Rohypnol (The Date Rape Drug)
Rohypnol is a brand name for Flunitrazepam which belongs to the family of medications called "Benzodiazepines" which include Valium (diazepam), Librium (chlorodiazepoxide) and Xanax (alprazolam). Rohypnol is manufactured worldwide, particularily in Europe and Latin America, in 1 and 2mg tablets by Hoffman-LaRoche Incorporated, a large pharmaceutical manufacturer, however the drug is neither manufactured or approved in the USA or Canada.
This drug is very potent (10 times more potent than Valium) and produces sedation, amnesia, muscle relaxation and a slowing of psychomotor responses within 20-30 minutes of ingestion, which can cause blackouts that can last from 8 to 24 hours.
Rohypnol can be slipped into the drink of an unsuspecting sexual assault victim by an assailant. The result is that the victim remembers nothing of the sexual assault or that they knew something was happening but couldn't do anything about it. Mixing Rohypnol with alcohol intensifies its effects.
It is fast becoming a "club drug" used by youths by mixing it with other drugs and alcohol. the drug is often distributed in its original "bubble packaging" which adds an air of legitimacy and makes it appear to be legal.
The drug has been added to punch and other drinks at high school, college and university parties, where it is reportedly given to female party guests in hopes of lowering inhibitions and potential sexual conquest.
Police departments across the continent are taking reports of young women waking up without their clothing on, finding themselves in unfamiliar surroundings with unfamiliar people, or having actually been sexually assaulted while under the influence of the drug. The victims now have the trauma of the assault and the added worries of having been subjected to unprotected sex.
As insidious and perilous as this may sound the dangers don't stop there...
Rohypnol, particularily when mixed with alcohol or other drugs may lead to respiratory depression, aspiration and even death. When taken repeatedly, in can lead to physical and psychological dependence which is thought to increase with both the doase and duration of use.
Rohypnol is known by various street names:
- La Roche
Protecting yourself is simple.
- Don't leave your drink unattended and don't let it out of your sight.
- Don't accept drinks that you don't purchase yourself... even from a "friend".
- Always have a trusted friend with you who can help you to safety should you find yourself passing out from a spiked drink.