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Sexpert Q & A: "Roofies" - The Date Rape Drug

Dear Yvonne,

How do you know if you've been slipped a date rape drug? -KC

Dear KC, Rohypnol, a brand name of flunitrazepam manufactured by Hoffman-La Roche Pharmaceuticals, is a central nervous system depressant generally in the form of white tablets. It is also known as "roofies," "roche," "rope," "rib," "La Roche," "ruffies," "Mexican valium," "Mind Eraser," "Party Poppers," and "rophies." It is odorless, tasteless, and ten times stronger than valium.

The drug causes muscle relaxation and slows psychomotor responses and reportedly enhances the high produced by low-quality heroin, mellows the high of cocaine, and eases a user down from a crack or cocaine binge. When taken with alcohol, it causes disinhibition and amnesia, and hence is also known as "the date rape drug" since it is sometimes used to seduce a victim into a sexual assault scenario.

Among the drug's immediate effects: - blackouts - sense of aggressiveness - amnesia - disinhibition - nausea - sense of fearlessness - dizziness - disorientation - drowsiness - decrease in psychomotor performance - muscle relaxation - nightmares - tremors

Withdrawal symptoms include:- headache - muscle pain - irritability - hallucinations - anxiety - convulsions/seizures - tension - restlessness - confusion

Although it is illegal in the U.S. and Canada, Rohypnol is prescribed in more than 60 other countries to treat severe sleep disorders, to sedate patients before surgery, and to treat serious psychiatric disorders. It is an attractive drug to users because it can be inexpensive to buy, with prices ranging from .50 to $8 per tablet. Some young adults who use Rohypnol with alcohol claim that it intensifies their "buzzes." If used over an extended period of time, a person may become psychologically and/or physiologically dependent upon it.

Dr. Yvonne KristAn Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of

Sexuality Source Inc.

She is the author of several books including, "Touch Me There! A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots."