Flunitrazepam, narcoses, rohypnol, or most simply, roofies are a psychoactive drug that can be used as a hypnotic, sedative, and/or skeletal muscle relaxant. Although roofies are legally manufactured and available outside of the United States, the drug has not been legally produced nor approved for sale in the United States since 1990. Unfortunately this is not to acknowledge the prominence of roofies (or “rappies”) on college campuses across the country.
I can speak from experience when I say that being roofied is one of the most confusing incidents you can encounter. One second you’re present, in the moment, aware of your surroundings, and the next, completely gone. Being roofied is not the same as “blacking out”. Blacking out takes mass amounts of alcohol in a short period of time and typically, is purposely induced. When I as well as my best friend (in two different circumstances) were roofied we had only consumed approximately three drinks- which in college, is not a lot. I woke up six hours later with absolutely no recollection of what had happened. Apparently I had cried, drunk texted far too many individuals, and threw up multiple times. I continued to throw up the entire next day and felt hang over-like symptoms for the following two days.
One of the worst parts about being roofied is that you feel as though you can only blame yourself. In my circumstance I had shared bottles of travelers club with people I had only just met. My boyfriend of the time had been infuriated that I had drank so much that I threw up in his car, my friends were annoyed they had to “take care of my drunk-ass” and my parents were disappointed when I was left with no option but to provide my doctor with a urine sample to see what I had been drugged with. Although it was irresponsible of me to drink a stranger’s alcohol- it was not my fault that I was drugged. Unlike many, I was lucky enough to be with people who I trusted. Far too many girls in college are sexually assaulted, or in worst circumstances- raped. I am grateful everyday that I had not found myself in this situation.
Unfortunately, roofies and other date rape drugs are overlooked on the college party scene. An article published in 2000 by the U.S. Justice Department explains that the lack of national statistics and empirical data makes it impossible to determine how often drug-facilitated sexual assault occurs. This leaves evidence of the crime unreliable and in turn, the understanding of the crime minimal.
Even more frightening information shows that at certain universities roofies are purposely used to obtain a newfound type of insobriety. Date rape drugs are added to juice chasers and punch bowls; at times those consuming are aware, at other times they are not.
Sexual assault on college campuses is an extremely significant epidemic that can change an entire person’s life. Roofies are not a simple, funny drug, like portrayed in the ever-so-famous Hangover trilogy. Sexual assault is not a topic to be taken lightly and as I have experienced, is not something I would wish upon anyone. With this being said, here are some tips that can help you avoid being date rape drugged: