These two drugs are part of a class of drugs referred to as club drugs. Along with Ecstasy, ketamine, LSD and mephedrone, they are usually used at nightclubs, parties and raves. Most of the users are teens and young male adults.
Rohypnol and GHB both create a euphoric sensation but both have serious, even deadly, side effects. Some people mix them with other drugs to create an effect the user considers more desirable. But this mixture can have unpredictable and dangerous effects.
Rohypnol is illegal in the US but is available in Mexico and from mail order services overseas. In some countries, it is used as a sedative before surgery in part because it causes amnesia. People will not remember the surgery and circumstances surrounding it. When the drug is given to an unsuspecting person in a club, it can facilitate a sexual assault. The person who was assaulted may not even remember the assault or who was there and may be unable to report it. Thus, particularly on college campuses, women are warned not to leave their drink unattended, as someone may add Rohypnol to it.
The main effect of Rohypnol is to make a person sedated, euphoric, uninhibited. The person may slur their speech and look sleepy.
But they may also encounter one of the less desirable effects of Rohypnol: weakness, headache, difficulty breathing, nausea, unconsciousness, confusion, difficulty seeing clearly.
Rohypnol is a type of benzodiazepine and so it acts on the central nervous system. When its use is mixed with alcohol, it can slow breathing and heart rate to dangerously low levels, which can result in coma or death.
Some people who are addicted to cocaine will add Rohypnol to the mix, so as to reduce the anxious, irritable feeling they can get when they are on a cocaine binge. Ironically, while it tends to sedate most people, some people on Rohypnol will get aggressive and excited.
GHB stands for Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid. One of the slang terms for GHB is "Grievous Bodily Harm" which tells you something about the effects of this drug. It is a euphoric and is supposed to cause lowered anxiety and reduced inhibitions. It tends to create a sedated effect but paradoxically, can create an excited state and hallucinations in some people. A person who has taken GHB may also suffer from nausea, sweating and a dream-like state. Too large a dose or mixing it with alcohol can bring about a coma or even death.
A person who has had a large dose of GHB will tend to flop around uncontrollably, rolling on the ground, falling down, being incoherent, grimacing, rolling his eyes. He may get hurt while running around out of control but may have no memory of the event because of the amnesia caused by the drug.
There is no antidote for this drug. A person who regularly abuses this drug and is addicted to it may have to go through withdrawal symptoms in order to get sober. These effects include insomnia, tremors, fast heart rate and occasional psychotic thoughts.
This drug is usually made in small illicit labs so it is impossible to completely control the dosage and therefore the effect this drug will have on one.
If these drugs cause amnesia, it is very difficult to report a sexual assault. It is hard to even be sure that one occurred.
Here are some effects to look for to tell if you may have been drugged with one of these two substances:
- You feel more intoxicated than you normally would for how much you drank
- You wake up feeling very hung over and out of it, with no memory for part of the time when you were drunk
- You remember taking a drink and then don't remember anything after that.
- You feel as though you had sex with someone but you can't remember very much or anything about what happened.
See also our page about: Signs and Symptoms of Rohypnol / GHB Use
It's never easy to overcome a full-blown addiction, but the stakes are very high. When a person is addicted to one of these two drugs, every experience with them presents a very real risk of injury or even death.
When someone you love is playing with their very life and can't quit because of an addiction, contact Narconon today to find out how this holistic program can help them recover. At a Narconon centers, no substitute medications are ever given as part of treatment. The focus is on creating lasting and complete sobriety. Call today: 1-800-775-8750.