Date Rape Drugs – Rohypnol® and GHB
Rohypnol® (roofies) and GHB are central nervous system depressants. Both drugs emerged in the early 1990’s as “drug-assisted assault” drugs. In the news, these drugs are more commonly known as the date rape drug and rophies, roach, rope.
People may unknowingly be given the drug which, when mixed with alcohol, can incapacitate and prevent a victim from resisting sexual assault. Also, Rohypnol® may be lethal when mixed with alcohol and/or other depressants.
Rohypnol® produces sedative-hypnotic effects including muscle relaxation and amnesia. In Miami, one of the first sites of Rohypnol® abuse, poison control centers reported an increase in withdrawal seizures among people addicted to Rohypnol®.
Another very similar drug is clonazepam, marketed in the U.S. as Klonopin® and in Mexico as Rivotril®. It is sometimes abused to enhance the effects of heroin and other opiates.
Why is this important for you to know as a parent? Whether your teen goes to a party or on a trip with friends, it is important that he/she is aware of roofies and GHB, how these drugs are used and how your teen can protect him/herself. While often associated with alcoholic beverages, they can also be slipped into a non-alcoholic drink.
Here is some important advice you can share with your teen:
- Don’t drink anything that you did no see poured, open yourself or that someone else gave you (other than a waiter), no matter how good-looking they are.
- Always watch your drink. If you leave it unattended for ANY amount of time, dump it and get a fresh drink.
- Roofies and GHB may have a bitter taste when dissolved in a drink; be alert for a strange taste.
- When placed in a light-coloured drink, the newer roofies will turn the beverage blue. Dump it immediately and be especially alert.
- Travel in groups.Three or more people is best. Friends should take care of friends and be observant of any strange behaviour, such as slurred speech and lack of alertness.
- If you think you have been drugged, ask for help IMMEDIATELY (preferably not from a stranger) and get yourself to a public place if you are not currently in one. You may have only a few minutes of alert behaviour.
- If you think a friend has been drugged, do not leave them alone. Seek help immediately.