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What Is Rohypnol Prescribed to Treat?

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Rohypnol (generically known as flunitrazepam) is 10 times more powerful than Valium. It’s capable of rendering someone unconscious in mere minutes. Since it is usually odorless, tasteless and colorless, it is unfortunately sometimes used as a “date rape” drug (secretly dissolved in a drink).1

U.S. Laws Regarding Rohypnol

Despite its abuses, this medication is prescribed in some countries for people who have real medical illnesses, like insomnia.

The manufacture of Rohypnol is not legal in the U.S., nor is it approved for medical use in our country. As a result, it is generally not prescribed by American doctors or pharmacies. Other drugs in the benzodiazepine class can, however, be prescribed and taken as needed. (Rohypnol is commonly used in many other countries as a sleep aid since its sedative nature is helpful to producing a deep sleep.)2

Of course, just because Rohypnol can’t be prescribed doesn’t mean that people who want to abuse the drug can’t obtain it by some alternative means.

How Does Rohypnol Work in the Body?

Sedatives and tranquilizers, such as Rohypnol, are central nervous system depressants. This means that they slow normal brain function. They also lower blood pressure and slow down breathing.

Some of the dangers involving Rohypnol include:

  • Misuse of Rohypnol can lead to tolerance and dependence.
  • Repeated use of Rohypnol can lead to addiction, overdose and even death.
  • Mixing Rohypnol with alcohol is extremely dangerous and can cause death.3

The withdrawal symptoms from Rohypnol abuse include: headache, tension, anxiety, restlessness, muscle pain, photosensitivity, numbness and tingling of the extremities, and increased seizure potential.4


Easy, Illegal Access

Drug deal going downThere are various illegal courses of action that people in the U.S. can take in order to acquire this drug, including:

  • Faking symptoms of insomnia in order to get a valid prescription in a country where its sale is legal.
  • Ordering the drug online from an overseas pharmacy or doctor, based on a U.S. prescription for a different benzodiazepine.
  • Buying Rohypnol online from a pharmacy that requires no prescription.
  • Buying the drug from a local “street drug” dealer.

People who get drugs this way very likely have no medical reason for using Rohypnol. Since this drug is widely available outside the U.S., it is remarkably easy to obtain.4

Legitimate Uses for Rohypnol

People who have insomnia may need Rohypnol in order to get to sleep and stay asleep. They may never break the rules their doctors put down concerning the use of this drug. They follow the doctor’s instructions precisely in order to get the sleep they need in order to operate optimally the next day.

Other possible medical-related purposes for using Rohypnol include: reducing anxiety or excitability, relaxing muscles, and to slow down breathing and heart rate.If, however, people are using Rohypnol for purposes that have nothing at all to do with insomnia or are beyond the scope of their prescription, they should stop.

Michael’s House Can Help

Michael’s House offers a detox treatment program that’s safe and effective. We also offer services for other mental health issues that may be involved.Using evidence-based therapies, Michael’s House can help you or a loved one. We can help bring understanding about Rohypnol. We can explain how addictions work. We can also tell you how recovery is possible.

We invite you to contact us anytime on our 24/7 toll-free line, 760.548.4032 for more information or details on how to make a reservation for world-class services.


1 “Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol).” Center for Substance Abuse Research, University of Maryland. 29 October 2013. Web. Accessed 18 July 2017.

2Commonly Abused Drugs Chart.” National Institute on Drug Abuse. May 2017. Web. Accessed 18 July 2017.

3 “Sedatives and Tranquilizers.” Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 2017. Web. Accessed 18 July 2017.

4Club Drugs.” American Family Physician, Volume 69, Number 11. 1 June 2004. Web. Accessed 18 July 2017.

“Rohypnol.” Drug Fact Sheet, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Web. Accessed 18 July 2017.