Roofies, or Rohypnol, is a drug that works by depressing the central nervous system. It isn’t approved for manufacture or sale in the United States, but is legal to create in other places around the world. This drug is often used in combination with other drugs and becomes the foundation of a potential sexual assault.
Statistics on Roofies
1. Teenagers and young adults, primarily individuals aged 13 to 30, are the principal users of Rohypnol.
2. Nearly 2% of high school seniors in the United States used Rohypnol at least once in the past year.
3. More than 45% of rapists were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
4. 84% of women who were date raped knew their attacker.
5. 90% of date rapes occur when either the victim or attacker was drinking.
6. Up to one-third of men in some surveys have said that they would date rape someone if they believed that their actions could go undetected by using drugs like roofies to commit the action.
7. 6% of college students thought that Rohypnol was the least dangerous of the drugs that are used in the party scene.
8. The percentage of college students who that that roofies were only moderately effective to the human body: 15%.
9. More than 13.6% of female students stated that when they felt impaired, unwanted sexual advances were made towards them.
10. Rohypnol is a tranquilizer about ten times more potent than Valium.
11. The drug’s metabolic properties are detectable in urine for up to 72 hours after ingestion.
12. Roofies are extremely affordable as an illicit drug, at prices which are usually less than $5 per tablet.
13. Current estimates of lifetime Rohypnol use start at 1.1% among 8th graders.
14. By the time the modern high school senior is ready to graduate in the United States, there is a 1.7% chance that they have used roofies at least once.
15. Rohypnol seizures were at their highest in 1995, with 164,534 dosage units seized by law enforcement personnel.
16. The number of roofies seized in the year 2000: 4,967.
17. The law imposes a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a fine for the importation and distribution of 1 gram or more of Rohypnol.
18. Basic possession of roofies in the United States carries with it a standard 3 year prison sentence.
19. 55% of female students and 75% of male students involved in acquaintance rape admit to having been drinking or using drugs when the incident occurred.
20. 90% of all campus rapes occur when alcohol has been used by either the assailant or the victim.
21. 7 out of 10 college students admit that they’ve consented to sex when under the influence of drugs or alcohol that they normally wouldn’t have consented to if they were sober.
The Beginning of Roofies
Starting in 1997, the formulation of roofies was changed by the manufacturer so that they could not be dissolved clearly into a fluid. Instead of being clear, the tablets were made in smaller doses with a blue core and a green outer coating. This dyes liquids blue, but they can still be dissolved in blue liquids without noticing it. When taken in such a manner, the effects of Rohypnol can usually be seen within the first 20 minutes of ingesting the drug. In return, those symptoms may last for up to 12 hours or more without memory of that time for the person who took the drug
Using Rohypnol also exposes people to other certain risks that aren’t thought about. The injectable form of the drug can create a higher risk of HIV exposure or transmission. People use Rohypnol because of its depressing effects, but like any depressant, it may have the reverse effect and create agitation and aggression instead. Typical side effects of Rohypnol are headaches, drowsiness, nightmares, and confusion in addition to the regular sleepiness.
Even though Rohypnol is a Schedule IV drug, the United States has penalties for its ownership or distribution that are similar to Schedule I drugs like heroin or MDMA. As the statistics will show, however, are standardized prison sentences don’t stop people from using, abusing, and distributing this drug for their own purposes.
How to Prevent Date Rape Drugs
Even though roofies have been changed so that they are more detectable now than they were in the past, there is still a danger of being exposed to this drug when it is not wanted. That’s why protecting yourself is incredibly important.
The best way to prevent a date rape drug from entering a drink is to make sure that you never put your drink down. If you do need to leave an unfinished drink for some reason, even if it is out of sight for only a few seconds, then consider it a wasted investment and go purchase a new drink. As easy as it is to put Rohypnol into a drink, especially when it is blue in color already, limiting the exposure that others have to the beverage will always be your best defense.
It is also important to make sure that you don’t accept it open drink from anyone you don’t know or don’t trust. Watch the bartender as your drink is being prepared so that you can make sure that there aren’t any foreign powders or tablets that are mixed into the drink. Choosing to avoid a punch bowl or other open drink option that you serve yourself can also proactively prevent a roofies exposure.
If you feel unusually tired after having a drink, it is important that you seek help immediately. You may wish to even ask for a urine screening test to make sure there is not Rohypnol in your system. The best proof comes when samples are taken immediately, even though it no can stay in the body for up to 72 hours for testing purposes. This way you can respond appropriately, protect yourself, and not find yourself consenting to doing something that you normally wouldn’t do or becoming the victim of a crime.