Rohypnol, commonly known by the street name “roofies,” is a benzodiazepine that is a popular date rape and party drug. The half-life of this substance (the time it takes for the body to eliminate half of the dose) is relatively long and reported to be between 16 and 35 hours. If a person suspects that he or she has been given this drug, urine tests are considered the most reliable and can detect its presence for up to 60 hours. Beyond that, hair tests must be administered.
The effects of Rohypnol (flunitrazepam) onset within 15-20 minutes and can last for up to 12 hours. Blood tests can also be used to detect Rohypnol exposure for 24 hours. However, if a person has been given the drug unaware, they often do not realize it. It takes some time to recover, and they may not meet the screening window for a blood test.
Moreover, once they are in a position to do something about it, the timeframe for a blood test may have long passed. If you believe you or someone you know may have been given a date rape drug, it is imperative that you visit the nearest emergency department and connect with authorities as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the less chance that drug tests will be able to prove that an assault occurred.
Symptoms of Rohypnol Use
Like other benzodiazepines (e.g., Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, and Xanax), Rohypnol’s therapeutic effects include reduced anxiety and increased relaxation, relief of muscle tension, prevention of convulsions or seizures, and sedation.
Roofies are usually ingested orally or often mixed with alcohol. Rohypnol use can cause a variety of adverse effects, such as the following:
- Excessive drowsines
- Memory loss (amnesia)
- Decreased reaction time
- Impaired judgment
- Loss of motor coordination
- Slurred speech
- Stomach issues
- Respiratory depression
One of the primary reasons that Rohypnol is often used as a date rape drug is that it can cause temporary paralysis for up to 30 minutes after ingestion. It is ten times more powerful than Valium, and its effects can be more intense on a lower dose than other popular benzodiazepines.
Rohypnol DEA Drug Schedule
Rohypnol was classified by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) in 1984 as a Schedule IV drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule IV drugs are considered to have a lower potential for abuse than many others but can result in physical or psychological dependence.
Nonetheless, the penalties associated with the possession, trafficking, and distribution of Rohypnol involving are roughly equivalent to those of a Schedule I substance (e.g., heroin), according to the DEA.
How the Body Processes Roofies
Rohypnol is found as a pill with a 64-77% oral absorption rate. The peak concentrations in a person’s system occur between 30-90 minutes after consumption.
How long roofies stays in a person’s system is largely dependent on how it is metabolized. Flunitrazepam, the main active ingredient in the drug, is fat-soluble. Roofies are broken down in the liver into metabolites. Once Rohypnol enters a person’s system, it will have various effects depending on how much body fat the individual has, among other factors.
The effects of roofies will generally onset within 30 minutes after it enters the system. The rapid action and relatively high potency of the drug may make recreational abuse somewhat more attractive than that related to Valium and other substances that induce similar effects.
More on Rohypnol Detection in Drug Testing
For a Rohypnol test to be conclusive, urine should be collected within 60 hours after it was consumed. When only a residual amount of the substance is left in a person’s system, it can be challenging to identify it.
Also, flunitrazepam’s ability to cause temporary amnesia can last for a day or more, thus preventing the individual from undergoing a test. There are also psychological elements that can play a role in a person’s decision to get tested for roofies. Some victims might feel embarrassed or worried about legal consequences since Rohypnol is not approved for use under any circumstances in the U.S. And unfortunately, if the person is a rape victim, there is stigma, shame, and an emotional impact that comes with the terrain, and they may be reluctant to go through any sort of legal process.
If 60 hours have passed before a person seeks testing, hair follicle samples can be tested to detect Rohypnol. To be effective, hair tests should be conducted at least two weeks after the drug was consumed and up to 30 days or longer.
How To Test For Roofies
Urine screening for Rohypnol is often the preferred method to detect the drug when it is possible to conduct the test within 60 hours after its ingestion. However, sometimes a urine test might be able to identify the substance several days after it was consumed, especially if it was administered in very high doses.
Blood testing may be beneficial because it can detect Rohypnol concentrations as low as 4 ng/ml. A blood test can detect the drug up to 24 hours after it was ingested. This can be incredibly useful when a victim needs to prove the drug’s involvement in a sexual assault.
As mentioned, a hair test can be administered two weeks after the drug was taken. Like most other medications, benzodiazepines like Rohypnol can be detected in hair for at least 30, and perhaps up to 90 days its ingestion.
Some companies offer kits that a person can use to take a urine sample and then send it in for screening. While this is an option for some, it is essential to remember that a drug test administered by medical professionals is generally more reliable.
Considering that Rohypnol is used intentionally for recreational purposes as well as a date rape drug, detox and rehab facilities can perform a screening. This is typically required before a person begins undergoing substance abuse treatment.
Rohypnol Detection Before and After Ingestion
Traditionally, Rohypnol tablets were odorless and colorless, characteristics that made the drug notoriously hard to detect. However, the more recent versions of Rohypnol have blue dye in the pills, which is not visible until the tablet is placed into a light-colored drink. The drink turns blue if such a tablet is dissolved in it. In darker drinks, this may not be as apparent, and it is possible that individuals given this drug will not notice due to alcohol intoxication or dark environments, such as in bars and clubs.
Roofies as a Party or Club Drug
Despite its unsavory reputation as a date rape drug, it is sometimes intentionally abused to elicit its desirable effects, such as relaxation and anxiety relief. In a party environment, it may be used in combination with stimulants or hallucinogens to induce intense and unique highs. Rohypnol is dangerous when used occasionally, but repeated use, as noted, can also result in tolerance, dependence, and addiction that requires participation in a long-term, comprehensive rehab program in order to treat effectively.
Getting Help for Addiction
If you or someone you know is intentionally abusing Rohypnol, we urge you to contact Just Believe Detox center today to discuss treatment options! Discover how we help those who need it most recover from addiction and reclaim the healthy and fulfilling lives they deserve!