A growing problem with these drugs is abuse—non-medical use, on a regular or sporadic basis, often in a polydrug context. Worldwide, flunitrazepam is the main problem and can be taken orally, by injection, or by sniffing. In the United Kingdom, temazepam is widely abused by injection.(68,) The contents of the original formulation of temazepam (a liquid-filled capsule) could be extracted and injected. Reformulation as a gel-filled capsule was unsuccessful as the gel could still be liquefied and injected, often with subsequent major vascular trauma. The injected drug has a marked sedative and/or disinhibiting effect, resulting in chaotic behaviour, carelessness, and an enhanced risk of the transmission of communicable diseases such as HIV infection and hepatitis.

Another abuse of flunitrazepam that has come to public attention is its clandestine administration for the purpose of sexual abuse and rape. Some hypnotics have been reformulated to prevent any such undetectable administration.

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