Drugs/ Ruffies term paper 17915

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"Roofies"

The Date Rape Drug

They’re called "roofies," "R-2s," "rib," "rope," "The Club Drug," "Mexican Valium." The

clinical name is Flunitrazepam, but it’s the effect that is important.

It’s called the "date rape drug" because one of its most frightening and dangerous uses

is to commit sexual assault: a drug slipped into a drink without the victim’s knowledge.

Roofies are tasteless, colorless, odorless, and they dissolve in liquid within seconds.

When the drug is taken or ingested alone it creates a drunk-like state; when used with

other drugs such as alcohol it can become a lethal mix. A year before he killed himself,

rock star Kurt Cobain was in a coma and nearly died after taking Rohypnol.

The effects include dizziness, confusion, stomach upset, temporary paralysis, blackout

and amnesia. The drug renders its victim helpless: there is loss of control, loss of

inhibitions, an inability to know what’s happening.

Effects begin within a few minutes and last up to 12 hours, depending on the amount

ingested.

The victim goes in and out of consciousness, aware of some things, totally unaware of

others. It’s the perfect agenda for sexual assault on an unwilling victim

How to Protect Yourself

The drug is odorless, tasteless, and colorless. You simply cannot tell if a roofie has been

placed in your drink.

There have been numerous reports of rapes following use of the drug by unknowing

victims. Because of the potential for abuse, observe these precautions:

1. Never accept a drink from someone you don’t know and TRUST.

Order sealed drinks you can open yourself.

Watch the bartender make your drink and don’t use wait-people.

2. Never leave your drink unattended. ALWAYS keep your drink in your hand,

not left on the bar or table.

Take your drink to the rest room with you, or’

Give your drink to someone you know you can trust.

If you do leave your drink unattended, order a new one.

3. Use the "buddy system":

Tell your friends where you are at a party.

Never leave without accounting for those you came with.

Watch your friends’ drinks if they’re not alert. Have a designated driver.

4. If you hear someone in your group kidding about "date drugs," pay attention:

often someone planning to use a drug jokes about it, trying to get a reaction

from others. This should be a warning: leave the company of that person.

5. The drug may be added to punch at social gatherings; the women then are

served the spiked drink.

6. Tell your date you’re aware of the drug and that even possession of the drug

in the United States is a federal crime.

REMEMBER: You are your own best protector.

Addiction & Withdrawal

The drug is classified as a depressant, but Flunitrazepam can induce aggressive

behavior or excitability in some users.

The extremely addictive properties of roofies result in dependence. Once that has

developed, withdrawing from the drug can produce strong symptoms:

*headaches, muscle pain, extreme anxiety * tension, confusion * hallucinations,

irritability * numbness, convulsions, heart failure

Roofies are NEVER safe and the drug can be detected through urinalysis testing

A Little History

This is a relatively new drug in the northwest. It’s imported from Mexico and Europe. It

cannot be legally manufactured or sold in the United States, but is available through

prescription in other countries.

Since 1995 Rohypnol has been a major concern for the U.S. Drug Enforcement

Administration (DEA). Because of reports of abuse the drug is now being moved from a

Schedule III to the most serious Schedule I category. The DEA has compiled more than

2,300 documented cases of Rohypnol abuse.

There are efforts now to lengthen sentences for offenders who use the drug to commit

sexual attacks.

Manufactured by Hoffman-Roche Pharmaceuticals, the drug may be in "bubble paks" or

on paper similar to tabs of LSD. The tablet is about the size of an aspirin, and can be

white or pink in color.

The drug is very similar to Valium with three major exceptions:

Roofies are extremely addictive and they are TEN TIMES the strength of Valium.

There is evidence that even one hit of roofies can create an extremely strong addiction.

Withdrawal symptoms may occur within three to five days after ingestion,

There are NO circumstances under which roofies are legal in the United States, and

anyone possessing them is subject to criminal prosecution.

"Roofies"

Word Count: 732

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