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The Unsuspecting Effects of Rohypnol

Rohypnol is a benzodiazepine prescribed for short-term treatment of anxiety, insomnia, muscle spasms and other issues that can improve with the use of central nervous system (CNS) depressants. It is also known as a popular party drug that causes relaxation and euphoria, and intensifies or counteracts the effects of other intoxicating substances.

It is highly addictive and can cause confusion and amnesia, side effects that have earned it the nickname of the “date-rape drug.”1

But confusion and memory loss are not the only side effects of Rohypnol use. Along with the dangers of overdosing or risking dangerous drug interactions, the drug can cause changes in appetite and eating habits. As with any substances that changes your body chemistry, Rohypnol affects the body’s self-regulation and can result in health problems.

Rohypnol and Appetite Changes

Some substances, such as marijuana, increase appetite and cause weight gain, while others decrease appetite and cause extreme weight loss. Some cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, which can result in appetite loss as well as poor absorption of essential vitamins and minerals, potentially leading to malnutrition. The side effects of Rohypnol include stomach disturbances, and the effects vary among people who take the drug.2

The psychological impact of drugs can also lead to changes in appetite. For example, common side effects of long-term abuse of most psychoactive drugs include depression and anxiety. Depending on how each individual responds to these mental health issues, the depression or anxiety caused by persistent Rohypnol abuse can lead to eating as a way of coping with emotions or complete disinterest in food.

Rohypnol Induced Appetite Changes

The loss of appetite caused by persistent Rohypnol use can lead to malnutrition, which can cause the body to be vulnerable to sickness and lead to other problems. Anyone who does not eat, or eats food of low nutritional value, can experience the symptoms of malnutrition.

While not eating may seem like the most obvious cause of malnutrition, sometimes increased appetite can result in malnutrition as well. When someone who uses Rohypnol begins to have cravings, he or she may begin to eat a lot more; however, the chosen foods may have very little nutrition and deprive the body of needed vitamins and minerals.

Some of the symptoms of malnutrition include the following:
  • Notable weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability and moodiness
  • Increased susceptibility to infections
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Depression
  • Dryness of hair and skin, bad complexion
  • Delayed healing of even minor cuts and bruises

Aside from the loss of appetite that Rohypnol abuse can cause, it can lead to dependency and addiction. When people experience the compulsive need to use Rohypnol, they may begin to neglect basic needs like nutrition and personal hygiene.

Help for Addiction

If you or a loved one is addicted to Rohypnol, call our toll-free helpline to speak with an admissions coordinator about your professional treatment options. We are available 24 hours a day to connect you with the treatment plan that meets your individual needs and fosters long-term recovery from Rohypnol addiction. Please call today.

By Becca Owens

1"Rohypnol." US Drug Enforcement Administration, Accessed November 28, 2018.
2"Rohypnol.", 4 Sept. 2018.