Rohypnol Drug Abuse Free Essay

Rohypnol is a depressant for the central nervous system belonging to a class of drugs referred to as benzodiazepines. Rohypnol is a very strong drug that is commonly used in the treatment of seizure disorders, insomnia anxiety, and sleep disorders (Weir). Moreover, they are useful for relaxing skeleton muscles. This drug is used across the world and is commonly prescribed in Latin America and Europe. Despite having never been approved to be sold or used in the United States, Rohypnol drugs are illegally found their way into the United States usually through international mail then sold in the streets (Curran, 108). From 1990’s this drug has occasionally been utilized to minimize depression resulting from abused stimulants like methamphetamine, cocaine and as well assist on sexual assault (NIDA).  However, this drug has been branded a name “date-rape drug” is it has commonly used in bars, placed in drinks of the victims. Therefore, because of the strong amnesia induced by the drug, it makes the victims loss memory of the assault. Research and surveys conducted in the recent past reveal that Rohypnol has been extensively misused and abused. These drugs are found to be very addictive and have some side effects on human health. Therefore this paper discusses the addiction, side effects, misuses and abuse of Rohypnol and how they can be treated. The paper also compares information from four peers reviewed journals with those of NIDA website.

Rohypnol abuse among the United States youths, as per Monitoring the Future Survey of 2016, the rate of abusers has increased by 0.1% from 2015 to a rate of occurrence 1.1% in the United States (NIDA). Nonetheless, the Rohypnol use has been quite stable since 1996 to date, with an annual occurrence of use between 0.3% – 1.6%. Of late, Rohypnol drug has gained popularity in the worldwide, especially among youths. In the United States, youths have been found to be misusing these drugs to be a cheap way of intoxication and thus raising concern leading to the need for an extensive criminal investigation (NIDA). College students and rave attendees are accused of slipping Rohypnol drugs into innocent women’s drinks especially in bars or nightclubs and then proceed to sexually abuse them. The use of Rohypnol drugs has been very prevalent and widely used by rape perpetrators because of its ability to make the victim under the influence of this drug unable to recall any of the events that happened (Curran, 109). Rohypnol has enabled many offenders to get away with their criminal activities and for that reason, it has contributed to the extensive misuse and abuse of this drug. Moreover, Rohypnol drug is commonly misused by prostitutes to their advantage by slipping Rohypnol drug into the drinks of their clients so that they would comfortably loot them, stealing their money and other valuable commodities when sedation occurs.

    Rohypnol is often misused as a primary intoxicant. Investigation shows that when Rohypnol is abused it is usually ingested together with alcohol. People like mixing Rohypnol with alcohol so as to stimulate and get intoxicated quickly and also saving on the cost of spending on purchasing more alcohol (Weir). Since Rohypnol can cause high intoxication youths to tend to prefer using it. Albeit being 7 to 10 times more powerful than valium, Rohypnol is not likely to result in death when consumed alone even when overdosed. Rohypnol can be extremely disastrous when mixed with alcohol and as well can result in unhealthy sexual activity (Weir). Despite its harmfulness, people consciously use Rohypnol to intoxicate themselves.

Misuse and abuse of Rohypnol cause adverse health effects. A high dose of Rohypnol especially when mixed together with central nervous system drugs such as heroin or alcohol can result in critical sedation, slower heart rate, unconsciousness, suppressed respiration which can be effective to cause death (Weaver). As Rohypnol is causing muscle relaxation, it can result in severe physical effects such as impaired motor condition loss, slurred speech, body weakness, severe headache and depression of the respiratory system. Nonetheless, Rohypnol can also cause physical dependence when often used over some time. Just like other benzodiazepines, Rohypnol causes a slowed down central nervous system functioning resulting in drowsiness, pharmacological hypnosis, amnesia and failure to recall on memories attributed to events that occurred when under Rohypnol influence (Curran, 107). Additionally, this drug may also result in increased or decreased duration for the reaction, compromised judgment and mental functioning, aggressiveness, confusion, and nervousness

     However, Rohypnol addiction is treatable. It can be managed through a 12-step program, inpatient or outpatient setting. In the inpatient addiction treatment, the Rohypnol or person that has suffered severe effects out of Rohypnol is placed to stay at the treatment facility throughout the period of the treatment program which is usually 28 – 30 days though it can be 60 or 90 days (Weaver). In the course of that time, the patient receives special medical attention and attended to by addiction counselors and therapists regarding how to overcome the addiction of Rohypnol drug and get to learn how to live a life without drugs. Another method of addiction treatment is through the outpatient addiction treatment. This kind of treatment entails the patients being attended to by a therapist and a counselor. However, the patients do not stay in a treatment facility but rather says in their homes and pay visits to the counselor or therapist several time for a scheduled period (Weaver). The 12-step program is a peer-based type of treatment of addiction (Weaver). In this treatment, the patient works together with other patients with the same problem of Rohypnol addiction and ensure that they finish a series of 12 steps which assist them in accepting their addiction and making restitution to the people whom they have harmed.

There is sufficient evidence proving that the United State has ever been a trendsetter for the developing drug misuse and abuse patterns and trends and however has ended up being the recipient of those behaviors. According to NIDA, it reveals that in the United States, men misuse Rohypnol to drug women by slipping these drugs into their drinks in order to take advantage of them by raping them (NIDA). However, the exploitation of Rohypnol in the perpetration of a crime is found to be quite different in the context in Europe. Rohypnol drug is commonly misused by prostitutes to their advantage by slipping Rohypnol drug into the drinks of their clients so that they would comfortably loot them, stealing their money and other valuable commodities when sedation occurs (Curran, 110). Remarkably, despite Rohypnol’s wicked perception in the United States, it, however, has a good reputation in the other parts of the world.

All the journals and NIDA website seem to share the same point that Rohypnol drug is commonly misused by the younger generation especially the youths. Rohypnol misuse has been found to be mostly by adolescents and young adults in the United States because it is cheap and also due to its capacity for increasing the level of intoxication (Weir). The popularity status of Rohypnol is facilitated by its effects that last for long, enabling the user to prolong the intoxication time-frame (Weaver). An extensive explanation as to why Rohypnol is highly accepted by the youths can be due to the common misperceptions about Rohypnol. To begin with, many people believe Rohypnol drugs are unadulterated thus being safe since they are in sealed packages (Weaver). Mostly, this drug is perceived to be a suitable substitute for heroin or cocaine and to other illegal hard drugs sold in the streets. Also, it is mistakenly perceived that Rohypnol’s presence is undetectable by urinalysis testing.

In essence, Rohypnol use, misuse, and abuse are prevalent in the United States and Europe. Prescribe use of Rohypnol is important in improving certain health condition but in United State, the use or sale of these drugs have not been allowed. It is evident that these drugs exist in the United State, sold and used by people especially the adolescents and the youths. Despite these drugs being reported to be very harmful to the health of individuals, these drugs are significantly misused. It is clear Rohypnol causes addiction which can result in more health effects and is also used to facilitate criminal activities. However, its addiction is treatable. It is therefore important that misuse and abuse of Rohypnol are avoided at all cost while those addicted to it to seek treatment and only prescribed use of Rohypnol to be encouraged.