Rohypnol is a tranquilizer about ten times more potent than Valium. The drug is available as a white or olive-green pill and is usually sold in the manufacturer’s bubble packaging. Users crush the pills and snort the powder, sprinkle it on marijuana and smoke it, dissolve it in a drink or inject it.
Rohypnol has been used to commit sexual assaults because it renders the victim incapable of resisting, giving it the reputation of a “date-rape” drug.
Rohypnol users often describe its effects as “paralyzing.” The effects start twenty to thirty minutes after taking the drug, peak within two hours and may persist for eight or even twelve hours. A person can be so incapacitated (made unable to act) they collapse. They lie on the floor, eyes open, able to observe events but completely unable to move. Afterwards, memory is impaired and they cannot recall any of what happened.
The person experiences loss of muscle control, confusion, drowsiness and amnesia.
Rohypnol is sold in Europe and Latin America as a sleeping pill, but it is illegal in the United States.
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- “Selected Prescription Drugs with Potential for Abuse,” National Institute on Drug Abuse
- International Narcotics Control Board
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a Drug-Free America
- Statement by Leonard J. Paulozzi before Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crimes and Drugs, 12 March 2008
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- “Prescription drugs a gateway for teen drug abuse,” Houston Chronicle, 4 September 2008