Rohypnol Addiction Overview and Guide
Rohypnol is the brand name of flunitrazepam, a hypnotic and strong sedative drug, and is in the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Rohypnol is informally known in a class of drugs called roofies which are drugs used in cases of drug assisted sexual assault or robbery. Roofies like Rohypnol are mixed into drinks and are odorless and tasteless. The strong depressant effects of roofies make a person excessively drowsy or unconscious. Rohypnol has been shown to produce anterograde amnesia with large doses, and as a result a sexual assault or robbery is often not remembered by the victim.
In some parts of the world, drug assisted robbery is more common than drug assisted sexual assault, and roofies like Rohypnol are also used for these robberies. Rohypnol addiction has increased in recent years, and although it is known as a date rape drug, the drug is used more often recreationally. Rohypnol is used by almost every demographic, however Rohypnol addiction is more common among young adults, high school students, college students, rave partygoers, and addicts of other drugs like cocaine or other club drugs.
Rohypnol addiction is a serious illness because of the severity of the drug’s effects and withdrawal symptoms. Although Rohypnol and club drug addiction and abuse may have increased in recent years, Rohypnol addiction is very treatable with the assistance of drug rehab centers. Treatment for Rohypnol addiction involves detoxification, medication to treat symptoms of withdrawal or other addiction symptoms, and psychotherapy to treat some of the underlying cognitive and psychological causes and effects of the addiction.
Rohypnol Addiction Symptoms
The symptoms of Rohypnol addiction may vary from user to user. Rohypnol is more potent than Valium but similar in its effects on the body. The drug is used primarily for its euphoric effects and other psychological and physical effects. Some of the physical effects of Rohypnol include drowsiness, decreased respiration, urinary retention, visual disturbances, slurred speech, decreased motor coordination, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbance, and blackouts. Severe physical effects include seizures and coma or death in high doses.
Psychological effects of Rohypnol addiction are numerous and may include psychological dependence, anxiety, aggressiveness, agitation, loss of inhibitions, talkativeness, violent behavior, memory impairment, confusion, and excitement. Both psychological and physical effects vary between the individual. Rohypnol has a synergistic effect with alcohol and opiate drugs, and combinations of Rohypnol and alcohol or opiates may lead to death.
Rohypnol is both psychologically and physically addictive. Those who suffer from Rohypnol addiction may be known to abuse other drugs such as alcohol, roofies, or club drugs such as GHB and LSD. Rohypnol is commonly available in tablet form, and those who have Rohypnol addiction may have small white Rohypnol tablets that look like small aspirin pills. Rohypnol addicts may also have a group of friends that is suspected to abuse club drugs, roofies, or other drugs socially.
Rohypnol addiction withdrawal is challenging for an addict because of the powerful physical and psychological addiction that the drug creates. Rohypnol is in the class of drugs called benzodiazepines which are known to have severe withdrawal symptoms. Flunitrazepam is known to have what is called a “rebound effect” in which withdrawal symptoms of the drug may continue for several days after the last dose. Withdrawal symptoms from Rohypnol addiction are very severe and are similar to those of alcohol withdrawal.
Symptoms of Rohypnol addiction withdrawal may include anxiety, headaches, muscle pains, tingling in extremities, numbness, shock, tension, tremors, convulsions, and seizures. Psychological Rohypnol addiction withdrawal symptoms may include delirium, loss of identity, hallucinations, and more. Withdrawal seizures may occur for up to a week after the last dose of Rohypnol, and psychological withdrawal symptoms may last for many weeks.
Rohypnol addiction withdrawal treatment is available at drug rehab centers that can gradually taper a patient off from their Rohypnol addiction to reduce the severity of the symptoms. Physical and psychological symptoms may be treated with medication and psychotherapy. Because withdrawal symptoms may last for several weeks or months after cessation of the drug, patients should be monitored and treated at drug rehab centers.
Rohypnol addiction detox at drug rehab centers is the safest way to detoxify from the drug. Benzodiazepines have potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms such as seizures. Severe psychological symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations may put a patient in serious danger. Detoxification from Rohypnol is not safe to perform without the assistance of drug rehab centers because of adverse withdrawal symptoms.
Those who are also addicted to alcohol or other drugs will require additional treatment, and it is even more important for those with multiple addictions to undergo withdrawal at drug rehab centers. Detoxification at a rehab center is performed with the supervision of medical staff and medical doctors. Detoxification takes place in a secure and safe environment for the patient. Addiction staff and professionals are available at any time for patients who need immediate treatment.
Although the length of time varies from patient to patient, most patients can expect physical withdrawal symptoms to take at least two weeks to subside. Rohypnol addiction detoxification may take several weeks for both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms to subside. The length of time also depends on the detoxification protocol that is used. For lengthier protocols that are intended to reduce symptoms as much as possible, detoxification will take longer amounts of time.
Rohypnol Addiction Treatment
Rohypnol addiction is treated with several forms of treatment including medication, psychological counseling, group counseling, and participation in outpatient group therapy programs. A treatment program that is best suited for each patient will be customized by addiction specialists and medical doctors. Treatment involves a detoxification protocol that is intended to be as comfortable and minimally symptomatic as possible for the patient.
Patients are also treated for any additional addictions that they may have. Psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or other disorders that a patient may have can also be treated at drug rehab centers by psychologists and psychiatrists. Patients are provided outpatient treatment options, however for many Rohypnol addiction cases inpatient stays will be recommended by addiction specialists to ensure the safety of the patient.
Medications such as lorazepam may be prescribed for anxiety and other medications may be used to treat psychological effects. Physical symptoms may be treated with pain or nausea medications. Phenobarbital may be substituted for Rohypnol and gradually tapered down over a period of days or weeks to minimize withdrawal symptoms. Patients are provided with continual care, and there is also strong social support network which may not otherwise be available to the patient. Those addicted to Rohypnol can continue to overcome their addiction after their initial treatment phase with long term participation in a 12-step program and continued outpatient therapy and counseling.