Flunitrazepam, most commonly referred to as Rohypnol, may be a sedative, amnestic, hypnotic, anticonvulsant, anxiolytic or skeletal muscle relaxant drive, which depends largely on its use.
Flunitrazepam is known as a benzodiazepine and most commonly prescribed to patients suffering from severe insomnia due to its sedative, amnestic and hypnotic qualities.
When prescribed as a hypnotic drug, it is typically used for the most severe insomniacs who have previously been unresponsive to other drugs. Flunitrazepam is meant to be used on a short-term basis due to the increased risk of addiction with prolonged use, as is the case with most hypnotic prescription drugs. In the United States, people who abuse the drug use it either as a date-rape drug (though this is only in about 1% of date rape cases) or for recreational use. High school students and college students have been known to use Flunitrazepam for producing intoxication, in combination with heroin for a sedative effect or combined with stimulate to counteract the sedative effect.
Flunitrazepam Use Side Effects and Dangers
Flunitrazepam is most dangerous when combined with other prescription medications and recreational drugs, and especially alcohol. Individuals who abuse Flunitrazepam typically combine it with large amounts of alcohol to counteract the sedative effects thus increasing the potential life-threatening dangers associated with the various adverse side effects; when combined with alcohol, it can lead to toxicity and death.
Flunitrazepam side effects include:
- Slurred Speech
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Respiratory Depression
- Lack of Concentration
- Anterograde Amnesia
- Impaired Motor Functions
- Slow Reaction Time
Another side effect is impaired balance and coordination associated with the dizziness and fuzzy-head feeling of the hangover effect.
One of the most dangerous consequences of Flunitrazepam is that is can cause overdose which may include extreme impairment of speech and balance, as well as extreme sedation. When not treated immediately, the overdose can cause respiratory depression, coma and death.
Signs and Symptoms of Flunitrazepam Addiction
Flunitrazepam, like many other prescription drugs, can be highly addictive with prolonged use as well as for individuals that use it in larger doses than recommended by their physician and who combine it with alcohol and other drugs for the various hypnotic and drunk-like effects. The first thing to look for is signs that the individual is currently intoxicated by Flunitrazepam such as a drunk-like state, clumsiness, slurred speech, contracted pupils, extreme sleepiness and difficulty concentrating. A person experiencing these signs after taking Flunitrazepam is a good indication they are abusing the drug by taking too high of a dose.
If you are concerned that a friend or loved one has become addicted to Flunitrazepam there are some behavioral signs to look out for which may indicate an addiction. These include a sudden drop in attendance at work or school, intense mood swings, a sudden change in friends or behavior like calling in sick to work frequently or skipping out on social functions, neglecting their own personal hygiene and grooming, a change in appetite and sudden lack of motivation that is uncommon for them.
Flunitrazepam Abuse Withdrawal Symptoms
Once someone has become addicted and dependent on prescription drugs like Flunitrazepam and quit taking the drug suddenly, whether due to the lack of a prescription, or because they quit on their own, they can experience a variety of intense withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms, often known as a rebound effect, may last up to 4 days and include:
- Mood Swings
These withdrawal symptoms can then expand into other issues such as suicidal tendencies from the high levels of depression, severe insomnia, headaches and dizziness as a result of the fever-like symptoms and other negative effects. Because the withdrawal symptoms are so unappealing, many drug abusers or individuals addicted to Flunitrazepam will relapse and continue taking the drug after they quit.
Flunitrazepam Addiction Treatment Options
If you or someone you know is addicted to Flunitrazepam, the sooner you seek help, the better off you will be. There are a variety of treatments available to help you quit using this prescription medication, such as visiting a local drug rehab center, and learn to live a well-balanced and healthy life without it. The fear of withdrawal symptoms often leads to relapse which is why drug rehab centers are such an effective treatment; the drug rehab center can be successful in helping you to get through the withdrawal and move forward from it without the dependence of abusing Flunitrazepam.