Rufilin, 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.

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.

How Does Testing for Roofies Work?

If you think someone put roofies in your drink or otherwise dosed you with this drug, you should test for roofies as soon as possible in case you plan to take legal action. You’ll need to provide a urine sample within 72 hours of taking roofies for the drug to show up in a lab test. Often, in the confusion surrounding this type of incident, an individual may not seek help fast enough to prove that someone gave them roofies for the purpose of assault.

You can get a date rape drug test kit if you think the substance is in your drink. It requires a few drops of liquid on a test strip that indicates the presence of Rohypnol. The small, discreet screening kits are available online.

How Can I Avoid Roofies When Drinking?

Follow these simple tips to stay safe at a party, bar or club:

  • Stay with people you know and trust. Ask them to take you home if you feel strange; for example, you may be much more intoxicated than expected based on the amount you drank.
  • Throw out your drink if it doesn’t taste right.
  • Don’t leave your drink with anyone. Keep it with you at all times, or don’t drink out of it again.
  • Don’t take drinks from strangers or open containers like punch bowls. Pour your own drinks or get them directly from the bartender.

If you suspect you or a friend has been drugged, call 911 right away or go to the emergency room. You should get a urine test and medical attention if you think you’ve been assaulted.

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.