Treatment for Rohypnol Addiction at 12 Keys Rehab
An addiction to Rohypnol is not one that is always easy to identify or recognize at first. That’s why it’s important to arm yourself with as many facts and details as possible about Rohypnol and its effects if you suspect that you or someone you care about is addicted to this powerful tranquilizer. It's never too early or too late to get help.
You may have begun abusing Rohypnol at a club or rave, or you may have started your journey with the drug at the ripe young age of 13. You may have even started using Rohypnol in an effort to boost your high from other drugs — a practice Drugs.com says is quite common. You may even have mixed it with alcohol, another central nervous system depressant that can increase the toxicity of each, making it a very dangerous proposition.
Regardless of when you or your loved one began experimenting with it, by the time your dependency is discovered, it’s often profound. If you suspect that your loved one is abusing rohypnol, it is important to be able to recognize the common street names used. You’ll find Rohypnol available under a wide variety of street names, including:
- Forget-Me Pill, Forget Pill
- La Rocha
- Lunch Money Drug
- Mexican Valium
- Mind Eraser
- Roach, Roachies, Roach 2, Roches
- Rope, Roapies, Rophies, Ropies
- Rochas Dos
After long-term abuse of Rohypnol, you may experience a withdrawal syndrome when you try to stop using the drug. Because you can take it by injection, it can increase your risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. It also increases your risk of developing blood-borne diseases like HIV.
Getting treatment for Rohypnol dependency is critical if you’re addicted to this potent tranquilizer. Our 12 Keys Rehab center in South Florida offers a restful oasis where you can recover from your addiction to Rohypnol without yet confronting the pressure of peers and other commitments that may otherwise hinder your recovery.
Our waterfront location offers stunning views and effective treatments for primary and co-occurring addictions alike. We offer highly trained medical staff and counselors to help you through the recovery process and provide you with a safe and supportive environment where you can deal with the physical and psychological toll that addiction to Rohypnol takes on everyone who has a history of Rohypnol abuse.
Take the first steps, though, by exploring this guide. We’ve filled it with valuable and important information that will help you determine whether or not you or a loved one is experiencing an addiction to Rohypnol, and the steps you need to take now to find relief.
What is Rohypnol?
With a tranquilizing effect 10 times more powerful than valium, Rohypnol is a central nervous system depressant in the benzodiazepine family. Flunitrazepam is the pharmaceutical name for Rohypnol.
Rohypnol is a medical drug that the University of Maryland reports is commonly prescribed to treat anxiety, insomnia, seizure disorders and sleep disorders in more than 60 countries around the world.
While used for medical purposes in other countries, Rohypnol, with its strong muscle relaxing, anti-anxiety and sedative-hypnotic properties, has never been approved for medical use in the U.S. Despite this fact, it is commonly smuggled into the country and is widely available on the street.
Some people experience amnesia while under the influence. Others experience a marked loss of inhibition and impaired judgment. One of the most common illegal uses for Rohypnol is as a date rape drug, due in no small part to its effects and the fact that it can be easily crushed and dissolved into drinks without odor or color to indicate something is amiss.
Rohypnol is a fast-acting drug that begins to take effect on the user within 15 to 20 minutes of administration. The effects last between four and six hours in most cases, with some lingering effects lasting up to 12 hours or longer.
Rohypnol is available in forms that have no color, are odorless and tasteless, and are easily mixed in with alcoholic beverages to accentuate the sensation of drunkenness, or for the purpose of sexual assault.
Key Statistics and Facts About Abuse and Addiction to Rohypnol
Young adults and teens, mainly people aged 13 to 30, are the primary users of Rohypnol. Most users of Rohypnol are male.
Rohypnol is legal in Mexico and Europe, where it is used prior to anesthesia before surgery and prescribed for sleeping problems. It is not legal in the U.S.
In the U.S., Rohypnol is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance. It is not available for sale in the U.S. and is illegal to possess. Giving it to someone without that person’s knowledge or permission for the purpose of sexual assault can add up to 20 years to your jail sentence if you’re convicted.
Why Do So Many People Turn to Rohypnol?
Rohypnol is commonly abused among the party crowds that attend raves and nightclubs. They prefer the fast-acting nature of the drug and enjoy the loss of inhibitions, muscle relaxation and loss of anxiety experienced while using the drug.
Who Are the Typical Abusers of Rohypnol?
The audience for this particular drug is largely between the ages of 13 and 30, who often use the drug in combination with other “party drugs” or with alcohol to increase the effects.
