Roofies, a common slang name for the drug known as Rohypnol, has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for medical use in the United States. Although this drug is best known for its nefarious reputation as roofies, some people also take it to help them sleep. It’s also available as a sleep aid internationally.

Originally developed to ease pain and anxiety, roofies, or Rohypnol, have gained a nefarious reputation as a drug secretly slipped into a person’s drink while at a club or party, rendering them unconscious and easy to take advantage of. Because the substance is colorless and odorless, it’s hard to detect, and most people don’t realize they’ve consumed it until the effects start kicking in. Understanding how long a roofie stays in your system and how it can affect the body can help you and your friends seek necessary help and stay safe in a potentially dangerous situation.

If you’ve used this pill for insomnia, this guide will help you understand how long does a roofie stay in your system and possible side effects such as dependence. We’ll also explore ways to seek help if you want to stop using rufilin or think someone slipped this drug into your drink at a party or bar.

What Is Rohypnol?

Rohypnol is the brand name for a strong sedative called flunitrazepam, which is a type of tranquilizer called a benzodiazepine. You may also hear this drug called a forget-me pill, rope, R2, la rocha, circles, Mexican Valium or most commonly, roofies.

Rohypnol is called the “date rape drug” because it can be put in someone’s drink and make it easier for sexual assault to occur. In addition to sedation, the effects of the drug include amnesia, muscle relaxation and lowered inhibitions. The person will be fully incapacitated and often lays down, unable to respond or take action. Some formulations of the drug use a green pill so that it can be detected if someone tries to put it in your drink; however, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reports that generic roofies do not include this safety feature.

Some people use rufilin to ease insomnia, and it’s prescribed legally for this purpose in many other countries. Others use roofies as a party drug, sometimes when coming down from cocaine or to enhance the euphoria produced by opiates. Doctors estimate that Rohypnol’s effects are about 10 times stronger than the similar but much weaker effects produced by Valium.

According to the DOJ, rufilin abuse is most common among teens and young adults. More males than females tend to take this drug for recreational purposes. The agency also cites statistics from University of Michigan research indicating that nearly 2% of U.S. high schoolers used roofies in the 12 months before the survey.

The Food and Drug Administration considers Rohypnol a Schedule IV controlled substance. That means it has legitimate medical use but can cause serious side effects, including physical and psychological addiction. The drug, which was first used in 1974 to assist with the effects of surgical anesthesia, is no longer legally available in the U.S.

What Are the Effects of Rohypnol?

Rohypnol is a small white tablet that may be snorted, dissolved in liquid or swallowed. Some people smoke the powder in a joint or bowl with cannabis. Its effects depress the central nervous system, which causes symptoms such as:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Amnesia
  • Aggression
  • Confusion
  • Slurred words
  • Loss of balance, motor control and coordination
  • Decreased reaction time
  • Drowsiness
  • Impaired judgment
  • Respiratory depression, which can be life-threatening

How Long Does a Roofie Stay in Your System?

If you think someone put rufilin in your drink, you’ll need to know how long rufilin stays in your system. You’ll start to feel the effects of Rohypnol about 15 to 20 minutes after taking the drug. If you’re wondering how long do roofies last, you’ll feel the strongest symptoms for up to six hours, but it takes up to 12 hours for the roofies to fully wear off based on a 1 mg dose.

Drug Tests for Roofies

Roofies can cause temporary amnesia for a day or longer, which can delay a person from seeking help or getting tested. Some people may also feel embarrassed or ashamed about being drugged or fear legal repercussions, discouraging them from getting a roofie drug test. However, getting tested is the best way to detect any drug traces in your system, so you can take appropriate action for your own health and well-being.

There are several testing methods that can detect roofies in your system, even weeks after ingestion.

  • Urine test: A urine sample is one of the best ways to detect roofies within the first 60 hours after drug consumption. The test is used to identify metabolites associated with roofies and can be easily accessed by going to a clinic and explaining the circumstances for needing a test.
  • Hair test: If the first 60 hours have passed, a hair test may be the next best option. Hair tests are usually most accurate about 2 weeks after drug ingestion but can detect traces for up to 90 days after.
  • Blood test: Blood screening isn’t frequently used to test for roofies, but it can detect drug traces up to 24 hours after consumption. A blood test can also pick up smaller drug traces if you’re tested shortly after ingestion occurred. However, the test’s short time line doesn’t make it the most reliable option.
  • Self-administered test: Some companies offer at-home drug testing kits, allowing a person to take a sample to send in for evaluation. While this can be a valid and convenient option, a test administered by a medical professional may be more reliable.

Stay Safe From Roofies

Because roofie ingestion often occurs unexpectedly, it’s important to be mindful of your surroundings while at a bar, club or party. There are a few safety measures you can take, such as:

  • Bringing a trusted friend with you
  • Throwing out your drink if it doesn’t taste right
  • Keeping your drink on you at all times or throwing it out if it ends up in a stranger’s possession
  • Refusing drinks from strangers
  • Pouring your own drinks or only accepting drinks from a bartender

If you believe you or a friend has been drugged, seek medical attention or call 911 immediately. Leaving the location for a safer place and getting tested as soon as possible is crucial in ensuring you or your friend receives adequate care.

What Are the Dangers of Self-Medicating With Rohypnol?

Rohypnol has uncomfortable as well as dangerous side effects. You may experience:

  • Anterograde amnesia, which means you can’t remember what happened after taking the substance
  • Stomach issues
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea

Roofies are addictive, which means you may go through physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop taking the drug after you’ve been using it for a while. You can overdose on roofies if you take too much of the drug. This danger arises when dependence develops and you need to take more of the substance to get the intended effects, whether you’re looking for relaxation or relief for insomnia.

If you or a loved one needs help with addiction to prescription drugs such as Rohypnol, it’s time to contact Sunlight Recovery. Reach out today for a private consultation with one of our professional counselors to determine the best course of action toward a healthier life.