Popularly known as a date rape drug, flunitrazepam or Rohypnol is a club drug used rampantly in parties, raves, etc. Some other common slangs used for Rohypnol include “forget pill” and “forget me drug.” Despite exhibiting similar properties, it is 10 times stronger than Valium, a drug of the benzodiazepine family that produces a calming effect.
This intermediate-acting benzodiazepine is prescribed for the treatment of short-term insomnia. It is also used as an anesthesia during surgical procedures. Like any other tranquilizers, Rohypnol can induce sedation, relax muscles, reduce anxiety and prevent convulsions. Unfortunately, the key features of Rohypnol are being heavily abused as a tool for rapes and an illegal medium to decrease depression inflicted by stimulants like cocaine.
Generally, users crush, sprinkle or dissolve Rohypnol in a drink. And within the next 15 to 20 minutes, it begins to render its effects on the victim that last for somewhere around four to six hours. The drug intoxicates the victim by paralyzing him or her completely. The person collapses and lies unconsciously on the floor with eyes open and unable to move. This is the reason why Rohypnol has earned the reputation of “date rape drug.”
Though the person is unable to move himself or herself, he or she can observe the event completely. Furthermore, due to the strong amnesia triggered by the drug, the victim’s memory gets impaired or wiped out completely. As a result, he or she is unable to recall what happened with him or her.
Repercussions of Rohypnol abuse
Besides using Rohypnol as a date rape drug, it is also abused as a recreational drug. The drug is extensively abused by students, partygoers and chronic users to incite a number of euphoric effects. It is also used in along with other drugs to strengthen the effects of low-grade heroin and decrease the feeling of depression incited by the consumption of crack and heroin.
The primary abusers of Rohypnol are youngsters, particularly those aged between 13 and 30. Rohypnol abuse has been associated with a multitude of adverse consequences, such as drowsiness, dizziness, loss of motor control, lack of coordination, respiratory depression, slurred speech, confusion and gastrointestinal disturbances, which may last for 12 hours or more.
The health risks associated with Rohypnol abuse can be fatal. When used as per the prescription for the treatment of insomnia, it acts on the central nervous system (CNS) and induces sleep. However, when people override medical guidelines, the same drug can backlash by degrading the quality of sleep by triggering stimulating effects that disrupts the sleep cycle.
The chronic abuse of Rohypnol is linked with a host of physical issues and psychological dependence. When abused with substances like alcohol or marijuana, the effects can be deadly. This is primarily due to its effects on the CNS and respiratory system, which increases the chances of witnessing respiratory depression. It also impairs a person’s cognitive and psychomotor functions that in turn affect reaction time and driving skill.
The above-mentioned problems greatly increase the risk of death. Moreover, due to the sharing of needles, it also places the user at risk of contracting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B and C, and other blood-borne illnesses. Other side effects, such as hallucinations, vertigo, skin rashes, stomach problems and changes in libido, are also attached to this drug.
Path to recovery
Abuse of any kind of illegal substances can put a person at a high risk of dependence and addiction, often leading to death due to overdose, accidents, etc. Due to increased psychological dependence on the drug, a person experiences a range of withdrawal symptoms that may aggravate in the absence of appropriate treatment. Therefore, it is important to seek medical intervention in order to get rid of drug addiction.
If you or someone you know is addicted to any kind of drugs, contact the California Drug Addiction Helpline to know about the best drug rehabilitation centers in California. These centers offer comprehensive treatment programs for addiction-related problems, addressing the underlying condition and controlling the risk of relapse. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1946 to get details of the most effective addiction treatment centers in California or chat online for expert advice on the best treatment options in your area.