HC Deb 09 July 1997 vol 297 c467W
Mr. Beith

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what evidence he has evaluated of the illegal use of the drug Rohypnol; and what plans he has to warn people of the dangers of this drug. [6920]

Mr. George Howarth

Rohypnol (which is the proprietary name for the benzodiazepine drug flunitrazepam) is controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 as a Class C drug. Statistical data on seizures and offenders and on those presenting for treatment do not separately identify Class C drugs, but there is anecdotal evidence of the misuse of flunitrazepam in Scotland and in the London area. There were three police seizures of the drug reported to the Forensic Science Service in 1996 which implies that there is little flunitrazepam misuse in the United Kingdom.

In accordance with a decision by the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs to control flunitrazepam more tightly under the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances 1971, we intend bringing forward later this year amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 1985 to increase the controls on the drug in the United Kingdom.

Government funded publicity campaigns about the risks of drug misuse warn of the dangers associated with the benzodiazepines, such as valium and temazepam, generally. There are no current plans to highlight this particular drug within these campaigns.