What is Rohypnol?


Rohypnol, or “roofies” are known commonly by two labels—a “club” drug and a “date rape” drug. Secondly, Rohypnol is a benzodiazepine—like Valium and Xanax. Unlike Valium and Xanax, however, it is an illegal drug.

Street names:

La Roche, R2, Roach, Roofies, Rope, Rophies, Ruffies, The Forget Pill, Roofenol, and Rib.

Rohypnol is actually the brand name for a substance called flunitrazepam—which is actually a legal sedative in Mexico and South America. However, it is not legal here in North America. Because it is more difficult to get in the US, it’s most popular in those states which border on Mexico or have a larger population of Mexican and South American immigrants.

Rohypnol rose in popularity for date-rape over drugs like GHB because it is completely odorless, colorless, tasteless and is easily dissolved.
It creates an effect like drunkenness and can cause sedation pretty quickly—about 20-30 minutes after drinking it. This drug can also cause amnesia in its victims. Depending on the drink and strength of the alcohol, these effects can happen more quickly.

Some companies have tried to solve the issue of how undetectable it is by creating a version of Rohypnol that turns the drink its dissolved in blue. However, there are still versions of the drug out there which are completely colorless.

The best option for someone who is concerned about spiked drinks is for them to keep an eye on their drink at all times. If they suspect their drink has been dosed, they should throw it out and get a new one with a different glass. If someone is going to get them a drink, they should ensure it is in an unopened bottle/can—or ensure that the person getting the drink is someone they would trust with their life.

Remember, Rohypnol is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Any drink, including a non-alcoholic beverage, could be spiked at a party, club, or rave.

rohypnol date rape

When Rohypnol is abused purposefully, it is often swallowed as a pill, dissolved in a drink, or snorted. It’s often taken in combination with another drug—like heroin, cocaine, or crack. It is popularly known as a drug that ravers take, however, others who are addicted to sedatives or who are addicted to other drugs may take it in order to come down from a high more easily or to enhance a high. This mixing of drugs can create dangerous effects on the body.

Rohypnol can cause:

  • impaired judgment
  • unconsciousness
  • amnesia
  • dizziness
  • disorientation
  • nausea
  • difficulty moving/speaking
  • physical and psychological dependence
  • respiratory issues
  • decrease in blood pressure
  • death

Once a person is addicted to Rohypnol, withdrawal from this drug has some similarity to that of other benzodiazepines—also called “benzos”. However, most drugs have their own, unique withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms for Rohypnol are: 

  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • extreme anxiety
  • tension
  • restlessness
  • confusion
  • irritability
  • numbness
  • loss of identity
  • hallucinations
  • delirium
  • convulsions
  • shock
  • cardiovascular collapse
  • seizures
  • sensory hypersensitivity
  • depression
  • digestive problems
  • insomnia

Rohypnol addiction—and addiction to any benzodiazepine—can be life-threatening and can cause major issues when attempting to withdrawal without supervision.

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