In This Article:

A Brief Overview of Flunitrazepam

  • By: Andrew Easler, Esq.
  • Published: Sep, 18 2016
  • Updated: Dec, 20 2022

Flunitrazepam – better known by its market name, Rohypnol – is also known as the date rape drug. While most people associate this drug with illegal uses and taking advantage of others, it does have some known medical uses and can be used in small, safe doses. Thus, it is classified by the DEA as a Schedule IV drug. It has a low risk for abuse or addiction, but because it does have some illegal uses, it is still monitored above Schedule V drugs.

Details – What Is Flunitrazepam?

Flunitrazepam is, according to the University of Maryland’s Center for Substance Abuse Research, “A central nervous system depressant in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines.” These drugs are sedative-hypnotics, and they are used for a variety of purposes, including treatment of:

  • Sleep disorders
  • Seizures
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia

In lower doses, flunitrazepam and other sedative-hypnotics can be used as muscle relaxers. In higher doses, they are generally used for sedation. It should be noted, though, that flunitrazepam is significantly more powerful than Valium, and it has never been approved for prescription or over-the-counter use or sale in the US.

Thus, in this country, flunitrazepam is almost only found as a street drug sold in pill form as round white tablets. These pills are tasteless and odorless, and they easily and quickly dissolve in liquid.

In almost all cases, people do not use flunitrazepam willingly. Rather, it is slipped into a drink or otherwise given to them unknowingly. Most of the time, they will then lose consciousness and will not have any memory of anything that happened leading up to or after taking the drug.

Flunitrazepam’s Background Abroad and in the US

Because it is legally prescribed in other countries and because it has gained a reputation in facilitating sexual assault, manufacturers have changed the appearance and makeup of the pills. Newer Rohypnol tablets are now oblong, green, and when they dissolve in the liquid, they change its color to blue. This makes them much more easily detectable.

Also, while flunitrazepam is only a Schedule IV drug, under the Drug-Induced Rape Prevention Act, the penalties for trafficking can be as severe as those for Schedule I, II, or III drugs (respectively, depending on quantity).

Street Names for Flunitrazepam

Common street names for flunitrazepam include:

  • Rohypnol
  • Roach
  • Roche
  • R2
  • Mexican Valium
  • Forget-Me Pill
  • Rope
  • Rophies
  • Roofinol

Side Effects of Using Flunitrazepam

In addition to memory loss, the side effects of taking this drug also include:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Unconsciousness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion

What Does the High From Flunitrazepam Feel Like?

In most cases, there is no appreciable high from taking flunitrazepam. People who take it themselves will usually take it so that they can forget painful or anxiety-inducing experiences such as surgery or a prolonged dental visit. People who give it to an unknowing victim are hoping that the victim will be disoriented, weak and that they will either lose consciousness completely or have no memory of any of the occurrences after giving them the pill.

It is important to remember that, even if you have Rohypnol for personal use and it is technically a Schedule IV drug, if you have obtained it illegally, the consequences could be very severe. Depending on how much of the drug you have on your person, you could be convicted for attempting to traffic a Schedule I substance, which is on the same level as attempting to traffic heroin or LSD. The DEA takes date rape drugs very seriously.

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