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Rohypnol: What Parents Need to Know

What It Is:

Rohypnol is sold in some countries as a sleeping pill, but is illegal in the United States. Because it can cause extreme drowsiness (or "blackouts"), it is often used in date rapes.

Sometimes Called:

roofies, roach, forget-me pill, date rape drug, R-2, rope, circles, wolfies

How It's Used:

This drug is swallowed, sometimes with alcohol or other drugs. Sometimes it's crushed and snorted, dissolved and injected, or sprinkled on marijuana and smoked.

What It Does:

Rohypnol has received a lot of attention because of its association with date rape. Many teen girls and women report having been raped after having rohypnol slipped into their drinks. The drug also causes "anterograde amnesia." This means it's hard to remember what happened while on the drug. Because of this, it can be hard to give important details if a young woman wants to report the rape.

Rohypnol can cause a drop in blood pressure, as well as cause memory loss, drowsiness, dizziness, and an upset stomach. Though it's part of the depressant family of drugs, it causes some people to be overly excited or aggressive.

Users can become physically addicted to rohypnol, so it can cause extreme withdrawal symptoms when users stop.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: February 2015

Note: All information on KidsHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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