What is Rohypnol Used to Treat?

What is Rohypnol? How does it work? What is Rohypnol used to treat? Find out those answers and more in this comprehensive article.

What is Rohypnol Used to Treat: Introduction

The misuse of prescription drugs has become commonplace. In fact, this occurrence is so common that it’s beginning to reflect on drug-related incidence statistics.

There are many prescription drugs that have been misused over the years. But, one drug that raises many questions is Rohypnol. Rohypnol use has been linked with quite a number of illegal activities. So much so that most people are even unaware that it is actually a prescription medication.

what is rohypnol used to treat

What to Expect from This Article

So what is Rohypnol used to treat? In this article, we’ll explore the answer to “what is Rohypnol used to treat” by examining what Rohypnol is. Next, we’ll consider how and why Rohypnol is used medically and recreationally.

There’s no way to discuss the “what is Rohypnol used to treat” question without examining its addiction potential. We’ll discuss what makes Rohypnol addictive as well as the symptoms of its misuse.

So what is Rohypnol, and what is Rohypnol used to treat? Read on to find out.

What is Rohypnol Used to Treat: What is Rohypnol?

Rohypnol is also known by its scientific name, flunitrazepam. It is a potent medication that falls under the umbrella of benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs known for their sedative properties.1

To answer the question “What is Rohypnol used to treat?” there are two main things to consider:

  1. The principal medical purpose of Rohypnol
  2. The darker aspects of its usage that cause widespread concern

What is Rohypnol Used to Treat: Medical Uses of Rohypnol

As mentioned earlier, Rohypnol is a member of the benzodiazepine family. This means it shares a common lineage with drugs like Xanax (alprazolam) and Valium (diazepam).

These medications are often prescribed for their ability to treat anxiety. They also help induce sleep and manage seizure disorders. In some parts of the world, Rohypnol gets prescribed to treat severe cases of insomnia that have not responded to other treatments.

Potency and Potential for Misuse

Rohypnol is a powerful sedative and hypnotic. Its potency is approximately ten times that of Valium. This heightened strength is what contributes to its efficacy as a treatment for severe insomnia.

But, it also increases its potential for misuse. When misused, the drug can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use.

What is Rohypnol Used to Treat: Illegal Uses of Rohypnol

Now that we’ve discussed what Rohypnol is used to treat medically, it’s also essential to address the darker side of this drug’s reputation.

In the context of recreational use, the question “What is Rohypnol used to treat?” takes on a different meaning as the drug. This is because it is used not for therapeutic purposes but rather to produce desired effects or highs.

Sedative and Hypnotic Effects

One of the most common reasons Rohypnol gets misused is due to its potent sedative and hypnotic effects.

At high doses, Rohypnol can induce feelings of relaxation, euphoria, and sometimes hallucinations. These effects can be heightened when Rohypnol is combined with other substances. Examples include alcohol or other depressants.

It should be said that this combination increases the risk of overdose. It also increases the risk of other dangerous side effects.

Rohypnol as a “Come Down” Drug

Rohypnol is also misused as a “come down” drug. Users of stimulant drugs such as methamphetamine or cocaine may use Rohypnol to ease the side effects of withdrawal. They may also use it to help them sleep. This misuse could be viewed as an illicit attempt to self-treat withdrawal symptoms.

Rohypnol as a “Date Rape” Drug

Rohypnol is known as a “date rape” drug. This is due to its powerful sedative effects. There is also the fact that it can be easily dissolved in drinks, often without the victim’s knowledge. Its use in this context is illegal and highly dangerous.

Rohypnol causes:2

  • Severe loss of inhibition
  • Blackout
  • Memory loss

What is Rohypnol Used to Treat: Justification for Its Use

The illicit misuse and nefarious associations of Rohypnol cannot be downplayed. But, it’s crucial to approach the question, “What is Rohypnol used to treat?” with a balanced perspective.

Despite its reputation, Rohypnol does have justified medical uses in certain jurisdictions. Some of these were discussed above, and they include the following:

Therapeutic Properties

As a benzodiazepine, Rohypnol shares some therapeutic properties with drugs like Xanax and Valium. It is often used for its sedative, muscle-relaxant, and anticonvulsant properties.

What is Rohypnol Used to Treat: Treatment for Insomnia

Rohypnol is often used as a treatment for severe insomnia. This is because it is a lot stronger than other benzodiazepine drugs. Because of this, it can be used for replacement therapy.

In countries where Rohypnol is legally prescribed, it is used for this purpose under the strict guidance and supervision of a healthcare professional.

