In the 1950s it was commonly know as slipping someone a Mickey Finn. By the mid-1980s it was called H-Bombing: prostitutes slipped the sleeping pill Halcion into a customers drink and robbed them after they would pass out. But the recent introduction of the illicit doping drugs, rohypnol promises to take the dangerous practice of doping unsuspecting victims into new depths. Today I am going to talk about rohypnol or other wise known as the date rape drug. I will tell you what it is, its effects, and the steps people can take to avoid rohypnol.
According to the May 98 issue of Clinical Pediatrics, rohypnol is a sedative-hypnotic benzadiazepine manufactured by the Hoffman La Roche Company in Europe and Latin America, and is prescribed in those places for treatment of anxiety and insomnia. Although the drug is not manufactured or prescribed in the United States, it is homemade or smuggled into the country and distributed.
Rohypnol is the trade name for the drug flunitrazepam a benzadiazepine which is a central nervous system depressant like Valium but 10 time more potent. The marketed drug looks like aspirin, but has a single or cross-scored on one side with ROCHE spelled across it with the number 1 or 2 encircled underneath it on the other side. The drug is a 1 or 2 mg pill that is shipped in bubble packaging or blister packs that appear very similar to aspirin also. Street prices one-milligram tablet is $1and $5 for a two-milligram tablet. Street names for rohypnol are roche, la roche, rope, roofies, rib, ruffies, stupefi, and the most common the date rape drug. When dissolved in alcohol, soft drinks, water, or any other liquid the drug is colorless, odorless, and tasteless.
Because of this rohypnol can easily 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 could not do anything about it. Effects of rohypnol begin within 20 minutes after ingesting then last up to 8 to 24 hours. Rohypnol intoxication is generally associated with impaired judgment and impaired motor skills, and the combination of alcohol and rohypnol is also especially hazardous together because their effects on memory and judgments are greater than effects from either of them taken alone. Other effects include visual impairment, drowsiness, confusion, decreased blood pressure, memory impairment, gastrointestinal disturbances and urinary retention. When mixed with alcohol, rohypnol may cause respiratory depression, aspiration, or even death. Mixing rohypnol with alcohol intensifies all of its effects. If taken as a regular drug to get high long term effects may have physical dependence and need for medically supervised withdrawal treatment. Reports of abuse on many college campuses include stories of women waking up naked in unfamiliar surroundings with no memory of the previous night or the last couple of hours. They may have been sexually assaulted without any memory of what took place.
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 have been subjected to unprotected sex. Most cases are reported by females, but this drug has the same effect on males. The best way people can reduce the risks of being assaulted because of the drug rohypnol is to mainly not leave their drink unattended. Beverage containers come in sealed containers, do not take opened containers unless you have seen the person open it. If you order mixed drinks, watch the person who mixes it. Do not take any open beverages, including alcohol, form someone you do not trust. Never drink anything out of a common punch bowl. If someone offers to buy you a drink go up to the bar with that person to accept it. Subscribe to the buddy system always party with one or more friendns, and make sure you know exactly what you are drinking.