Do "Roofies" Get a Bad Rap?
There's been a lot of hysteria about a so-called date-rape drug called Rohypnol (aka roofies). The ignorant line on the street is that roofies are "the drug of choice among frat boys and gangsters and that a 2 mg dose can put a person into an excited, agitated and disinhibited state, leaving only amnesia. In Southern Florida, this is quite a problem since a 2 mg dose in one beer can put a college girl flat on her back in a moaning state of carnal hell, to waken with no memories of the previous night, wondering what the heck happened to her." I assume this is total bull pucky that redneck sheriffs made up one night after checking too many samples in the drug evidence room. Right?
Let's start at the beginning. Rohypnol is the brand name of Flunitrazepam, a relative of Valium and Halcion. It is a sleeping pill manufactured by Hoffman-LaRoche and while it is not sold in the United States, it is the most widely prescribed sedative/hypnotic in Europe. Illegal Rohypnol sold in the United States is frequently diverted from legal sources in Mexico and South America and is usually sold in the original bubble packs of 1 or 2 mg tablets. The street price of a single tablet varies from 50 cents up to US$8.
Like Valium, Rohypnol produces an alcohol-like intoxication. Also, like alcohol, it can produce a wide range of effects from pleasant relaxation to sleep, to increased aggression. Although lethal overdose is unlikely, the drug is addictive and withdrawal symptoms can be severe: headache, muscle pain, confusion, hallucinations, convulsions, and seizures have been reported up to a week or more after the last use.
I don't know that Rohypnol deserves the particularly bad reputation it has gotten in the press in this country. It may be guilt by association with the people using it. I should remind you that alcohol also has the reputation of being a date-rape drug. In fact, historically and at present, alcohol is the date-rape drug of choice. Overall, in fact, I'm not a great fan of this class of drugs because they interfere with mental functions and commonly cause addiction.
I trust this answer doesn't qualify me as a redneck sheriff!