Heroin users may use Rohypnol to increase the effects of the high, as well as to reduce heroin withdrawal symptoms, according to the University of Maryland, which also reports that many cocaine users abuse Rohypnol to soften the bad side effects when coming off a high.
How Is Rohypnol Used?
Rohypnol comes in tablet form, which is taken orally. Users might also crush it so that they can snort it or dissolve it in liquid. Some may even elect to inject Rohypnol, and some people have been known to sprinkle the powder of crushed Rohypnol on marijuana before smoking.
Many users take Rohypnol in combination with alcohol, marijuana, cocaine or heroin —perhaps a combination of two or more. It is an inexpensive choice that enhances the effect of these other drugs, creating a more satisfying high.
How Does Rohypnol Affect Your Brain?
Rohypnol is a very powerful sedative. It works by slowing brain activities. Unfortunately, this can be dangerous, and there are many harmful consequences. One is the amnesia effect you can experience after taking Rohypnol. While you may remember bits and pieces of what happened while you were under the effects of Rohypnol, you may never know the full extent of what happened while under the influence.
According to the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, you can become so incapacitated by Rohypnol that you’re only able to lie where you are with your eyes open, free to observe what is going on around you, but unable to act. When memory is impaired after the fact, you may not be able to recall what happened to you while under the influence.
What Part of the Brain Does Rohypnol Damage?
Rohypnol affects the GABA receptors in your brain — the same ones that are affected by alcohol - which makes mixing the two extremely dangerous and potentially lethal. Both work to reduce brain activity among those who are under the influence, reports the University of Washington. Once you develop a physical dependency on Rohypnol, your body needs larger amounts of the drug in order to maintain certain comfort levels, or to achieve a consistent high.
Under the influence of this date rape drug, you may behave as though you’re extremely drunk as a result of the slowed brain function. This includes things like slurred speech, loss of muscle control and an inability to defend yourself against unwanted sexual advances or sexual assault. You might also find that, due to lowered inhibitions caused by the drug, you’re more receptive to advances you would never entertain if sober.
Several weeks after the use of Rohypnol, seizures may also occur. This means there is the potential for short- and long-term effects of Rohypnol on the brain.
Is Rohypnol Addictive? How Do People Become Addicted to Rohypnol?
If you’re confronting the possibility that you may be addicted to Rohypnol, you may be asking yourself how this happened to you. Rohypnol was created to serve as a sleep aid. The relaxing feelings it elicits make it extremely effective at promoting sleep. You may have taken Rohypnol at first as an attempt to get a good night’s sleep.
Maybe you were trying to self-medicate to treat anxieties about college coursework, public speaking or even work. Some people start out taking Rohypnol in search of a bigger buzz.
The more often you take Rohypnol, the less intense the effects become. This means you must take more of the drug to maintain the same degree of intensity — or you must take more frequent doses of the drug. It creates a chemical reaction in your body. The more you use the drug, the more dependent your body becomes.
When you stop taking the drug, your body has a physical reaction in response. These withdrawal symptoms, above all else, are indicators that you are, in fact, addicted to Rohypnol. This is also an indication that it’s important to seek help from experienced professionals, like 12 Keys Rehab, to help you detox safely and begin your recovery.
What Is the High From Rohypnol Like?
The high from Rohypnol alone is not all that intense. It’s more of an extremely relaxed state of being – a carefree state of mind, if you will. When you mix Rohypnol with other drugs, the sensations and the high can intensify. The experience with Rohypnol is different according to the drugs it is mixed with.
- When taken with alcohol, Rohypnol intensifies the degree and symptoms of drunkenness.
- When taken with marijuana, Rohypnol makes you feel a little more zoned out or spacey.
- When taken with amphetamines, Rohypnol can help you experience soothing warmth that takes the edge off some of the more traumatic elements of getting high or crashing on these potent drugs.
If you’re suffering from an addiction to Rohypnol, chances are good you’re addicted to other drugs as well, and are using Rohypnol to either balance the symptoms, smooth the edges or intensify the high. Very few people are addicted to Rohypnol for the sake of the tranquilizing effects alone.
Symptoms of a Rohypnol Addiction
It isn’t necessarily the short-term effects of Rohypnol that typically indicate an addiction. These “roofie” symptoms include things like: feelings of deep relaxation, euphoria, drunkenness, sleepiness, memory loss, disorientation, dizziness, nausea, loss of coordination (fine motor skills) and blackouts.
Instead, it’s the long-term effects of Rohypnol that generally signify you may have an addiction to Rohypnol. These effects will vary greatly from person to person and may include some or all of the following Rohypnol symptoms:
- Cardiovascular collapse
- Extreme Anxiety
- Muscle Aches
You’ll generally know that you have a problem and are likely facing an addiction to Rohypnol if you experience worsening symptoms, or symptoms of withdrawal, once you attempt to discontinue your use of Rohypnol.
