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Steven James Project
CRI –Tel:01202 203101 - www.cri.org.uk/bit_bournemouthSHARP
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Essential Drugs & Alcohol Services
Roofies, the "Date Rape Drug", Rophies, Roach, Rope, R2, Mexican Valium
What is rohypnol?
Rohypnol (the trade name for flunitrazepam) is a tranquilliser which has recently been called by the media a 'date rape' drug.
Rohypnol is a legitimate drug used in the short-term treatment of sleep disorders, producing sedative-hypnotic effects including muscle relaxation and amnesia. It is alleged that some men have slipped the drug into the drinks of young women who either then pass out or experience short-term memory loss and are then vulnerable to sexual exploitation and rape.
It has been implicated in several date rape cases in the US, although there is no confirmed case of it being used in sexual assault cases in the UK.
Recently companies have started to sell products which will test for the Benzodiazepine group of drugs, which are commonly associated with Drug Rape. These usually take the form of test strips or beer mats, which can be easily carried on a night out for discrete testing. They can also detect benzodiazepines in urine, and can be used as a 'morning after' test.
Rohypnol is a class C drug. It can be obtained only through private prescription in the UK. It is not illegal to possess the drug if it has been obtained through prescription. Supply without authority is illegal and Class C penalties apply (maximum 14 years imprisonment and/or fine).
Rohypnol use causes dependence in humans. Once dependence has developed, abstention induces withdrawal symptoms, including headache, muscle pain, extreme anxiety, tension, restlessness, confusion, and irritability. Numbness, tingling of the extremities, loss of identity, hallucinations, delirium, convulsions, shock, and cardiovascular collapse also may occur. Withdrawal seizures can occur a week or more after cessation of use. As with other benzodiazepines, treatment for flunitrazepam dependence must be gradual, with use tapering off.
Updated February 2004
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Literature search completed: Drug scope- Sept ember 2011
Sheet published: October 2011
Review Date: October 2012
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