Rohypnol, which is often referred to by its street name “roofies,” is a depressant that has been used for several decades. Those who take the drug become very tired and often pass out with no memory of what happened after taking the drug. It’s been used as part of a drug combination to commit date rape or sexual assaults, but there are regular users who take rohypnol for personal use as well.
Facts About Rohypnol
1. The average cost per dose of rohypnol: $5.
2. 15-20 minutes. That’s the amount of time it takes for rohypnol to take effect. It can last for up to 12 hours.
3. 1%. That’s the percentage of high school students who say that they have used rohypnol at least once in the last year from 2009 data.
4. Rohypnol seizures were at their highest in 1995, with 164,534 dosage units, and have since decreased to 4,967 units in 2000.
5. 3 out of 4 men in college say that they were drinking and using drugs when they were involved in a date rape incident. 55% of women say the same thing.
6. 9 out of 10 complete rape incidents on college campuses in the US occur when alcohol has been used by at least one of the two people involved.
7. Distribution of 1g of rohypnol has a federal penalty of 20 years in prison.
8. 3-5 days. That’s how long it takes to detox from a rohypnol physical addiction. Although 1 dose will not generally cause addictive symptoms, the drug is a benzodiazepine and can create a strong physical addiction with chronic use.
9. The evidence of rohypnol ingestion will leave the body within 72 hours.
10. About 15% of women say that they experience the most sexual advances from men when they feel impaired because of drugs or alcohol.
11. The percentage of college students who say that rohypnol is the least dangerous drug that is used in social settings: 6%.
12. 1 in 3 men say they would use rohypnol to facilitate a date rape if it could be guaranteed that they wouldn’t be caught afterward.
13. When compared to Valium, rohypnol is 10x stronger with its depressive effects.
14. 87% of women who experienced acquaintance or date rape or sexual violence knew their perpetrator on a personal level.
15. Nearly half of all reports of date rape occur with a wife reporting her husband for the crime.
16. 1 in 4 women in the 18-24 age demographic will be sexually attacked at least once in their lives by someone who is close to them.
17. 1 in 5 women who don’t report date rape say that they gave into a man’s unwanted sexual advances because they were tired of arguing about it.
18. In Australia, for those detained for drug crime, almost 60% stated that they knew about rohypnol, but only 1% of detainees were actually found in possession of the drug.
In the past, it was common to dissolve rohypnol in alcohol or other drinks because it was undetectable. In 1997, the formulation of the drug changed so that the tablets would leave a blue coloration instead. This makes it easier to detect in most alcoholic drinks, but doesn’t completely eliminate all of the risks.
As the facts about rohypnol show, this illicit drug is commonly used in the US even thought it is not approved or manufactured for medical use. All rohypnol in the United States is imported.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
The #1 best way to prevent unintended rohypnol ingestion is to never abandon a drink. If you do leave a drink unattended, then the best option is to just get a new drink to protect yourself. In large social situations, it is also a good idea to avoid punch bowls or drinks from open containers, especially if the color of the drink happens to be blue. Always watch a bartender open a bottle and pour a drink.
The risk of sexual assault is high with rohypnol, but there can be other health issues that occur as well. Unwanted sexual contact may spread an STI or STD. Those who take it may also experience reverse effects, such as enhanced aggression, that may also lead to legal trouble. Nightmares and persistent headaches are also common.
If you suspect you may have ingested rohypnol, then seek out help right away. It could be a choice that saves your life.