Rohypnol® is a trade name for flunitrazepam, a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Flunitrazepam is also marketed as generic preparations and other trade name products outside of the United States.
Like other benzodiazepines, Rohypnol® produces sedative-hypnotic, anti-anxiety, and muscle relaxant effects.
This drug has never been approved for medical use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration. Outside the United States, Rohypnol® is commonly prescribed to treat insomnia.
Rohypnol® is also referred to as a “date rape” drug. It is misused to physically and psychologically incapacitate victims targeted for sexual assault. The drug is usually placed in the alcoholic drink of an unsuspecting victim to incapacitate them and prevent resistance to sexual assault. The drug leaves the victim unaware of what has happened to them.
Rohypnol® is a Schedule IV substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Rohypnol® is not approved for manufacture, sale, use, or importation to the United States. However, it is legally manufactured and marketed in other countries. Penalties for possession, trafficking, and distribution involving one gram or more are the same as those of a Schedule I drug.