Abuse of flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) and other benzodiazepines in Austin and south Texas

J Psychoactive Drugs. 1996 Apr-Jun;28(2):183-9. doi: 10.1080/02791072.1996.10524390.


Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) is a benzodiazepine sedative-hypnotic that has generated significant media attention in the United States because of its abuse and its association with "date rape." A field investigation was conducted in south Texas to ascertain the nature and consequences of the abuse of flunitrazepam. In semistructured interviews, 66 subjects identified as flunitrazepam users were asked about their use of alcohol and other drugs and their sexual behaviors. Many subjects identified the drugs they had used as "roches" and gave descriptions of tablets of other benzodiazepines that were not consistent with flunitrazepam. Almost all subjects used other drugs, primarily alcohol and marijuana. Adverse consequences included amnesia, discoordination, automobile accidents, sexual assault, and respiratory depression or arrest. A significant proportion of the subjects reported that continued use was unappealing to them. The abuse of sedative-hypnotics in southeast Texas involves several benzodiazepines and is not limited to flunitrazepam.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents*
  • Drug Industry
  • Female
  • Flunitrazepam*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Health
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Texas / epidemiology


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Flunitrazepam