What are quaaludes?
Quaaludes (methaqualone) are a synthetic, barbiturate-like, central nervous system depressant and a popular recreational drug in the U.S. from the 1960s until the 1980s, when its use was made illegal by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The active ingredient, methaqualone, is an anxiolytic (lowers anxiety) and a sedative-hypnotic drug that leads to a state of drowsiness. These drugs, imprinted with the number “714” on the tablet, were initially introduced as a safe barbiturate substitute to help induce sleep, but were later shown to have addiction and withdrawal symptoms similar to other prescription barbiturates. Quaaludes are rarely encountered on the streets in the U.S. today, but are occasionally confiscated coming across the border.
Uses of quaaludes
In 1972, Quaaludes were one of the most frequently prescribed sedatives in United States.
In prescribed doses, Quaaludes promotes relaxation, sleepiness and sometimes a feeling of euphoria. It causes a drop in blood pressure and slows the pulse rate. These properties are the reason why it was initially thought to be a useful sedative and anxiolytic.
It became a recreational drug due to its euphoric effect. Quaaludes were a popular drug of abuse during much of the 1970s, even though both the United States and Britain tightened control around their use and dispensing.
When it was a legal medication, methaqualone was available in tablet and capsule form and came in different strengths.
- Oral Quaaludes dosages ranged from 75 to 150 mg for light sedation.
- A commonly prescribed dose was 300 mg. Up to 600 mg was used for strong sedation.
- Tolerance develops rapidly and some users may take up to 2000 mg daily to achieve the same effects.
- Onset of action is approximately 30 minutes after taking Quaaludes and duration of action is between 5 to 8 hours.