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GHB & Rohypnol®

GHB & Rohypnol®

ALSO KNOWN AS: date rape drugs, drug-assisted assault drugs. Rohypnol® is sometimes called roofies, rophies, roach, rope

Important Talk

GHB and Rohypnol emerged in the early 1990’s as “drug-assisted assault” drugs. In the news, these drugs are more commonly known as the date rape drugs. People may unknowingly be given the drug which, especially when mixed with alcohol, can incapacitate and prevent a victim from resisting sexual assault. 

What are GHB & Rohypnol

GHB and Rohypnol®  are central nervous system depressants.

Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid or GHB, is a compound that was initially used by body builders to stimulate muscle growth. In recent years it has become popular as a recreational drug among club kids and partygoers.

Rohypnol is designed to slow or relax the central nervous system. It is sold in some countries as a sleeping pill but banned in both the US and Canada due to its strong sedative effects.

Both Rohypnol and GHB are Schedule I drugs in Canada, making possession, sale or production of each illegal. The exception for GHB is if a person is prescribed the substance by a or production of either drug can result in significant fines and jail time1; spiking someone’s drink with them can result in up to 14 years in prison2.

What do GHB & Rohypnol look like and how are they used?

Signs and symptoms of GHB & Rohypnol use

Effects and Risks

Use of these substances can have both significant physical and mental effects. The mental effects include relaxation, dizziness, euphoria and a lack of judgment or inhibition. Physical effects include slowed breathing, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, loss of coordination, decreased blood pressure and heart rate and unconsciousness3.


1 – Public Prosecution Services of Canada, 2020. Mandatory Minimum Penalties for Particular Drug
Offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act

2 – Alberta Legal, 2021. Date Rape Drugs, Assault & Criminal Charges

3 – Health Canada, 2023. GHB.

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