Flunitrazepam is the generic name for the brand name drug Rohypnol. It is a fast-acting sedative that is sometimes prescribed in Mexico and other countries to treat insomnia. Flunitrazepam overdose symptoms include loss of consciousness, coma and death.
What is Flunitrazepam?
Flunitrazepam was developed in 1972 by Roche Pharmaceuticals in Europe. It was used to sedate patients prior to surgery. In 1975, Roche introduced the medication under the brand name Rohypnol. It was prescribed as a treatment for individuals suffering from sleep deprivation or anxiety. The medication was potent and affected individuals so quickly that the recommended dosage was cut in half. The drug is still widely used in European countries, Mexico and Asia. It is not available in the United States.
The Risk of Using
Flunitrazepam overdose symptoms range from mild to severe. Overdose can occur when more than 2 milligrams of this medication is taken at one time. The risk of overdose is greater when flunitrazepam is taken in combination with central nervous system depressants, such as opiates.
Common Overdose Symptoms
Signs of an overdose on flunitrazepam include:
- Excessive drowsiness
- Loss of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty breathing
- Blacking out
Did You Know?
Flunitrazepam overdose symptoms are intensified when the drug is combined with alcohol.
Available Treatment Options
An overdose of flunitrazepam can be treated in a variety of ways. If the overdose is recent, vomiting can be induced to rid the body of the drug. If the patient is not conscious, his or her stomach may be pumped at the hospital. Activated charcoal can be given to inhibit the body’s ability to absorb the drug. A benzodiazepine receptor antagonist, such as Romazicon, is often used in overdose treatment, as this type of medication can lessen the effects of flunitrazepam.
If the individual is having difficulty breathing, oxygen can be administered. If dependence is expected, the patient may receive detox treatment. The detoxification process takes several days and generally completely removes the drug from the user’s system. A stay at an addiction treatment facility may be recommended.
Dangers of Abuse
An overdose is often an unintentional occurrence. After taking the drug for a long period of time, flunitrazepam loses its effectiveness. As a result, the patient takes higher doses to achieve the desired results. The body builds up tolerance to the medication, and the doses need to be increasingly higher to produce the sedative effect. The individual taking the medication is often unaware of overdose symptoms and may not realize that an excessive amount of medication was taken.
President Bill Clinton signed the Drug-Induced Rape Prevention and Punishment Act of 1996, which prohibits the use of Rohypnol in the United States.
Other Names for the Drug
Other names for flunitrazepam include:
Dangers About its Effects
Flunitrazepam has been linked to date rape incidents throughout the United States. The drug dissolves quickly and acts rapidly. In some individuals, the medication causes amnesia. This results in assault victims who are unable to remember much about their ordeal.
Measures have been taken to reduce the use of flunitrazepam in date-rape scenarios. In Europe, the drug was pressed harder and tinted blue. Once dropped in a liquid, the drug would no longer dissolve rapidly. The liquid would also turn a bluish color, making it difficult to slip the medication into a beverage. In the United States, the drug was banned completely.
Did You Know?
A 2009 Monitoring the Future survey reported that 1 percent of high school seniors admitted to using flunitrazepam within the previous year.
What are its Recreational Uses?
Some individuals choose flunitrazepam for recreational use. Its sleep-inducing effects make it a popular choice for those taking stimulants such as cocaine. Users often assume the drug is safe and are unaware of the potential side effects and overdose potential.
The Withdrawal Process
Withdrawal symptoms include:
- Muscle pain
Flunitrazepam is often smuggled into the United States by mail and other delivery services.
Get Help for You or Your Loved One Now
Addiction is a disease that can be treated. In many cases, the dependent individual is able to recover and live a productive, healthy life. Treatment usually begins at an inpatient rehab center. After detox, the recovering individual undergoes counseling, education and therapy. Therapy options include group sessions, family involvement, 12-step programs, cognitive behavioral therapy and medication options. Some therapies also include yoga, meditation, acupuncture and other holistic approaches.
Once the patient successfully completes residential treatment, an outpatient program can provide follow-up care. An outpatient facility allows the recovered individual flexibility in scheduling. The patient is able to work and attend therapy whenever convenient. In addition, graduates of inpatient treatment programs may counsel and mentor others struggling with dependency. For information on the top treatment programs available, call today.