Rohypnol is a drug that is prescribed for insomnia, but drug abusers have discovered the pills, which can cause blackouts and memory loss. The drug is also slipped into women’s drinks to cause muscle relaxation, loss of memory and blackouts. There have been numerous cases of rape reported across the country in association with this drug.
Although it is sold as a prescription drug in over 60 countries, it is not approved for sale in the United States. The drug is usually smuggled into and transported within the United States through the mail or delivery services. It is known on the streets as “roofies,” “rope,” “the forget pill” and “roach”. Rohypnol is a sedative related to Valium but it is 10 times stronger.
Like alcohol, Rohypnol makes users fearless and aggressive, but it also causes decreased blood pressure, memory impairment, drowsiness, visual disturbances, dizziness, confusion, gastrointestinal disturbances and urinary retention.
The DEA is considering changing Rohypnol from a Schedule IV drug to a Schedule I drug which would carry the same penalties as heroin. There is also The Drug Induced Date Rape Act which has been proposed to enhance the penalty for distributing a controlled substance with the intent to facilitate rape or sexual battery. (Newsweek, 1996)