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What Is A Roofie Addiction? Abuse Symptoms & Treatment

Rohypnol Abuse Treatment, Effects, Health Risk, Symptoms, & Treatment

Rohypnol, more commonly referred to as “roofies”, is the brand name for the generic drug flunitrazepam. This drug is an intermediate-acting benzodiazepine with general properties similar to those of Valium (diazepam).  It is used in the short-term treatment of insomnia, as a pre-medication in surgical procedures, and inducing anesthesia. What is a roofie, and how can it affect you? Learn more here and check any signs of substance use disorder or roofie addiction.

Unfortunately, since the 1990s, Rohypnol has been used illegally to lessen the depression caused by the abuse of stimulants, such as; cocaine and methamphetamine, and also as an aid for sexual assault.  The so-called “date-rape drug” was placed unknowingly in the drinks of victims, often at a bar or party (“club drug”).  Consequently, due to the strong amnesia produced by the drug, victims would have limited or no memory of the assault.

Roofie Addiction
Rohypnol has been used illegally to lessen the depression caused by the abuse of stimulants

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Why Is Roofie Called The Date Rape Drug?

Amnesia is an expected pharmacologic effect of benzodiazepines.  Rohypnol causes partial amnesia; individuals cannot remember certain events that they experience while under the influence of the drug.  However, this effect is hazardous when Rohypnol is used illicitly to aid in sexual assault.  Victims may not recall the assault, the assailant, or the events surrounding the assault.

Method Of Use

Rohypnol can be taken by mouth as a whole tablet, it can be crushed and snorted up the nose or dissolved in a liquid before drinking.  Roofie may also be used with other drugs of abuse, such as alcohol or cocaine, for various effects.  For example, Rohypnol can increase the intoxication of alcohol; or may be used to lower the irritability and anxiety linked with excessive cocaine use (binging).

Rohypnol DEA Drug Schedule

According to the DEA, the penalties associated with the possession, trafficking, and distribution of Rohypnol involving one gram or more are equivalent to those of a Schedule I substance. Schedule I substances include heroin, LSD, and MDMA (Ecstasy, Molly).

Effects Of Rohypnol

It is abused by young adults, street gang members, rave party attendees, and heroin and cocaine abusers to produce profound intoxication; boost the high of heroin, and modulate the effects of cocaine. In fact, Rohypnol is usually consumed orally and is often combined with alcohol.  Moreover, Rohypnol abuse causes several adverse effects, which may last 12 hours or more, including:

  • Drowsiness, Sleep
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of Motor Control
  • Decreased Reaction Time
  • Impaired Judgment
  • Lack of Coordination
  • Slurred Speech
  • Confusion
  • Aggression or Excitability
  • Loss of Memory of events while under the influence (amnesia)
  • Stomach Disturbances
  • Respiratory Depression with higher doses

Abusing Roofies

Rohypnol impairs cognitive and psychomotor functions affecting reaction time and driving skills.  The use of this drug in combination with alcohol is a particular concern as both are central nervous system depressants and will increase each other’s toxicity.  In addition, injection of any illegal drug puts the user at risk of contracting HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), hepatitis B and C, and other blood-borne illnesses due to needle-sharing.  Withdrawal can occur with Rohypnol use, as with other benzodiazepines. Seizures, behavioral changes, anxiety, and insomnia can be side effects of long-term use.  In fact, some adverse reactions, such as insomnia, may occur after only a few days of use.

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The Date Rape Drug

Initially, once a dose of Rohypnol is administered, the results start twenty to thirty minutes later. It will peak within two hours and persist for eight or even twelve hours.  Then, they lie on the floor, eyes open, able to observe events but completely unable to move. The person experiences loss of muscle control, confusion, drowsiness, and amnesia.  Using Rohypnol can influence the functioning of both the body and brain.  The side effects of Rohypnol depend on whether a person uses sedatives regularly, their dose, and the use of other drugs.  Similarly, Rohypnol has side effects that mimic those of other benzodiazepines, like Valium or Xanax.

Roofie Health Risks

Short-Term Effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Sedation
  • Sleep
  • Amnesia
  • Blackout
  • Decreased Anxiety
  • Muscle Relaxation
  • Impaired Reaction Time and Motor Coordination
  • Impaired Mental Functioning and Judgment
  • Confusion
  • Aggression
  • Excitability
  • Slurred Speech
  • Headache
  • Slowed Breathing and Heart Rate

In Combination With Alcohol the Health Risks include:

  • Severe sedation
  • Unconsciousness
  • Slowed heart rate and breathing, which can lead to death

Withdrawal Symptoms:

  • Muscle Pain
  • Extreme Anxiety
  • Tension
  • Restlessness
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Numbness
  • Tingling of hands or feet
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium
  • Convulsions
  • Seizures, or Shock

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Addiction Potential

As a benzodiazepine, Rohypnol has a high potential for addiction.  In addition, using the drug regularly—even at lower doses—can increase the chances of becoming physically or psychologically dependent.  There are many ways that Rohypnol can impact the body, making it hard to stop taking it.

  • Drug Craving
  • Drug Strength and Mixing with Alcohol
  • Dependence
  • Withdrawal Symptoms

Roofie Addiction Symptoms

Addiction is a severe illness and can prevent a person from living a normal, functioning, and fulfilling life. The symptoms may manifest in physical form. But can also be noticeable through changes in behavior. Signs of addiction can include:

  • Withdrawal symptoms when stopping Rohypnol use, like tremors, headaches, or sweating
  • Strong drug craving
  • Requiring a higher dose of the drug to produce the same ‘high’
  • Being secretive or on edge

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Potential Roofie Overdose Risks

Taking too much of the drug or unknowingly combining it with another substance can greatly increase the risk of Rohypnol overdose. As an unlawful substance in the U.S., possession of Rohypnol is also a punishable offense and can result in jail time or heavy fines.

The physical risks of taking Rohypnol can be life-threatening.  Also, They can be intensified if used with other depressants, such as alcohol or heroin. Therefore, a person showing signs of a Roofie overdose should seek medical attention immediately. 

The Symptoms Of An Overdose Include:

  • Loss of Consciousness
  • Slowed Breathing
  • Decreased Heart Rate
  • Non-responsiveness

Treatment For Roofie Addiction

Addiction is a severe mental health issue, but there are different treatments available to support recovery.  Treatment for drug addiction usually includes several stages:

  • Detox and Withdrawal
  • Inpatient Treatment
  • Outpatient Treatment
  • Aftercare

We Level Up Treatment Center provides world-class care with round-the-clock medical professionals available to help you cope.  Above all, we work as an integrated team providing information about what is a roofie and other aspects of treatment.  Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life.  Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists.  Moreover, our specialists know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

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