What is Rohypnol?
June 1, 2010 in Employee Drug Testing Information
Rohypnol (generic name, flunitrazepam) a potent benzodiazepine (a class of tranquilizing agents), is known as Mexican Valium, circles, roofies, la rocha, roche, R2, rope, and forget-me pill. It is available in more than 60 countries in Europe and Latin America, where its legitimate use includes preoperativeanesthesia. This drug is not available in North America for sale or prescription. It is usually brought into the United States by mail. Florida, California, and Texas are the states that have the most confiscations of rohypnol.
- What it looks like: The pills usually include a single score, the Roche imprint, and “1;” or “2;” to denote the tablet strength. The tablets are usually 1 or 2 mg in strength and are relatively cheap at only $5 per pill. Flunitrazepam is 10 times more potent than diazepam (the generic name for Valium) and is thus considered a cheap high. Rohypnol is odorless and colorless, making it easy to slip into someone’s drink. Rohypnol has been associated with date rape.
- What it does: Rohypnol in low doses is a sedative and muscle relaxant. In higher doses, it can cause lack of muscle control, amnesia, loss of inhibitions, and loss of consciousness. The effects are usually worsened with alcohol. Sedation occurs within 30 minutes after ingestion, with peak effects at 2 hours. As little as 1 mg can impair an individual for 8-12 hours.
- Harmful effects: Adverse effects include low blood pressure, dizziness, confusion, visual disturbances, inability to urinate fully, and, in some users, aggressive behavior. Dependence on flunitrazepam can occur. Withdrawal produces symptoms such as headache, tension, extreme anxiety, restlessness, muscle pain, light sensitivity, numbness and tingling of arms and legs, and even seizures.
- Detection: Benzodiazepines are easily detectable on most urine drug screens. However, flunitrazepam is used in such small doses and is so rapidly metabolized that it is not detected on standard drug screens, although it can be detected by specialized laboratories.