Rohypnol Addiction and the Middle East

Rohypnol Addiction and the Middle East

Rohypnol is a benzodiazepine that is prescribed for short-term use. It works by enhancing the effect of neurotransmitters on the brain to create a sense of calm. Legal uses of Rohypnol include the following:

  • Hypnotic
  • Sedative
  • Anticonvulsant
  • Skeletal muscle relaxant

When taken for brief periods of time and under medical oversight, Rohypnol is relatively safe and carries little risk of overdose. However, two common side effects of Rohypnol – confusion and short-term memory loss ­­– are potentially dangerous, especially when the drug is combined with alcohol or antihistamines.

Rohypnol is a popular drug at raves, nightclubs, parties, and bars. Several reasons include the following:

  • It intensifies intoxication
  • It boosts effects of heroin
  • It modulates the effects of cocaine

Rohypnol is highly addictive and able to induce amnesia, which is why it is used to drug sexual assault victims and hence termed the “date rape drug.”  Long-term use can lead to tolerance, physical and psychological dependence. Signs of Rohypnol addiction include the following:

  • Tolerance
  • Withdrawal when medication is discontinued
  • Taking the drug without medical approval
  • Preoccupation with acquiring the drug
  • Social isolation resulting from increased use

People who abruptly stop taking Rohypnol sometimes experience seizures, delirium tremens, and possible death. Medical supervision is vital for a safe recovery.

Rohypnol Abuse in the Middle East

The Middle East leads the world in amphetamine seizures and is a major source of heroin production and trafficking. The kinds of drugs being abused vary by region. Specific facts include the following:

  • Use of marijuana is widespread
  • Libya and Bahrain have high rates of heroin abuse
  • Lebanon has a higher incidence of use of designer drugs, such as ecstasy

Despite the fact that all intoxicants are forbidden by Islam, the chief religion of the region, drug abuse is a growing crisis. Because governments in the area are reluctant to admit that a problem exists, data about addiction to specific drugs such as Rohypnol is difficult to find. No trend studies have been reported, but drug abuse experts working in the area say that the epidemic is clearly evident. They base their assertion on data that includes the following:

  • Demand for addiction treatment is rising
  • Drug-related crime rates are increasing
  • HIV rates are rising
  • Hepatitis C rates are rising

Awareness of the drug problem in the Middle East is growing among regional governments, but efforts to address the issue mostly focus on deterring drug traffickers – not reducing demand for drugs. People who want to get sober and seek treatment often struggle to find adequate medical and mental health services, counseling, or education about staying sober and avoiding relapse.

Recovery from Rohypnol

If you or someone you love struggles with Rohypnol abuse, you are not alone. Admissions coordinators at our toll free, 24-hour support line can guide you to wellness. You never have to go back to a life of addiction. Please call. Start your recovery today.