What Is a Rohypnol Addiction Like?
Over time, your body develops a dependency on Rohypnol. The need for the drug becomes more frequent and more urgent. Higher doses are needed to recreate the intensity of the high it provides. Failing to take adequate doses of the drug can result in you experiencing unpleasant and even dangerous symptoms of withdrawal.
Because Rohypnol affects your memory and brain, you may find yourself losing significant chunks of time while using. You may remember bits and pieces, or your memories may take on dreamlike qualities where it is difficult to discern fact from fiction. You may have no memory at all of what happened.
Another problem related to Rohypnol addiction is that it affects muscle coordination when you’re high. This could lead to more accidents — both in and out of automobiles. You may discover more bumps, bruises and broken bones as a result of stumbling along while experiencing the extreme drunken state Rohypnol elicits.
Rohypnol also lowers inhibitions, making you more accepting and agreeable to sexual acts that you would not normally consider while sober. In fact, seven out of ten college students admit to consenting to sexual acts they would have never consented to while sober, according to Health Research Funding. This opens a pathway to greater instances of sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies.
Overdose and other negative outcomes are also likely among chronic users of Rohypnol. This includes things like comas, seizures, respiratory distress and even death. Because Rohypnol is often taken with other drugs, you’re likely addicted to multiple drugs that may have other risks and can be exacerbated by Rohypnol.
Then, there’s the withdrawal. If you attempt to stop taking Rohypnol on your own, or simply do not get a follow-up dose quickly enough once addicted, you’ll find that the withdrawal symptoms of Rohypnol can be quite unpleasant and equally severe. Here at 12 Keys Rehab, we strongly urge you to seek professional, medically supervised assistance while attempting to break your addiction to Rohypnol so that you have greater odds of success, and to help ease the symptoms and severity of Rohypnol withdrawal.
Does Rohypnol Addiction Cause Permanent Damage?
Rohypnol use can result in death. Damage doesn’t get more permanent than that. There are other types of damage that occur as a result of addiction that last long after sobriety takes hold. Because Rohypnol is a drug that impairs memories and reduces inhibitions, there are some fairly significant and lasting consequences that can come about as a result of your Rohypnol abuse.
These include things like blood-borne illnesses if you inject Rohypnol, STDs from sexual behavior while under the influence, and damage to your reputation and dignity — especially in today’s society, where every mistake is caught on someone’s mobile phone.
Rohypnol abuse also increases your risks of sexual assault and rape. The fact that using Rohypnol may impair or erase your memory of the assault doesn’t make it any less traumatic for you on an emotional or physical level.
Acts done while under the influence of Rohypnol can haunt you, affecting your ability to get a job, hurting your family, and destroying personal relationships with friends and lovers. Long-term abuse of Rohypnol can result in a wide variety of symptoms, including:
- Respiratory problems
- Impaired sexual funciton
- Mental health issues
Rohypnol addiction is often complicated by the drugs or alcohol used in combination with Rohypnol. Because it responds differently in concert with different drugs, it is necessary to consider the side effects of the other drugs, and the combinations of permanent or long-term effects they may have on your physical, emotional and mental health.
How Long Does It Take to Withdraw From Rohypnol?
While some drug detox programs take only a few days, the detox and withdrawal process for Rohypnol can take much longer, because there are some effects, specifically convulsion and seizures, which can occur up to a week after you stop using Rohypnol.
The withdrawal symptoms associated with Rohypnol are quite severe and can be very dangerous. That’s one reason why a medically supervised withdrawal from this particular drug is so strongly recommended. Some of the symptoms you may experience while going through withdrawal from Rohypnol include:
- Sleep Disturbances
- Extreme Insomnia
- Violent Acts
- Severe Anxiety
- Heart Problems
Additionally, some people going through withdrawal from Rohypnol and other Benzodiazepines may commit suicide or violent acts against themselves or others. People who quit suddenly on their own, without getting professional help, are more likely to experience Rohypnol withdrawal syndrome.
What Are the Stages of Rohypnol Withdrawal?
Withdrawal from Rohypnol actually occurs in two stages. The first stage lasts approximately three to four days after you last used Rohypnol. This is when you’ll experience strong cravings for Rohypnol, acute anxiety, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, increased heart rate and extreme irritability.
You may even experience flu-like symptoms during this stage. Some people will experience convulsions or seizures and may need to receive immediate medical attention, as these side effects can be fatal.
