Club Drugs Part 2: Rohypnol
Imagine this scenario: you are at a club or party having the time of your life. Someone comes up and tries to put “the moves on you.” You turn them down and move on, but that person will not leave you alone! You think that they may have put something in your drink but thought nothing of it and drank it anyway. That is all you remember until you wake up hours later. What happened?! Best guess, you were given a roofie. A roofie is the shortened named for the illegal drug Rohypnol. Rohypnol is the brand name for Flunitrazepam, a benzodiazepine drug in the same family of medications as Valium and Xanax. However, unlike these other drugs, Rohypnol has never been approved for any medical use in the United States. It is illegal to manufacture, distribute, or possess Rohypnol in this country. Rohypnol is also known by these other names:
- La Rochas
- Forget Pill
- Poor Man’s Quaalude
- Mind Erasers
- Mexican Valium
- Lunch Money (referring to the drug’s low street price)
The small white pills look similar to many other prescription medications that are on the market, either in the United States or elsewhere. However, they are easily identifiable because they bear the name of the company which manufactures them on one side. The company’s name is Roche, and it is stamped on one side of the pills. This makes them readily identifiable if the pills are intact.
Rohypnol is probably the most well-known club drug because of how often it is used on unsuspecting victims. When Rohypnol is dissolved in a drink, you usually can’t see it, smell it, or taste it. Therefore, if you are “dosed,” you probably won’t know that you’re being drugged. Soft drinks, punch, beer, or other alcoholic beverages can all provide the disguise.
This drug puts you in a really dangerous spot, especially if someone dosed you like in the scenario above. It can cause amnesia and because it attacks the central nervous system, it can render your body uncontrollable. The effects can last up to six hours.
Because of the amnesia that can happen, individuals are unable to remember certain events that they experience while under the influence of the drug. This effect is particularly dangerous when Rohypnol is used to aid in the commission of sexual assault; victims may not be able to clearly recall the assault, the assailant, or the events surrounding the assault. If you think that you have been a victim of date rape, it is important to talk to someone.
Due to Rohypnol being used as a date rape drug the maker of the drug has changed some of the pills to a green pill with a blue core so it will dye the liquid blue when dropped in a clear drink. However, when dissolved in darker-colored liquids, the blue dye may not be noticeable. Generic versions of Rohypnol may not contain the blue dye so keep careful watch of your drink.
Here are some tips to help keep you safe while you are out:
- Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know.
- Don’t drink beverages that you did not open yourself.
- Don’t share or exchange drinks with anyone.
- Don’t take a drink from a punch bowl or a container that is being passed around.
- If possible, bring your own drinks to parties.
- If someone offers you a drink from the bar at a club or party, accompany the person to the bar to order your drink, watch the drink being poured, and carry the drink yourself.
- Don’t leave your drink unattended while talking, dancing, using the restroom, or making a phone call.
- If you realize your drink has been left unattended, discard it.
- Don’t drink anything that has an unusual taste or appearance (e.g., salty taste, excessive foam, unexplained residue).
If you think that you were a victim to this drug, reach out to someone. If you or someone you know needs help, Youth Outreach is available. Stop by or give us a call at 1.866.538.8023.