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What are quaaludes?

Learn the answer to the following questions: What are quaaludes and their side effects? How do you treat quaalude addiction?

What are Quaaludes?

Quaaludes are a nervous system depressant. They were first synthesized in India in the fifties and were introduced in America in the sixties. They were popular and widely used from the time they were introduced but were eventually made illegal by the Drug Enforcement Agency due to their potential to cause addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

What are Quaaludes Made Of? 

Methaqualone is the active ingredient in quaaludes. It is a sedative that was previously used as a treatment for insomnia, but it was outlawed in 1983 due to its highly addictive qualities. It can produce hypnotic activity and act as a muscle relaxer.[1]

What are Quaaludes Like?

Quaaludes slow nervous system activity to produce drowsiness. They are often used as a sleep aid.

Are Quaaludes Legal?

Quaaludes are illegal due to their potential to be addictive. After quaaludes were introduced in the sixties, it didn’t take long before people realized how dangerous they were. In 1973, quaaludes were categorized as a Schedule II drug, which made them difficult to prescribe and illegal to possess.[2]

In 1984, they were moved to Schedule I status, meaning they have no accepted medical use due to their highly addictive properties. However, they are still often sold on the street and may be mixed with benzodiazepines or fentanyl, making them even more dangerous.[3]

What are Quaaludes Used For?

Both while they were legal and now that they have been outlawed, quaaludes have been used for a variety of different reasons.

How Do People Use Quaaludes? 

Historically, quaaludes were prescribed by doctors to promote muscle relaxation and sleep. In conjunction with these intended uses, they sometimes produce feelings of euphoria, which is part of the reason they are so addictive.

Why Do People Use Quaaludes?

People use quaaludes to treat conditions like insomnia and anxiety. They may also take them to counter symptoms of mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

While quaalude pills may alleviate these symptoms short term, they worsen them in the long run. People that take quaaludes long-term will eventually struggle with the initial disorder as well as addiction to the substance.

Medical Uses of Quaaludes

When quaaludes were originally marketed, they were prescribed by doctors as a sedative and sleep aid. Some researchers believed they could also be effective in fighting malaria, but this was later disproven.[4]

Side Effects of Quaaludes

Aside from the highly addictive qualities of quaaludes, they also produce a wide array of side effects ranging from mild to lethal, depending on the dosage consumed and the tolerance of the person consuming the substance. Some of these side effects may be managed without medical intervention, but others may require emergency medical involvement to prevent serious lasting damage or death.

Common Side Effects of Quaaludes

Common side effects of quaalude use that may not require immediate medical attention include, but are not limited to:

  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Rashes
  • Dry mouth
  • Tingling in the extremities
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Itchy skin
  • Extreme drowsiness

Serious Side Effects of Quaaludes

In addition to the less dangerous side effects of quaalude use, life-threatening side effects requiring medical help may include:

  • Reduced heart rate
  • Slowed breathing
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Overdose
  • Death

More serious side effects of quaalude consumption may be due to an overdose.

Quaaludes Abuse and Addiction

Due to their addictive qualities, quaaludes are no longer legal to medically prescribe.

Are Quaaludes Addictive? 

Quaaludes have been made illegal to prescribe due to how highly addictive they are. As with any drug, if you take quaaludes on a regular basis, you will start to develop a tolerance, meaning you will need to consume higher amounts of the drug to produce the same effects.

Eventually, your body will get so used to having the drug in its system, you will be unable to function properly without it. You will begin exhibiting unpleasant withdrawal symptoms during periods of sobriety.

Users know the only way to get rid of these symptoms short-term is to take more of the drug, creating a vicious cycle of addiction.

Quaalude Addiction Signs 

Some signs that indicate a quaalude addiction may include: 

  • Increased tolerance
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Nausea
  • Memory issues
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Motor dysfunction
  • Respiratory depression
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Hives
  • Weakness
  • Slurred speech
  • Erectile dysfunction in men
  • Numbness in the fingers and toes
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Withdrawal from society
  • Inability to enjoy the things you once loved
  • Troubled relationships
  • Legal issues
  • Financial issues
  • Engaging in dangerous and dishonest behavior
  • Excessive sweating
  • Loss of appetite

Quaaludes Dosage and Overdose

Below are both the recommended quaalude dosage when they were previously described and how to tell if you have overdosed.

Quaaludes Dosage

Here are the quaalude dosage recommendations that were relevant when quaaludes were legal:

  • 75 to 150 mg of oral methaqualone for light sedation
  • 300 mg for medium sedation
  • 600 mg for strong sedation

Quaaludes Overdose 

Quaalude effects that will tell you someone is overdosing include:  

  • Slowed cognitive ability 
  • Hallucinations and delirium
  • Excessive salivation
  • Slowed pulse, breathing, and heart rate
  • Changes in pupil size
  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Impaired coordination
  • Slowed response to stimuli
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Mood swings
  • Increased body temperature
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Death

Quaaludes Overdose Risks

If users build up a tolerance to quaaludes, they may end up taking up to 2000 mg a day. This dosage can easily lead to an overdose. However, doses of as little as 300 mg can cause an overdose in some users.

Quaaludes of 8000 mg can be fatal depending on the user’s tolerance.

What are Quaaludes

Treatment for Quaaludes Addiction and Abuse

As with any substance abuse, those who struggle with addiction may need to seek professional treatment in order to begin their road to recovery.

When to Seek Professional Help for Quaaludes Use

Quaaludes are illegal and should not be taken under any circumstances. However, you should seek professional help for dependency issues if you are experiencing an increased tolerance, withdrawal, and the quaalude effects listed above.

Quaaludes Addiction Treatment Program at Genesis Recovery

There are many rehabilitation centers that offer quaaludes drug addiction treatment, but Genesis takes an approach that sets us apart.

Genesis Recovery is a state-licensed, accredited, nonprofit recovery center devoted to improving the quality of life of those who are dealing with addiction. We offer multifaceted therapies including 12-Step, education, dual diagnosis, family therapy, one-on-one and group treatments, trauma therapy, and medication. We integrate spirituality and community to instill a sense of self-worth and purpose.

Contact Genesis Recovery for More Info

If you are dealing with a quaalude addiction, do not hesitate to contact Genesis Recovery today. We will get you on a path to the health and happiness you deserve.


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