The second stage of withdrawal from Rohypnol can last 10 to 14 days following the last instance of drug use. Cravings will continue during this time, but become less intense. You may continue to feel nauseous, shaky, depressed or anxious, and seizures are still a possibility. It is important for you to have 24-hour supervision during this time so medical attention can be sought if seizures occur, or intervention sought if you begin having suicidal thoughts.
The symptoms of withdrawal, while challenging, are well worth the effort when you think of the reward of living a life that is free of the weight addiction adds to it. Rohypnol addiction is one that is particularly cruel to its victims, in that other people will have better memories of what happened while under the influence than you do. You may never know the full extent of your actions while under the influence, and may never be able to make amends to some of the people your actions may have hurt.
How Can I Help a Loved One Who Is Addicted to Rohypnol?
It is especially difficult to watch your loved one struggle with a Rohypnol addiction and the potential consequences it carries. As someone on the outside looking in, you may feel helpless to bring about change. You have more power than you realize, though. At 12 Keys Rehab, we work closely with friends and family to help guide you through the process of helping your loved one get the help they need to return to sober living.
We encourage you to seek professional assistance to help your loved one through the process, rather than trying to love them through it. Your efforts may simply serve to enable the addiction, rather than working to solve the problem.
One of the most important steps you can take is to enter your loved one into the 12 Keys Rehab program. We have the right tools and a valuable team of highly trained professionals to help your loved one recover safely from a Rohypnol addiction. At the very least, encourage your loved one to seek professional help, even if it requires tough love ultimatums.
Other steps you can take to help your loved one include the following, sometimes difficult, steps:
- Cut them off financially. Stop giving them money to feed their addiction
- Take the keys to the car. While not everyone can do this, parents of teens going through Rohypnol addictions certainly can, and should. It's one thing for teens to live with the reality of the many things they've done under the influence, but if they take the life of someone else while driving under the influence, learning to live with the guilt can make recovery for your loved one infinitely more difficult.
- Stop excusing bad behavior of your loved one while under the influence.
- Don't cover up your loved one's illegal activities while using Rohypnol Sometimes, it's the realization of these activities or the consequences of them that cause the ultimate turnaround
There are other things you can do that will be helpful, too. In fact, the following items will be even more helpful once your loved one is in an excellent addiction recovery program like the 12 Keys Rehab program.
- Educate yourself about Rohypnol, Rohypnol addictions, and drugs that are commonly taken with Rohypnol.
- Listen to your loved one while offering no judgments.
- Applaud positive behavior and changes you see in your loved one as therapy and treatment progress.
- Avoid activities, like drug or alcohol use, while around your loved one.
- Consider getting counseling for yourself. Addiction doesn’t exist in a bubble. You’ve been hurt by their addiction, too, and you may have your own issues to work through. Consider personal counseling and family counseling.
It’s the little things, the small steps you take, that build a healthier relationship and understanding between you and your loved one, and can make a world of difference.
What Types of Co-Occurring Disorders Exist With Rohypnol?
Rohypnol is a condition that is rife with co-occurring disorders. In addition to addictions that are often co-occurring with a dependency on Rohypnol, there are countless other mental and emotional issues that may make some people more susceptible or vulnerable to a Rohypnol addiction. These same conditions can complicate recovery efforts if they aren’t treated alongside the addiction.
Treating the addiction without treating co-occurring or underlying disorders is like closing the door to keep the rain out, but leaving your windows open. The water will continue to come in and your floors are still going to get wet.
That’s how it is when you treat the addiction without treating the underlying or co-occurring condition. You might be able to recover fully, but it becomes more difficult to manage along the way. The addiction recovery professionals at 12 Keys Rehab understand that addiction recovery is hard. We’re not going to sugarcoat it for you and pretend you don’t have a lot of work ahead of you. But we will do everything in our power to remove unnecessary roadblocks that might otherwise hold you back. And this includes treating any co-occurring disorders.
Many people begin using this drug in an effort to self-medicate and overcome symptoms that might be holding them back, like anxiety or insomnia. You may be one of those individuals. The Rohypnol didn’t cure those conditions. It can only help you overcome the symptoms of the conditions — meaning that you’ll still be prone to panic attacks and long, sleepless nights without the assistance of Rohypnol.
We’ll treat your anxiety with holistic anxiety treatment options so you’re not left battling the anxiety that may have served as a catalyst for your addiction in the first place. By offering non-medicinal treatments for the anxiety, you’re free to focus on recovering from your addiction without the hindrance of anxiety to draw you back into addiction down the road.
