Topics: Benzodiazepine, Flunitrazepam, Date rape drug Pages: 6 (2169 words) Published: June 4, 2005

Rohypnol is a drug commonly known as the date rape drug. According to the article "Drug-Facilitated Date Rape," by Erica Weir, Rohypnol is not a legal drug in the United States or Canada but it is legal in 62 countries in Europe, Africa, Latin American and the Middle East. It is one of the most commonly used sleeping pill or anti-anxiety drug (Benzodiazepine) in these countries. People can get Rohypnol by prescription. Its main function is to depress the central nervous system. Rohypnol is given t some patients before surgeries because it lowers blood pressure and that reduces bleeding.
A pharmaceutical firm known as Hoffmann-La Roche in the 1970s first developed Rohypnol. It was sold first to Switzerland as a sleeping pill in 1975. It was known to have fewer side effects than barbiturates until some scientists did more studies on the drug and found out that it has many of the same harmful side effects as barbiturates. It was also found to be very dangerous. Abuse of Rohypnol began in the 1970s in Europe at parties. Then in the mid 1990s, high school and college students began abusing it in the U.S. They are using them at dance clubs and raves. U.S. banned Rohypnol in 19997. In an article called "Rohypnol: Profile of the "date-rape drug" by Dominick A. Labianca, it was stated that Rohypnol is not sanctioned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a sedative hypnotic drug and is therefore neither produced nor marketed legally in the United States. People could face prison f caught with the drug. It also became illegal for people to bring the drug as travelers into the U.S. for their personal use. Even though U.S. banned the drug, Rohypnol has become widespread throughout the U.S. because people struggle or mail the rug into the country and distribute it.

Rohypnol has many street names. Some are circles, forget me pill, la rocha, Mexican Valium, mind eraser, R-2, roofies, roche, and roaches. This drug is not very expensive and it can be easily found. According to the article called "Rohypnol, The Date Rape Drug," by Richard H. Schwartz and Andrea B. Weaver, tablets wholesale for about $ 1.00 and retail for about $ 4.00-$5.00 each. High school and college students use it because they think that if it is legal in other countries then it must not be dangerous or addictive. Drug dealers at races tell people false information about Rohypnol. They say that it is a harmless as vitamins or energy drinks. They also say that if you dance then the drug will leave your body as you sweat. Tests can be done to detect Rohypnol in someone's system for up to 72 hours. Rohypnol has been found in rape cases and it is increasing. Women are warned that if they go out they should have their eyes on their drinks or just take their drinks with them wherever they go. This is because some people crush Rohypnol and place the powder into women's drinks. This intensifies the alcohol and they get drunk quickly. This gets the to not be fully aware of what they are doing and it can lead to problems. When Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc. heard that their drug was being used to drug people, they changed the pill so that it takes 40 minutes for it to dissolve, and that way the drink takes longer to become affected. But even though the company has changed the pills, people are still not sage because illegal manufacturing of Rohypnol is taking place. It is colorless and odorless. For this reason Hoffmann-La Roche created an ad campaign to let people know of the illegal manufacturing of the drug.

According to the article by Dominich A. Labianca, "Rohypnol selectively affects synaptic processes in the brain brought about by the central nervous system neurotransmitter y-amino butyric acid (GABA)" (pg. 719). These processes involve the transfer of nerve impulses between neurons and effecter cells. The effecter cells are the cells of the gland, organ or muscle activated by the impulse. And this affects...

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