Chances are most people have probably heard of the word Quaalude before. Whether you know it from The Wolf Of Wall Street, or maybe the Bill Cosby trial. Nevertheless, many of us are at least aware of the term. However, you might not have the knowledge of what it is or what it does to your body.

To put it simply, a Quaalude is a central nervous system depressant drug that was first synthesized in the 1950s. The name “Quaalude” combines “quiet” and “interlude”. It got the street name “disco biscuits” because of the sexual inhibitions it released, making it a popular nightlife drug.

Depressants are prescription pills in the same class of drugs that incorporate Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, and others. They have the capability to cause health problems associated with addiction, coma, and death. Depressants contribute to the United States’ current drug crisis, which kills tens of thousands every year.

If you or a loved one may be struggling with a depressant drug, know you are not alone. At Healthy Life Recovery, we offer addiction treatment for depressants, including benzodiazepines. Our San Diego drug rehab provides individualized treatment programs so that you can live a happy, healthy life again.

What Happened to Quaaludes?

This drug gained its popularity recreationally during the 1960s and 1970s and was used as a party drug. By 1983, Quaaludes were made illegal because of its extensive abuse and psychological addictiveness. 

Methaqualone (sold under the brand name Quaalude) had a bootleg period from 1984 to 1988 and then disappeared. The DEA and medical industry both control how substances are used and saw the dangers of this drug. Since its disappearance, Quaaludes have become as mythical as unicorns, but they once were a popular substance. Today, Quaaludes are not a common drug to come by.

What Were Quaaludes Prescribed For?

Methaqualone, such as Quaaludes, were prescribed sedatives that increase GABA (neurotransmitter) receptor activity. As a sleeping aid, this drug was a sedative and hypnotic. A hypnotic, or sporophoric drug helps induce sleep, which is why someone would be prescribed Quaaludes in the first place.

When GABA increases, your breathing and heart rate decrease. Whenever this happens, your pulse rate and blood pressure drop too, entering a feeling of deep relaxation. A few hours later, the drug peaks and lasts in your system up to 20-60 hours. 

After using this muscle relaxant for an extended period of time, your body builds a tolerance. So, people have to take a higher dose to get that same feeling of relaxation again. This puts insomniacs (people who have a sleeping disorder) in danger of never waking back up.


Quaaludes Effects

Having a Quaalude addiction can go beyond the physical difficulties. This may include lost relationships, no job opportunities, or having financial problems. Abusing this highly addictive drug can lead to chronic physical, psychological, emotional, and social harm if left untreated. Listed below are possible side effects of continued abuse.

Physical Effects

This sedative, hypnotic drug has a standard effect on a person’s body and mind. When used in small amounts, a person will typically feel lively or relaxed. When taken in large quantities, this drug can cause a stimulating effect. As the dose increases, feelings become more intense and can cause dangerous physical effects on the body.

This drug was often abused with alcohol and created a “drunken, sleepy high.” Usually, the effects begin after 30 minutes and last up to 6 hours. However, overuse of Quaaludes can lead to serious physical issues including:

  • Respiratory arrest
  • Delirium
  • Kidney or liver damage
  • Coma
  • Death

A lethal dose would be considered 30 times what was in one Quaalude tablet. When combining this drug with alcohol, that dose becomes much smaller, with only two grams possibly inducing a coma. Moreover, at its peak, the drug was linked to overdoses, suicide attempts, injuries, and car accidents.

Quaalude abuse can be detrimental to your body as you harm normal mechanisms, organs, and systems. Physical effects may include:

  • Cardiovascular and motor dysfunction
  • