Quaaludes were once a commonly prescribed drug in the US. During the sixties and seventies there were many individuals who took this medication to help them sleep or deal with stress. Although in the beginning they were marketed as a non-addictive sleeping tablet it soon became apparent that this wasn’t the case. The addictive potential of Quaaludes has led to a fall in usage. In the US it is now considered a schedule I drug which means it is considered unsuitable for medicinal purposes. The illegal use of Quaaludes is still a problem, but lack of availability has meant a decline in recreational use as well.
The proper name for Quaaludes is Methaqualone. It also has other brand and street names including:
* Mandrax (brand name)
* Happy tablets
* Super soper
* Disco biscuits
* Malsed (brand name)
* Renoval (brand name)
* Malsedin (brand name)
* Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Quaaludes work in a similar way to barbiturates. The drug acts like a depressant on the central nervous system. In light doses it creates a feeling of sleepiness while in higher doses it produces euphoria and similar effects to drunkenness. The effects of the drug can last anywhere up to 8 hours and include:
* Loss of inhibition
* Sense of well-being
* A feeling of relaxation
* Increased sexual arousal
* Increased confidence
* Improved ability to deal with pain
* Heightened sensitivity
Methaqualone has proved to be a highly dangerous drug and this is why it is now rarely used. The potential negative effects include:
* Addiction can occur within weeks of taking the drug regularly
* Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
* Loss of muscle coordination
* Loss of appetite
* Nausea and vomiting
* Anxiety and paranoia
* Increased risk of suicide
* Abdominal/stomach pain
* Symptoms similar to a hangover
* Reduced respiratory rate
* Organ damage
* Overdose can quickly lead to death
* Withdrawal Symptoms
During the seventies there was an alarming amount of recreational Quaalude use. Many people naively assumed that it was possible to abuse Methaqualone without there being too many negative effects. A lot of these individuals may have started taking the drug for medicinal purposes but this progressed to addiction. The drug became closely associated with the early disco scene. People would take these tablets instead of drinking alcohol, although many would combine the two together for a better high.
The pleasant feelings associated with Methaqualone use make it an attractive substance. People can take the drug in order to escape their problems for a few hours. They fail to appreciate that this type of drug can lead to the despair of addiction. It is not necessary to take Quaaludes for a long time before a mental and physical dependency develops. Once such an addiction takes hold it can be very hard to break.
The number of people who require help for Quaalude addition has fallen in recent years. It is still possible to buy illegal versions of the drug so people still develop addiction to this substance. Like with other types of serious drug abuse, such individuals will usually benefit from some type of rehab or support group. Those who have been taking the drug long term are likely to need medical supervision during the withdrawals stage as the symptoms can be severe. Once the individual has escaped the abuse they will need to learn how to live a life free of such intoxication.
The withdrawal symptoms associated with Methaqualone can be severe if the individual has become dependent on high doses of the drug over a long period. Such symptoms include:
* Abdominal cramps
* Loss of appetite
* Anxiety and metal confusion
* Strange sensations in the limbs similar to pins and needles
* Lack of coordination
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