Rohypnol - Dangers & Potential for Abuse. Detox Plus UK

What is Rohypnol?

Rohypnol is a type of benzodiazepine with similar properties to Valium (aka Diazepam) and Lorazepam, albeit ten times stronger. Due to Its potency, it is only generally used as a premedication in preparation for surgical procedures; it can also be used for anaesthesia.

Over the years, Rohypnol has been commonly referred to as the ‘date rape’ drug. It has earned this dark reputation due to it being used to spike the drinks of victims in clubs and bars. 

Rohypnol is tasteless and smell-less and takes effect within a relatively short space of time, rendering its victims powerless over events that take place whilst they are intoxicated.

Rohypnol graphic

The onset of Rohypnol’s effects starts approximately 15 to 20 minutes after ingestion. When injected, the effects are almost immediate. 

Due to this drug having strong amnesic properties, someone who unknowingly takes it or abuses it will have little recall of events that take place whilst under its influence.

If you or a loved one are abusing the drug, we cannot stress enough how dangerous this is. Professional help should be sought without delay.

If you have an addiction to Rohypnol or a dependence,  you will require a full medical detox to ensure that you stop the drug safely and comfortably.

Call Detox Plus UK today to find out how our bespoke drug treatment programmes can help you or a loved one to break free from Rohypnol abuse and addiction permanently.

Where and how to get Rohypnol

Rohypnol is a prescription-only benzodiazepine medication commonly issued under the brand name of Flunitrazepam.

Prescribing guidelines for Rohypnol are for anaesthesia within a hospital setting or on a very short-term and occasional basis for those who have chronic insomnia. It can also be used to prevent and stop seizures (1)

Due to the powerful sedative effects and potential for abuse, it is rarely prescribed outside of hospital environments. Many other less addictive and less potent prescription medications would be considered a far safer alternative by general practitioners.

Sadly, like most controlled prescription drugs, Rohypnol can be purchased illicitly from the dark web and street dealers. It is this method of obtaining Rohypnol that leads to the most misuse and abuse of the drug.

Street names and Slang terms for Rohypnol

Street names and slang terms for Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam) include:

Forget me drug, Date rape drug, Roofies, Forget me pill, Mexican Valium, Wolfies, Circles, Mind eraser, R2, Rope, Roaches and Roapies

Rohypnol drug classification in the UK

Rohypnol – Flunitrazepam is a Class C controlled drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

Possession of Rohypnol without a legitimate prescription is illegal. 

Supply of Rohypnol without legal authority (as with all Class C controlled medications) is also illegal and can carry a hefty fine and up to a maximum of 14 years imprisonment (2)

The effects of Rohypnol

Royhpnol has strong sedative and amnesic properties. This makes it a sought-after drug for abuse.

The effects of Rohypnol-Flunitrazepam include:

  • Powerful sedation
  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Prevention of convulsions
  • Slowed breathing
  • Amnesia
  • Drowsiness

 Flunitrazepam can affect individuals differently. The severity of these effects will depend on the dosage, your tolerance to the drug, and the method of administration. 

Rohypnol adverse effects are much more likely to occur when mixed with alcohol or another drug.

Royhpnol can also have some paradoxical (adverse) effects, including:

  • Increased anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Aggression
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Loss of muscle control (feeling unable to move)
  • Decreased inhibitions
  • Loss of impulse control
  • Loss of memory of events occurring whilst under the influence
  • Violent behaviour
  • Seizures (3)

 Effects can be felt the following day. If you have taken this drug, you should not drive or operate heavy machinery the following day until you know how it affects you as an individual.

WARNING: Mixing Rohypnol with alcohol, other sedative prescription drugs, opiates or other drugs can cause respiratory depression, leading to drug overdose and death

How Rohypnol is abused

Rohypnol is available in prescription form in 1mg and 2mg tablets. Depending on the manufacturer, the pills are usually white or olive green.

Rohypnol tablets 1mg "Roche"

Those who abuse the drug may mix it with alcohol for more significant effects, crush the pills and sprinkle on cannabis and smoke it, crush the pills and dissolve it in a drink and drink it, or inject it in a solution form.

Using Rohypnol that is not prescribed for you or obtaining it without a valid prescription is also classed as abuse of this drug. after-effects of other drugs, such as cocaine, ecstasy or amphetamines.

Abuse carries many dangers, including Rohypnol dependence, Rohypnol addiction, respiratory arrest, coma and death.

Rohypnol mixed with alcohol.

Mixing Flunitrazepam with alcohol is a standard method of abuse and misuse of this potent benzodiazepine.

