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Rohypnol’s Effects on the Brain: Can It Lead To Addiction?

Dangers of Detoxing Without Medical Help

For people struggling with anxiety or insomnia, sedatives are a viable option to help manage symptoms. Benzodiazepines are a common example of substances that fall into such a category and help treat patients who use them correctly. Unfortunately, drugs like Rohypnol are abused in various scenarios, leading to physical and mental consequences. Our Stuart, Florida, Banyan Treatment Center is examining Rohypnol’s effects on the brain and how the damage it can cause.


What Is Rohypnol?

Rohypnol is a powerful sedative that acts as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. It produces several effects, including sedation, anxiety relief, and muscle relaxation. Though not approved for medical use in the US, it has commonly been used in cases of date rape and assault. Due to its ability to incapacitate victims and erase memories of the assault, it is often referred to as a “date rape drug.” It is currently manufactured as an olive-green tablet with a blue core. When dissolved in a light-colored liquid, this core can turn the drink blue.1


The Effects of Rohypnol on the Brain

When Rohypnol is ingested, it quickly crosses the blood-brain barrier and binds to specific sites on GABA receptors in the brain. This increases the activity of GABA, leading to the sedative and anxiolytic effects of the drug. In the short term, the effects will be felt immediately after entering the body. The individual is likely to experience sensations of intense drowsiness, impaired motor skills, and memory loss.

Regarding the latter symptom, Rohypnol can cause anterograde amnesia, which means that the person taking the drug has difficulty forming new memories. This is what makes it so effective in not only incapacitating victims but keeping them from remembering what happened as well. Although it is commonly used by a person without their knowledge, is it possible for a person to develop an addiction to this drug?


Is Rohypnol Addictive?

Yes, one of Rohypnol’s effects on the brain is dependence and addiction. Because of its intense sedative properties, a person may grow addicted to the relaxing sensations produced by taking the drug. With regular use, the brain can adapt to the presence of the drug, leading to tolerance and withdrawal symptoms when the person stops taking it. Withdrawal from Rohypnol can be dangerous, with symptoms that include seizures, hallucinations, and delirium. In severe cases, withdrawal from Rohypnol can be life-threatening, so it is important to seek a medical benzo detox program to address this.


Treatment for Rohypnol Addiction

For those in need of Florida addiction treatment for benzodiazepines like Rohypnol, Banyan Stuart offers them the resources necessary to recover. Patients are given the opportunity to address the physical symptoms that have resulted from their drug abuse and take a deeper look at the mental causes. To isolate these causes, we offer a variety of Florida addiction therapy programs giving patients the space to explore what put them into this position in the first place.

If you think you or a loved one could benefit from these programs, call Banyan Treatment Centers Stuart today at 888-280-4763.



  1. DEA - Rohypnol


Related Reading

Barbiturates vs. Benzodiazepines

Rohypnol Effects: Beware the Date Rape Drug

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Rohypnol’s Effects on the Brain: Can It Lead To Addiction?
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