Not Approved for Medical Use in All Countries

Despite its potential therapeutic utility, Rohypnol is not approved for medical use in certain countries. This includes the United States. This restriction is primarily due to its high potential for misuse and its association with illicit activities such as drug-facilitated sexual assault.

This reflects the double-edged sword nature of Rohypnol — while it can help answer the question “what is Rohypnol used to treat?” in the context of severe insomnia, its potential for harm cannot be overlooked.

What is Rohypnol Used to Treat: Is Rohypnol Addictive?

Rohypnol is a benzodiazepine. As such, it does indeed have a high potential for addiction. To understand why Rohypnol is addictive, it is helpful to understand how it works.

How Does Rohypnol Cause Addiction?

Rohypnol enhances the effect of the neurotransmitter (GABA) in the central nervous system. GABA is short for gamma-aminobutyric acid.

Naturally, GABA acts to inhibit brain activity. This enhances its effect and leads to sedative, muscle-relaxant, and anticonvulsant properties.

Rohypnol Tolerance

When taken over an extended period, the body can develop a tolerance to the effects of Rohypnol.

This means that larger doses or more frequent use of the drug are needed to achieve the same initial effects, leading to a cycle of increased use. This can happen even when it is used medically and under a doctor’s supervision,

Psychological Dependence

In addition to physical tolerance, there’s also the risk of psychological dependence. People may become reliant on the feelings of relaxation, decreased anxiety, and sedation that Rohypnol provides.

Over time, the brain might start associating these positive feelings with drug use and crave these feelings. This will, in turn, lead to compulsive drug-seeking behavior. This behavior often continues despite adverse effects, a hallmark of addiction.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms can also signal an addiction to Rohypnol. If a person stops using Rohypnol, they may experience withdrawal symptoms.

Some of these withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • In severe cases, seizures

These symptoms can be unpleasant and frightening. They can cause people to continue using the drug to avoid withdrawal, which perpetuates the cycle of addiction.

Significant Addiction Risk

While Rohypnol can have legitimate therapeutic use in certain scenarios, it is a substance with a significant risk of addiction, both physical and psychological.

This risk is amplified when the drug is used illicitly or without medical supervision. It is also further amplified when Rohypnol is used together with other illicit drugs.

Due to its addictive potential, it is important that the use of Rohypnol, like all benzodiazepines, is closely monitored by healthcare professionals. If a dependency is identified, medical guidance should be sought to safely manage withdrawal and explore treatment options.

What is Rohypnol Used to Treat: Symptoms of Rohypnol Use

To better understand the question “what is Rohypnol used to treat,” you must understand the symptoms of use. Rohypnol can produce a range of noticeable physical and psychological effects.

The following are some common symptoms associated with Rohypnol use:3


Rohypnol is a powerful sedative and hypnotic. One of the primary symptoms of its use is drowsiness or sleepiness. Individuals may appear overly relaxed or lethargic.

Decreased Inhibition

Like other benzodiazepines, Rohypnol can cause a significant reduction in inhibition. Users might engage in behaviors that are out of character or seem less reserved or cautious than usual.


Rohypnol is notorious for causing periods of amnesia. People using the drug may not remember events that occurred while they were under the influence.

This memory loss can last for several hours after the drug’s effects have worn off.

Slurred Speech

The use of Rohypnol can result in slurred or incoherent speech. This is due to the drug’s muscle-relaxant properties, which can impact the muscles involved in speech.

Physical Incoordination

Along with impacting speech, Rohypnol can affect physical coordination. This might be exhibited through stumbling and poor balance.

It may also be exhibited through difficulty performing tasks requiring fine motor skills.


Dizziness or a sense of disorientation can be a symptom of Rohypnol use. This can be worsened if the drug is taken in combination with other depressants like alcohol.

Visual Disturbances

Rohypnol can cause visual disturbances, such as blurred or double vision.

Some people may experience nausea or stomach upset as a result of using Rohypnol.

Lowered Blood Pressure

Rohypnol can lead to a decrease in blood pressure. This might, in turn, cause fainting or light-headedness.

Respiratory Depression

In high doses, or when combined with other depressants, Rohypnol can slow breathing. This can lead to life-threatening respiratory depression.

Symptoms Can Vary

These symptoms can vary in intensity based on several factors, including:

  • When the dose taken
  • Whether the drug was used in combination with other substances
  • The individual’s personal physiology and tolerance

If you suspect someone is using Rohypnol, it’s important to seek professional help, as prolonged misuse of the drug can lead to serious health risks.

