Rohypnol and GHB Basic Facts

Colorless, Tasteless, and Odorless

Women drinking cocktails in nightclub
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / Getty Images 

Rohypnol and GHB emerged in the early 1990s as 'drug-assisted assault' or 'date rape' drugs. They are predominantly central nervous system depressants.

They are colorless, tasteless, odorless, and can be slipped into a drink and unknowingly ingested. Rohypnol often used by teens and young adults frequenting the club scene.

Rohypnol is not sold legally in the United States. Manufactured by Roche, it is available by prescription in Europe and Latin American countries where it is used to treat insomnia. It is also used as a preanesthetic.

Rohypnol Street Names

Rophies, Roofies, Roach, Rope

What Is Rohypnol?

Rohypnol, a brand name for flunitrazepam, is a strong sedative that slows down the central nervous system. When abused it can be administered unknowing and will debilitate victims, making their resistance to sexual or physical assault impossible.

What Does Rohypnol Look Like?

Rohypnol is a small white tablet that is tasteless and odorless when mixed in a drink.

How Is It Taken?

Rohypnol is usually taken orally in pill form, but can also be crushed and snorted.

Who Uses It?

Rohypnol is predominately abused among teenagers and young adults, usually at raves and nightclubs.

What Are the Effects of Rohypnol?

The drug affects the central nervous system and creates a drugged or drunk feeling.

What Are the Hazards off Rohypnol?

It can cause blackouts, disorientation and can inhibit one's ability to speak or move. It also can produce "anterograde amnesia," which means victims under the effects of the drugs may not recall events they experienced. If mixed with alcohol or other depressants it can be lethal.

Is Rohypnol Addictive?

Rohypnol is addictive and produces physical and psychological dependence, causing withdrawal seizures among those addicted.

Similar Drugs to Rohypnol

Clonazepam, marketed in the U.S. as Klonopin, and alprazolam, marketed as Xanax are two similar drugs being abused and have replaced Rohypnol in certain parts of the country.


Street Names

Liquid Ecstasy, Soap, Easy Lay, Vita-G, Georgia Homeboy, Scoop, Grievous Bodily Harm, Liquid X, and Goop

What Is GHB?

GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) is a central nervous system depressant. Until 1992, it was purchased over-the-counter often in health food stores and used primarily by body builders because they believed it would reduce fat and build muscle.

What Does GHB Look Like?

GHB can be a tablet, capsule, white powder or clear liquid.

How Is It Taken?

It is usually mixed with a flavored drink or alcohol. It has a slight salty taste, which can easily be masked if mixed in a drink. It is colorless and odorless.

Who Uses GHB?

GHB has been used because of its euphoric and sedative effects. It has also been used by bodybuilders because they believe it has anabolic effects. GHB is one of the top drugs used to facilitate sexual assault and date rape.

What Are the Hazards of GHB?

Coma and seizures can occur in those abusing GHB. Combining abuse of GHB with other drugs such as alcohol can result in nausea and breathing difficulties. It is also known to produce withdrawal effects such as insomnia, anxiety, tremors and sweating.

Is GHB Addictive?

Regular use of GHB can quickly lead to physical and psychological dependency. Withdrawal can result in insomnia, anxiety, paranoia, delirium, disorientation, and hallucinations. Individuals withdrawing from GHB should see a physician because of the severity of the withdrawal symptoms.

Government Response

Because of concern about Rohypnol, GHB, and other similarly abused sedative-hypnotics, Congress passed the "Drug-Induced Rape Prevention and Punishment Act of 1996" in October 1996. This legislation increased Federal penalties for use of any controlled substance to aid in sexual assault.

National Institude on Drug Abuse
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information

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