Human traffickers, and sociopaths love to use the drug Rohypnal also known Roofies as their colloquial name.  Rohypnal falls under a category of drug generally referred to as a date rape drug along with other popular drugs such as Ketamine and Gamma Hydroxybuterate. Date Rape drugs have gained a lot of notoriety over the past few years in conjunction with the Bill Cosby trial and the Me Too movement. You seldom hear about how these drugs are used in human trafficking or kidnapping. Nevertheless they are often used by these individuals to obtain their victims.

Rohypnal (Flunitazepam) begins with dizziness, disorientation, difficulty with motor movements, slowed breathing, blackouts with complete loss of memory, nausea and vomiting, and may rapidly lead to coma, and death. The drug is most often slipped into an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink at a bar or party. The roofie is generally crushed into powdered form and put into the drink while the target is not looking or when they have left their drink unattended. The drug is colorless, odorless, and tasteless.

Perpetrators often go to great lengths to build rapport with the bar tenders and to create a reputation for being a good, trustworthy, regular customer. This creates a psychological phenomenon known as the “Halo Effect”. The Halo Effect bias is created by creating a reputation of being such a trustworthy and good person that everyone who knows you would never believe that you could possibly do anything wrong. Unfortunately this bias is one of the biggest ways sociopaths and other criminals cover up their activities. Often times the perpetrator will spend weeks and months establishing and developing their cover so that everyone will know them by name and enjoy their company. In the mean time they will target their prey, determine their marketability, and market the potential merchandise prior to their putting the plan into action. They may also simply be watching and waiting to fill the human menu of perspective clients who are looking for a particular exotic woman, an LGBTQ person, a large woman, a short woman, a small person, or other requirements that the client may want to make as their next sexual conquest.

It is a simple process to drop the Roofie in the drink and wait until the victim drinks it. Once the victim drinks it, perpetrators use their gentlemanly and sometimes gentalwomanly status to offer the victim a ride home. No one at the bar will think otherwise about it because of the Halo Effect status. Within hours the client is happy and the perpetrator is paid for their acquisition.

One of the most under reported crimes in the United States is something known as an express rape, express prostitution, or express kidnapping. Express rapes/prostitution are commonly initiated while the victim is blacked out from the Rohypnal dose. Traffickers will often allow multiple patrons to sexually assault the victim while they are unconscious and will not be able to identify or even recall the event. Many times this method involves taking blackmail photos to be used later to threaten and extort the victim into not reporting the incident. It is also the gateway into being trafficked.

Captive Audience PTRT recommends several important safety recommendations. If you go out to bars, parties, or other events, keep these rules in mind.

  1. Never go drinking or to a party alone. Always go with someone who will watch your back.
  2. Always stand with your hand covering your drink with the drink close to your chest when you are not drinking it.
  3. Once you leave your drink for any reason (such as to go to the bathroom), do not return to it. It must be considered a loss. Order another one.
  4. Do not accept drinks from anyone who is not the staff, family, or a trusted individual. If it did not come from someone in one of those categories, consider it contaminated and do not drink it.
  5. If you suspect that you have been roofied, get help from the staff. Have the staff call an ambulance, and do not allow anyone to drive you home. Go to the Emergency Room
  6. Request drug toxicology report and when you are OK, file a police report
  7. Ensure that you seek psychological support to help work through what happened.

Do not allow this to go unreported because you are embarrassed. You may not be the first victim or the last victim, and there may be a greater number of people yet to be victimized. Please remember that your situation may be linked a larger group, and others could be in captivity and waiting for someone to find them.

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