Because of the nature of Rohypnol’s use as a club drug, you are likely addicted to other drugs as well. This means you’ll need to address the co-occurring disorders that are common to these other drugs, too. Many of them include things like psychological disorders, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and more.
Our team of professionals includes people who are qualified to diagnose and treat psychological disorders that are discovered in combination with your addiction to Rohypnol. At 12 Keys, you have access to all the help you need to get the clean start you deserve after working so hard to overcome your addiction.
Dangers of Quitting Rohypnol Without Help
Because Rohypnol has a severe withdrawal syndrome associated with discontinuing use, 12 Keys Rehab always advises a medically supervised detox rather than attempting to quit cold turkey on your own.
What you may not realize is how high the stakes in this situation really are. The moderate symptoms of withdrawal, while uncomfortable, are not usually that detrimental. They include things like headaches, nausea, vomiting, muscle pains, confusion and typical flu-like symptoms.
However, some people experience extreme Rohypnol withdrawal symptoms that include excessively aggressive behavior, depression, suicidal thoughts, convulsions, seizures and death. The New York City Alliance against Sexual Assault reports that seizures can occur up to a week after the last dose of Rohypnol was taken or administered.
For this reason, it is essential that you go through withdrawal in a medically supervised environment where help can be given immediately should some of the more severe symptoms occur.
The other danger of quitting cold turkey and on your own is the fact that successful rehabilitation often depends on the type of treatment and the duration of treatment. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has determined that, while there is no “one size fits all” length of treatment, treatments lasting fewer than 90 days offer limited effectiveness, while those that last one year or longer offer greater potential long-term success. In fact, the NIDA goes so far as to say that “Good outcomes are contingent on adequate treatment length.”
Getting treatment for addiction helps keep you engaged in the treatment and recovery process, addresses underlying issues that may exacerbate recovery and helps you become healthier in mind, body, and spirit, while ridding your body of the toxins that have had such a powerful hold on your life.
How Do You Safely Detox From Rohypnol?
The only safe method for detoxing from Rohypnol is one that is medically supervised. There are too many risks involved and no loved one, no matter how diligent, can monitor you closely enough 24 hours per day over a period of at least two weeks.
It is true that the first three days are when the most debilitating physical symptoms of withdrawal take place. These are the symptoms your body feels as it adjusts to the absence of Rohypnol. They include things like headaches, nausea and other flu-like symptoms.
The longer you were abusing Rohypnol, the more severe these symptoms tend to be. In extreme cases, you may experience a complete inability to sleep, out of control aggression, restlessness, tremors and even psychosis. These are things loved ones may not know how to deal with and you may be unable to handle on your own — especially if you experience heartbeat fluctuations, severe breathing problems or seizures.
You need medically trained personnel to help alleviate the harsher physical symptoms of detoxification from Rohypnol. You also need fast access to highly trained counseling professionals to address the emotional and psychological aspects of detox, as depression and suicide are common among people who attempt to detox from Rohypnol on their own.
How Is Rohypnol Addiction Treated?
Different rehabilitation and recovery centers address Rohypnol treatment in different ways. The 12 Keys approach is one that involves recovery on different levels. We believe that true healing must take place within the mind, body, spirit and family in order to have a lasting recovery.
We do not follow one plan for everyone who walks through our doors. Instead, we offer you a treatment plan that is designed specifically for you after monitoring you and engaging in one-on-one counseling sessions with you. We believe that flexibility in programming is the number one secret for success. We also believe it can help make sure you’re getting the full healing you need for the best possible foundation for life beyond 12 Keys Rehab.
We also understand that your treatment needs may evolve as your recovery progresses. We do not come up with one treatment and stick to it through the end, regardless of how you are progressing. We constantly monitor you and your situation to look for signs that certain aspects of treatment may be more or less effective than others, and adjust accordingly.
At 12 Keys, we believe that holistic treatments offer the best results for most of our clients. Our therapists have a small number of clients at any given time so that we can offer you the full attention you deserve during your recovery here with us.
We also believe that learning to relax, repair your mind and body, and enjoy life are foundational aspects of recovery. Our center features beautiful views of the water and has countless creature comforts so you can focus on these things as your body and spirit recover from addiction. We work hard, but we also devote time to good clean fun, rest and relaxation — all of which are essential for your total recovery.
Are you ready to leave the roller coaster ride of addiction behind and get the Rohypnol treatment you need? At 12 Keys, we are dedicated to helping you succeed in your recovery every step of the way. Contact us today to learn how we can help you or a loved one enjoy a life that is finally free of addiction and all the baggage that goes along with it.