Menu Close

Rehab Blog

Providing Trusted, Evidence-Based
Treatment for Three Decades and Counting

If you or a loved one is experiencing addiction, we’re here to help.

Effects of Rohypnol Abuse on the Immune System

Rohypnol is a benzodiazepine that is prescribed for short-term use. It works by enhancing the effects of neurotransmitters in the brain to create a sense of calm. When taken for short periods of time as directed, the drug is relatively safe and carries little risk of overdose. However, effects produced by Rohypnol, such as confusion and short-term memory loss, can be dangerous, especially when the drug is combined with alcohol or antihistamines. Legal uses of Rohypnol include the following:

  • A hypnotic
  • A sedative
  • An anticonvulsant
  • A skeletal muscle relaxant

A popular drug abused at raves, nightclubs, parties and bars, Rohypnol is often used to intensify feelings of intoxication, boost effects of heroin or modulate the effects of cocaine. Rohypnol is termed the “date rape drug” because of its ability to induce amnesia, and it is highly addictive. Long-term use can lead to tolerance, physical dependence and psychological dependence. Possible signs of dependence include the following:

  • Tolerance
  • Withdrawal when medication is discontinued
  • Taking the drug in ways and at doses other than prescribed by a physician
  • Preoccupation with acquiring the drug
  • Social isolation resulting from increased use

People who abruptly stop taking Rohypnol sometimes experience seizures, delirium tremens and even death. Medical supervision is vital for a safe recovery.

Immune System Risks

Long-term use of Rohypnol causes significant immunological disorders. This puts addicted individuals at greater risk of contracting infection and illnesses such as pneumonia. One explanation for this effect could be that Rohypnol causes long-lasting changes to GABA receptors. GABA promotes relaxation and moderates stress but also supports the immune system in critical ways. A link between damaged GABA receptors and the immune system may explain why people withdrawing from Rohypnol succumb to frequent infections or seem to heal more slowly from wounds. Other physical effects of Rohypnol abuse include the following:

  • Visual disturbances
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Mental confusion
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances
  • Urinary retention

When mixed with alcohol, Rohypnol can cause respiratory depression, aspiration and even death. A Rohypnol addiction is very serious and requires immediate attention. With professional treatment, it is possible to recover and regain a healthful life.

Recovery from Rohypnol

If you or someone you love struggles with Rohypnol abuse, you are not alone. Recovery counselors at our toll-free, 24-hour support line can guide you to wellness. You never have to go back to a life of addiction. Please call. Start your recovery today.