Rohypnol, more commonly known as the ‘date rape’ drug, has more possibilities for abuse than one may realise. Rohypnol is a powerful sedative and tranquiliser, and is roughly 7-10 times more powerful than Valium. It is an intermediate-acting benzodiazepine that shares some of its general properties with Valium, and is used in the short-term for the treatment of insomnia, as a pre-medication in surgical procedures, and for inducting anaesthesia. Since the 1990’s, Rohypnol has been used illegally to lessen the depression caused by the abuse of stimulants, such as cocaine and methamphetamines. Rohypnol is legal throughout over 60 countries, including Europe, Mexico, and Columbia.
What Effects Does Rohypnol Have on Users?
Rohypnol exhibits a wide range of effects that are felt by users, including loss of memory and loss of muscle control. Users can ingest the pill in a number of different ways. Pills can be crushed and snorted, smoked with marijuana, dissolved in a drink, or dissolved and injected. Effects usually start to take affect twenty to thirty minutes after ingestion, and can last anywhere between four and, in extreme cases, twelve hours. Users experience a loss of muscle control, confusion, drowsiness, partial or full amnesia, sedation, reduction in anxiety, and the prevention of convulsions. Rohypnol has aptly been named the “date rape” drug due to these characteristics, being unknowingly placed in a victim’s drink at a bar or club, victims having no recollection of the events that transpire thereafter.
Signs and Side Effects of Rohypnol Abuse
A person that is high on Rohypnol will experience feelings of euphoria, reduced inhibitions, and impaired ability to make sound judgements. They may exude signs of aggression while being overly excited, confusion, they may appear sleepy or sedated, while not being able to think clearly. Weakness, headaches and difficulty breathing are further signs of Rohypnol’s effects. Rohypnol is a powerful drug on its own, but like many other drugs with a high potential for abuse, mixing it with alcohol or other nervous system depressing opiates, such as alcohol or heroin, can lead to unconsciousness, reduced heart rate, extremely slowed breathing, and an untimely death.
Rohypnol’s and its Potential for Abuse
Widely known as the “date rape” drug, Rohypnol is abused by users for many other reasons aside from that. It has the potential for abuse throughout the daily lives of teenagers and young adults trying to cope with the challenges of school and university life, as well as the pressures placed upon them by their peers and social circles. Rohypnol’s primary abusers are found to be teenagers and young males, between the ages of 13 and 30 years old, and is more often than not taken in combination with alcohol. As both agents are suppressants of the central nervous system, this is of particular concern as the two substances potentiate each other’s toxicity, and could lead to extremely low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, coma, or death.
The Dangers of Rohypnol
The dangers of Rohypnol and its improper use are as clear as day. Making itself a household name through damaging the lives of its countless innocent victims, the “date rape” drug has showed us first-hand how dangerous it actually is. The abuse of this substance is not one to be taken lightly as some serious physical and psychological withdrawals and hardships are the result of abusing this substance, not to mention the distinct possibility of an untimely death.
An addiction is never easy to deal with, especially for those loved ones having to show their undying love and support while they themselves are hurting. Twin Rivers Rehab in Plettenberg Bay is specially designed to cater for all a recovering addicts mental, physical and psychological needs whilst in our caring, capable, and loving hands. Our premium services will aid you and your loved ones though this difficult period, and are on hand 24 hours a day to provide superior care and delicacy while going through this testing transformation period.
David is the Clinical and Development Director of Twin Rivers Rehab in South Africa and a UK Accredited Addictions Therapist with the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals UK. Articles/Blogs are written with the assistance of researchers and other specialists in the field of addiction and the recovery process