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What is Rohypnol?
Rohypnol also known as Flunitrazepam is a benzodiazepine
that is used in the short-term treatment of insomnia and
as a sedative hypnotic and preanesthetic medication. It
has physiological effects similar to diazepam (commonly
known by its trade name, Valium®), although Rohypnol
is approximately 10 times more potent. Rohypnol neither
is manufactured nor sold legaly in the United States.
It is produced and sold legally by prescription in Europe
and Latin America. The drug usually is smuggled into and
transported within the United States through the mail
or delivery services.
under the trade name Rohypnol-is manufactured worldwide, particularly
in Europe and Latin America, in 1- and 2-milligram tablets by
Hoffman-La Roche, Inc., a large pharmaceutical manufacturer.
However, the drug neither is manufactured nor approved for medical
use in the United States.
What does Rohypnol look like and how is it used?
Rohypnol is typically sold in its original bubble packing, conveying
a sense of legality and security in its use. The perceived safety
of the drug along with the trend of use in combination with
other substances, creates the possibility of Rohypnol becoming
a gateway to harder drugs.
is ingested orally, frequently in conjunction with alcohol or
other drugs, including heroin.
What are the effects of Rohypnol?
effects associated with the use of Rohypnol include decreased
blood pressure, memory impairment, drowsiness, visual disturbances,
dizziness, confusion, gastrointestinal disturbances, and urinary
retention. Paradoxically, although the drug is classified as
a depressant, Rohypnol can induce excitability or aggressive
behavior in some users.
Is Rohypnol addictive?
use of Rohypnol itself is dangerous, leading to physical and
psychological dependence, which increases with dose and duration
What are the slang terms used for Rohypnol?
Some nicknames used for Rohypnol are: rophy, circles, Mexican
valium, rib, roach-2, roofies, roopies, rope, ropies, ruffies.
Being under the influence of the drug is referred to as being
"roached out." In Texas, Rohypnol is called "R-2,"
Can you overdose on Rohypnol?
Lethal overdose is unlikely but possible. However, continued
use will result in physical dependence.
What is the extent of use of Rohypnol?
In the United States, Rohypnol is used widely in Texas where
it is popular among high school students. Rohypnol is reported
to be readily available in the Miami area, and epidemiologists
from that area have stated that it is South Florida's fastest
growing drug problem. Additional reports from Miami indicate
that the largest and fastest growing groups of Rohypnol users
are high school students who take the drug with alcohol or use
it after cocaine ingestion. Two common misperceptions about
Rohypnol may explain the drug's popularity among young people:
first, many erroneously believe that the drug is unadulterated-and
therefore "safe"-because it comes in pre sealed bubble
packs; second, many mistakenly think its use cannot be detected
by urinalysis testing.
use of Rohypnol originated in Europe in the 1970s and has increased
worldwide since then. However, the substance did not appear
in the United States until the early 1990s. In 1992, a South
Florida hotline began receiving calls reporting occasional to
chronic abuse of the drug. Around the same time, the drug appeared
in Texas as well. Today, use of Rohypnol is one of the fastest
growing drug problems in both areas. In addition, the drug appears
to be spreading across the United States. As of April 1995,
the Drug Enforcement Administration had documented over 1,000
cases of Rohypnol possession across 13 states.
use by youths of all socioeconomic status has been reported.
The inexpensive cost, ranging from $2 to $3 per pill, attracts
young users. High school students report use of the drug as
a cheap drunk and as a cure for alcohol hangovers. Typically,
however, Rohypnol is used along with alcohol and other drugs.
College students using Rohypnol report mixing it with beer to
enhance the feeling of drunkenness. It has also been reported
to be used in combination with marijuana and cocaine, as well
as heroin. Rohypnol use appears to be spreading in the United
States among high school and college youth. In some areas, it
is associated with gangs, and it is becoming known as a club
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