Origins of Rohypnol

Origins of Rohypnol

Rohypnol, a central nervous system depressant, is a benzodiazepine. These drugs are the main class of tranquilizers, which are among the most commonly prescribed medications in the US. Benzodiazepines are prescribed to treat insomnia, sleep disorders, seizure disorders and anxiety, but they are habit forming and are commonly misused. Misuse of these substances frequently leads to addiction. Although benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed in the US, Rohypnol is considered especially dangerous, so it is banned.

Benzodiazepine DangersBenzodiazepine use is not always dangerous. People who use benzodiazepines according to their doctor’s instructions are far less likely to develop an addiction than those who abuse these drugs. Patients who use benzodiazepines with a prescription have usually learned about their medications from their doctors, and educating individuals about drug use is one method of substance abuse prevention. Education about drug abuse can begin with teaching individuals about the history of certain substances.

History of Rohypnol and Other Benzodiazepines

The history of Rohypnol is deeply intertwined with the history of benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines have only been in use for a little more than half a century, with the first benzodiazepine having been introduced in 1955. To understand the origins of Rohypnol, one must examine the origins of all benzodiazepines.

Development of Rohypnol and Other Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines were first developed in the 1950s by the scientist Leo Sternbach while he was working for the Swiss pharmaceutical company Hoffman-La Roche. Sternbach directed a team of researchers that helped him create and introduce many benzodiazepines, including Rohypnol. His discoveries made Roche a giant within the pharmaceutical industry. Throughout the 1960s and 70s, Roche released many of Sterbach’s tranquilizers, and Rohypnol was first introduced by the company in 1975.

When benzodiazepines were first created, the medical community hoped these drugs would be less dangerous than many of the then current drugs. Doctors hoped for a less addictive, less toxic alternative to barbiturates, which had a high risk of respiratory depression. During the 1970s, benzodiazepines were extremely popular among both doctors and patients. However, by the 1980s, medical providers started to voice concerns about abuse and dependency. Medical providers and legislators began to create restrictions for the use of benzodiazepines during this time.

Contemporary Problems with Rohypnol

Illegal use of Rohypnol began in Europe in the 1970s and continues to this day. Despite being illegal in the US, this drug is legal in many countries, so it is commonly prescribed throughout Western Europe. Perhaps the most troubling issue surrounding Rohypnol is its use as a date rape drug: it is frequently used by perpetrators to facilitate sexual assault. This drug is tasteless and odorless, and it is known for causing short-term memory loss, which makes it an ideal substance for sexual predators.

Find Adderall Addiction Treatment

If you or someone you know suffers from Rohypnol abuse, please allow us to help you connect with a treatment program. Call our toll-free helpline today to reach an admissions coordinator about high quality addiction treatment. They are available 24 hours a day to discuss recovery, so call them now for help.