Gastrointestinal Distress

What is Rohypnol Used to Treat: Long-Term Effects of Rohypnol Use

Rohypnol misuse can lead to a range of long-term effects, some of which can be harmful or even dangerous. Some of these include the following:

Dependence and Addiction

With regular use, individuals can develop a physical and psychological dependence on Rohypnol. This addiction can lead to withdrawal symptoms when the drug use is stopped or reduced.

Withdrawal symptoms might include:

  • Headaches
  • Tension
  • Restlessness
  • Confusion
  • In severe cases, seizures

Memory Impairment

Chronic use of Rohypnol can lead to persistent memory problems, especially related to forming new memories.

Mental Health Problems

Long-term use can contribute to mental health issues such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Increased risk of suicide

Some users also report experiencing paranoia or hallucinations.

Physical Health Decline

Chronic Rohypnol misuse can lead to a general decline in physical health. This might manifest in the following ways:

  • Frequent illness
  • Reduced energy levels
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Social and legal consequences

The behavioral changes and illegal nature of Rohypnol misuse can lead to significant social and legal problems. This includes damaged relationships, loss of employment, and legal penalties.

What is Rohypnol Used to Treat: Management of Rohypnol Addiction

Management of Rohypnol addiction can be a complex process. This is mainly due to the physical and psychological dependence that the drug can create. But, with comprehensive treatment and support, recovery is achievable.

Here are some key elements of managing Rohypnol addiction.


The first step in treating Rohypnol addiction is often detoxification. This process involves the body clearing itself of the drug.

Severe withdrawal symptoms may accompany stopping Rohypnol. Because of this, it’s important that detoxification get conducted under medical supervision in a controlled environment.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Depending on the severity of the addiction and the individual’s overall health, medications may be used to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Some medications work by mimicking the effects of Rohypnol to reduce withdrawal severity. This method is known as substitution therapy). Others may work by blocking the rewarding effects of the drug to discourage misuse.4

Behavioral Therapies

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can be effective in treating Rohypnol addiction. CBT helps individuals recognize and change patterns of thought that lead to drug use.

Motivational interviewing and contingency management are also used in Rohypnol addiction treatment. They help to boost motivation and reward positive behavior changes.

Support Groups

Support groups can play a significant role in recovery. They offer a safe, supportive environment for people to share experiences and coping strategies. The sense of community can provide much-needed encouragement and reduce feelings of isolation.

Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders

Often, individuals struggling with Rohypnol addiction may also have co-occurring mental health conditions. In such cases, it’s crucial to treat these conditions simultaneously with the addiction. This will help increase the chances of successful recovery.

Relapse Prevention

Long-term recovery involves strategies to prevent relapse. These may include the following:

  • Ongoing therapy
  • Learning and recognizing triggers
  • Developing healthy coping mechanisms
  • Maintaining a supportive network of friends, family, or fellow recovery community members

Aftercare and Continued Support

Recovery from addiction is a lifelong process. Long-term aftercare plans might include the following:

  • Regular therapy sessions
  • Support group meetings
  • Check-ins with a medical professional

These can provide continued support and help manage the challenges of maintaining sobriety in the long term.

Important Note About Recovery

Each person’s journey with Rohypnol addiction will be unique. As such, treatment plans should be personalized to meet each person’s needs and circumstances.

what is rohypnol used to treat

Find Help for Rohypnol Addiction at Choice House

Rohypnol addiction can be a very challenging condition to manage. But, the good news is, you do not have to go through it alone.

Choice House is here to help you get answers to questions like “what is Rohypnol used to treat?” and “how can I get help for Rohypnol addiction?”

About Treatment at Choice House

At Choice House, we understand just how challenging Rohypnol addiction can be. Because of this, we offer special, evidence-based therapies guaranteed to help you beat Rohypnol addiction for good.

In addition to this, our therapies are individualized, so you can expect your treatment to be tailored to your specific needs.

Contact Choice House Today

Do you have questions like “what is Rohypnol used to treat?” and “how to overcome addiction?” Choice House has these answers and more.

Reach out to us today for more information about our Boulder, Colorado treatment programs. Let us help you start your recovery journey.

Table of Contents

Questions About Treatment?

Choice House is your comprehensive guide to lasting sobriety and wellness. Reach out to us today to see how we can support you on your journey toward sustainable well-being.

ready to choose a life worth living?

Don’t let addiction or co-occurring mental health conditions keep you from leading the happy, healthy, and empowered life you deserve. Contact Choice House today and embrace recovery.

"*" indicates required fields

Full Name*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Choice Logo