Rohypnol “Roofies”

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					Rohypnol “Roofies”

   By Melanie Wulforst
Chemical Structure of Rohypnol
 The drug is composed of      Chemical Formula:
carbon, hydrogen, fluorine,
  nitrogen, and oxygen.       C16H12FN3O3
Flunitrazepam is the true name for the drug; Rohypnol is a
specific brand.
It is a depressant.
It has numerous street names including ‘roofies,’ ‘roaches,’
‘rib,’ ‘lunch money,’ ‘Mexican Valium,’ ‘rope,’ ‘roopies,’ and
‘the forget pill’.
The drug is synthetically produced and is a benzodiazepine
         Effects of Rohypnol
Short-Term Effects Include:
   Sedation
   Muscle relaxation
   Reduced anxiety
   Partial amnesia/memory loss
   Dizziness
   Loss of motor control
   Lack of coordination
   Slurred speech
   Gastrointestinal disturbances/vomiting
   Blackouts
   Visual problems
   Low blood pressure
        Effects of Rohypnol
Long-Term Effects Include:
 Even though it is a sedative, it can cause strong physical and
  psychological dependence
 Aggressive behavior and/or headaches during withdrawal
 Sore muscles
 Hallucinations
 Possible seizures
 Convulsions
 Coma
 Death
Overdose Symptoms
Overdose is rarely fatal, but can be depending on
E.R. visits are necessary because vomiting,
hallucinating, and trouble breathing can lead the user
into a coma.
When accompanied by alcohol or heroin, the effects are
worse and much more dangerous.
How Are ‘Roofies’ Administered?
Roofies are ingested in a pill form.
They are usually small round 1mg or 2mg pills that easily
dissolve in liquid.
They have no taste and no smell, which is why they are
so dangerous.
A more recent form is a green pill that contains dye;
when added to a light colored liquid, the liquid turns
bright blue; when added to a dark colored liquid, it
becomes cloudy. This aids in the prevention of sexual
Roofies can be crushed and snorted, as well.
Commonly used to enhance a preexisting high, or help
come down from one.
      Is it Addicting?
Yes, roofies can cause both a strong
physical dependency, as well as a strong
psychological dependency.
It is a Schedule IV drug, meaning that it
has a low potential for abuse, is accepted
for medicinal purposes in the United
States, and it can lead to limited physical
and psychological dependence when
 Medicinal Purposes
Rohypnol is legally prescribed in over 50
countries, including Mexico, Columbia,
and many European countries, to treat
insomnia; it is also used as a pre-
Rohypnol's sedative effects are
approximately 7 to 10 times stronger than
In 2001, 1.1% of eighth graders, 1.5% of
tenth graders, and 1.7% of twelfth graders
reported using Rohypnol at least once in their
The federal drug possession penalty for
less than 30 mg is up to 5 years in prison
and/or up to a $250,000 fine.
Up to 20 years for people who intentionally
manufacture/distribute 1 gram of
flunitrazepam (higher penalty if there is a
prior conviction)
Forensic Identification
Laboratory identification of flunitrazepam is very
difficult to achieve.
There is only a 72 hour period of time to test for
it before the drug is metabolized in the body.
There are only insignificant traces after that time
which are nearly impossible to detect.
Antibody based (immunoassay) urine tests and
blood tests are conducted to detect the drug.
Gas chromatography can be used to identify
flunitrazepam, as well.
        Case Study
 Between April 1993 and July 1996, the
 Spitzer brothers raped at least 16 women
in the state of California with no weapons;
  the used only the aid of rohypnol. Once
  the women were drugged, the brothers
   would sexually assault them and video
tape the acts. Roofies were not as popular
at this time because they were a fairly new
   Interesting Facts/History
Flunitrazepam was first synthesized by F. Hoffmann-
La Roche & Co. in 1972.
Fritz Hoffmann, born in Switzerland, was the founder
of the pharmaceutical company.
The company name was changed to F. Hoffmann-
La Roche & Co. after Hoffman married his wife
Adele La Roche; it was popular for married couples
to hyphen their name.
Some of the many street names of the drug are
essentially named after Hoffmann’s wife.
Kurt Cobain overdosed on flunitrazepam and
champagne a few weeks before his death.

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