The murder of Cynthia Osokugo, the Nigerian youngster who was lured to her Facebook friends would be buried soon. The manner of Cynthia’s death throw up two key subjects: Facebook, the medium through which her killers got to her; and Rohypnol – the lethal sedative administered to the drink she took in the Lagos hotel where she was killed on 22 July.
Cynthia’s tragic experience on Facebook has expectedly brought a lot of attention to the ills of the social networking site – and is sure to change the attitude of many towards the addictive forum. But the substance used to drug the late Cynthia before being raped – Rohypnol – might not get as much attention from Nigerians. YOUTH.COM has thought it fit to put a spotlight on Rohypnol and other rape drugs, and present you with useful tips so you don’t fall victim of spiked drinks.
Rohypnol, one of the most commonly used ‘date rape drugs’, is the brand name for a drug called Flunitrazepam – a powerful sedative that depresses the central nervous system. It is a small white tablet with no taste or odour when dissolved in a drink, and is often used to aid sexual assault. The medicine is not legally available for prescription in the United States, but is legal in 60 countries worldwide for treatment of insomnia.
Rohypnol is otherwise known by its many street names and slang terms. Its aliases include: La roche, R2, Rib, Roach, Roofenol, Roofies, Rope, Rophies, Ruffies, and ‘The forget pill’.
Usage: Rohypnol is swallowed as a pill, dissolved in a drink, or snorted. It is frequently used in combination with alcohol and other drugs. Sometimes it is taken to enhance a heroin high, or to mellow or ease the experience of coming down from a cocaine or crack high. Used with alcohol, roofies produce disinhibition and amnesia.
Short-term effects: The drug creates a sleepy, relaxed, and drunk feeling that lasts two to eight hours. Other effects may include blackouts, with a complete loss of memory, dizziness and disorientation, nausea, difficulty with motor movements and speaking.
Long-term effects: Rohypnol can produce physical and psychological dependence.
Other commonly used date rape drugs are GHB, which is short for gamma hydroxybutyric; and Ketamine, also known as ‘blackhole’. They are also used to assist a sexual assault. The substances are powerful and dangerous, as they can make you become weak and confused – or even pass out – so you can’t refuse sex or defend yourself. Date rape drugs are no respecter of gender so can be used on both females and males.
How To Avoid Being Drugged
1. Don’t accept drinks from other people.
2. Open containers yourself.
3. Keep your drink with you at all times, even when you go to the bathroom.
4. Don’t share drinks.
5. Don’t drink from punch bowls or other common, open containers. They may already have drugs in them.
6. If someone offers to get you a drink from a bar or at a party, go with the person to order your drink.
7. Watch the drink being poured and carry it yourself.
8. Don’t drink anything that tastes or smells strange. Sometimes, GHB tastes salty.
9. Have a non-drinking friend with you to make sure nothing happens.
10. If you realize you left your drink unattended, pour it out.
11. If you feel drunk and haven’t drunk any alcohol – or, if you feel like the effects of drinking alcohol are stronger than usual – get help right away.