Rohypnol is the common name for a drug called flunitrazepam. A slang term for it is roofies. The drug is sold legally, and it has many medical uses. It is a strong hypnotic (a drug that causes sleep); a sedative (causing relaxation and sleepiness); an anticonvulsant (fighting seizures); an anxiolytic (relieving anxiety); amnestic (causing forgetfulness); and skeletal muscle relaxant.  Most often, it is used as a treatment for sleep disorders like insomnia. It is thought to be one of the most effective hypnotic medications.
Like other hypnotics, flunitrazepam should be used only on a short-term basis or in those with serious insomnia on an occasional basis.
Benzodiazepines were created in 1957 by Roche, a healthcare and pharmaceutical company. Roche started selling flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) in 1975. At first, hospitals used the drug when a patient needed a deep sleep. It was sold commercially in 1975 in Europe, and in the 1990s in the United States. The drug was given the brand name Rohypnol.
Rohypnol is usually taken by mouth. It has a long active period – its effects can last 18 to 26 hours, and it can be found in urine and blood tests. This means that the day after taking the drug, a person may keep feeling tired and having trouble with thinking and balance. Even after a full day, driving a car may still be dangerous.
The drug is often involved in drug intoxication, including overdoses. Overdose of flunitrazepam may cause long-term sedation, poor balance, and poor speech. In serious overdoses, people may have breathing problems, coma, and possibly death. The overdose will be worse if flunitrazepam is taken with depressants, like alcohol or opiates. Flunitrazepam overdose can be treated with flumazenil.
Rohypnol has become widely known in the USA for its use as a date rape drug. It is used by high school and college students, rave party members, and heroin and cocaine users (who call a tablet of flunitrazepam a "roofie").
Some of the street names for Rohypnol are:
- beans (ZA)
- roach 2 (R2)
- forget it
- Mexican Valium.
- Magic date
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