Is Rohypnol Addiction a Disease?

Rohypnol is a short-acting benzodiazepine with properties similar to Valium. Rohypnol is used for short-term treatment of insomnia and as a pre-medication for surgical procedures. Rohypnol’s effects include sedation, muscle-relaxation, reduced anxiety and prevention of convulsions. Rohypnol is commonly known as the “date-rape drug,” because it is often used to sedate women to enable sexual assault. Because of Rohypnol’s sedative effects, rape victims are often unable to recall the details of the attack or the attacker.

While there has been a stigma attached to drug addiction that frames it as a destructive personal choice, this view is changing. It is true that many people become addicted because of their own poor choices. Taking personal responsibility is an important part of overcoming addiction. But, it is also true that long-term drug abuse alters a person to such a degree that it functions as a disease. It is important to encourage those who struggle with addiction to take responsibility for their life without dismissing the disease-like qualities of addiction.

How Rohypnol Addiction Develops

Many people’s first interaction with drugs comes in the form of recreational use. That is, abusing drugs at parties or other social situations for the sake of the ‘high’ or ‘buzz’ that can come with them. Unfortunately, this is the image that most people have of people who struggle with addiction – the reckless partier, who deserves whatever comes to them. Aside from being unsympathetic, this is a distorted view of addiction. Even if many people’s Rohypnol addiction starts that way, it moves very quickly into something very different. Long-term drug abuse and addiction affects the brain in such a way that physical and psychological health is altered.

Genetic Predisposition to Rohypnol Addiction

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders the blame for addiction is split just about evenly between genetic predisposition and poor coping skills. Citing one study that observed 861 pairs of identical twins and 653 pairs of fraternal twins, they report that 50 to 60 percent of addiction is due to genetic factors. Additional studies have shown that children of addicts are up to 8 times more likely to develop an addiction than those whose parents did not struggle with addiction.

These studies reveal that addiction is due to a variety of factors. Poor choices on the part of the individual are certainly a factor, but Rohypnol addiction also functions similarly to a disease. After consistently abusing Rohypnol, the user can become like any other patient who needs treatment for an ailment. Understanding that Rohypnol addiction is, in fact, a disease is important because it reiterates the need for addicts to get help. Addiction is a disease that you cannot cure on your own.

Get Help for Rohypnol Addiction

If you or someone you love struggles with Rohypnol addiction, we want to help. Call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline to speak with an addiction counselor who can help you find the treatment you need. Getting help is the only way to ensure true recovery. Call today.