were unable to move or speak. They felt 'paralyzed.' One victim said, 'I came to and saw this guy on top of me about to rape me, but I couldn't move my arms or legs. Then I passed out again.'"Gail Abarbanel, Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center

Chemical Composition:

Rohypnol is a central nervous system depressant. It is classified as a benzodiazepine; other benzodiazapines are Valium®, Librium®, Xanax®, and Halcion®. Benzodiazepines are used to produce sedation, sleep or muscle relaxation. Rohypnol® is 7 to 10 times more potent than Valium®.

Rohypnolhas never been approved for any medical use in the United States. In 1999, the Federal Controlled Substances Act classified it as a Schedule I Drug. It is legitimately sold in 80 counties, but it is not approved in the United States and Canada. Hoffman - LaRoche, Inc. manufactures Rohypnoloutside of the U.S.

 

Characteristics:

Rohypnolis a tablet. The effects of the drug are felt 15-20 minutes after taking it and lasts approximately 4-6 hours. Some residual effects can be found 12 hours later. Its effects include sedation, muscle relaxation and the reduction in anxiety.

Rohypnol mentally and physically incapacitates an individual, particularly when used in combination with alcohol. It is known as a date-rape drug. It produces memory loss or amnesia, which may last for several hours.

Chronic use may cause dependence.

Methods of Use:

Rohypnol is usually taken orally but it may be ground up and snorted. The pill is sometimes put into drinks of unsuspecting victims. It is called a "Predatory Drug." People "dose" other people by dropping whole or crushed Rohypnol tablets into a drink; it is colorless, tasteless and odorless.

According to Hoffman - LaRoche, the new tablet includes a dye that will be visible when slipped into a drink.

It is used at Rave parties.

Risks:

Rohypnol may cause lowered blood pressure, gastrointestinal distress, urinary retention, headaches, nightmares, memory impairment, and visual disturbances. It causes a "drunken-like" state of dizziness, confusion and drowsiness.

Rohypnol, especially when used with alcohol, can cause a coma and death.

Sources:

"An Overview of Club Drugs"
Drug Intelligence Brief / February 2000
Intelligence Division
Drug Enforcement Administration
Washington, D.C.
www.dea.gov

"Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol®, roofies, rope, Mexican valium, roach-2, R-2)"
Office of Diversion Control
Drug and Chemical Evaluation Section
Drug Enforcement Administration
Washington, D.C.
www.dea.gov

"Rohypnol"
Drug Facts
Executive Office of the President
Office of National Drug Control Policy
Washington, D.C.
www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov

"Learning From Victims," Gail Abarbanel, LCSW
"Drug-Facilitated Rape: Looking for the Missing Pieces,"
Nora Fitzgerald and K. Jack Riley
National Institute of Justice Journal, April 2000