Both alcohol and Rohypnol are depressant drugs that suppress the central nervous system, and their effects become even more pronounced.

Regularly mixing with alcohol and taking to reduce the after-effects of other drugs, such as cocaine, ecstasy or amphetamines  can lead to tolerance and dependence on both substances. When this occurs, the affected individual will take ever-increasing amounts to gain the desired effects.

Where a Rohypnol or alcohol dependence, or dependence on both, has developed, it is not safe to stop taking any of the substances abruptly or without medical intervention and supervision.

Abrupt cessation of alcohol or Rohypnol where a dependence has developed can result in very severe, dangerous and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

Uncontrolled withdrawal symptoms can kill, as can alcohol withdrawal. Please call us or speak to your doctor for advice before attempting to stop.

Rohypnol withdrawal symptoms

As Rohypnol is a benzodiazepine, its withdrawal symptoms will be very typical of other medications in that class. 

As one of the more potent benzodiazepines available, Rohypnol withdrawal should be medically managed to ensure patient safety.

Rohypnol withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle spasms and cramps
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Aches and pains
  • Restlessness
  • Rebound insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Increased heart rate and breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Drug craving 
  • Convulsions

Undergoing a full medical detox for dependence will vastly reduce the severity of symptoms to a more comfortable and manageable level. It will also help to prevent the onset of life-threatening withdrawal symptoms and reduce the chances of developing PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome).

Any detox programme should be immediately followed by a bespoke rehabilitation programme to prevent relapse.

Call Detox Plus UK today to learn more about our Rohypnol detox and rehabilitation programmes.

Rohypnol and Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault

 Rohypnol tablet being dropped into alcohol

Due to Rohypnol having powerful sedative and amnesic effects (loss of short-term memory), it has sadly become a choice drug for facilitating sexual assault. Other drugs commonly used to facilitate sexual assault include GHB and Ketamine.

If you or a loved one suspect that you have been a victim of drug-assisted sexual assault, you should immediately call the police and report the incident. 

Rohypnol and similar substances in a singular dosage can leave your system relatively quickly. For detection and prosecution purposes, it is essential to seek help from the police or local emergency services as soon as possible. 

The police or your local A&E will also ensure you have the protection and support you need and assign you a victim support officer.

How long does Rohypnol stay in your system?

Many factors can affect how long Rohypnol stays in your system, including dosage, BMI, gender, method of administration, other drugs in your system, and hydration levels.

The following can be used as a general guide to how long Rohypnol stays in your system:

How long Rohypnol stays in your blood

Blood tests identifying the presence of Rohypnol can pick up traces of the drug between 11 and 25 hours post-ingestion

How long Rohypnol stays in your urine

Urine samples can detect Rohypnol metabolites from 60 hours to 28 days. The time frame is so wide that it depends on the dosage and method of administration.

How long Rohypnol stays in your hair and saliva

Hair strands and saliva tests can also detect Rohypnol’s presence in your system. Hair strand tests can detect the presence  for up to 90 days (sometimes longer) post-ingestion (4)

Help for Rohypnol abuse and addiction.

If you or a loved one have a problem with abuse or addiction to Rohypnol, Detox Plus UK provide professional, effective and proven treatments to help you recover.

Like any benzodiazepine medication, it is highly addictive and can easily lead to drug dependence and addiction.

Drug dependence and addiction are medically recognised conditions that require very specialist treatment and support to overcome.

Our CQC-registered drug treatment centres offer the highest medical and therapeutic care standards. We tailor each of our treatment programmes to each person; we know that ‘one size fits all’ does not work when it comes to successfully treating any form of addiction.

Call us today for friendly, professional and helpful advice on Rohypnol treatment available near you.





  1. Prescribing guidelines for Rohypnol
  2. Rohypnol – Misuse of Drugs Act 1971
  3.  Paradoxical effects of Rohypnol – Bramness JG, Skurtveit S, Mørland J (June 2006). “Flunitrazepam: psychomotor impairment, agitation and paradoxical reactions”. Forensic Science International. 159 (2–3): 83–91. doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2005.06.009. PMID 16087304.
  4. How long Rohypnol stays in your system – Kiss, B et al. Assays for Flunitrazepam. Chapter 48 in Neuropathology of Drug Addictions and Substance Misuse Volume 2: Stimulants, Club and Dissociative Drugs, Hallucinogens, Steroids, Inhalants and International Aspects. Editor, Victor R. Preedy. Academic Press, 2016 ISBN 9780128003756 Page 513ff

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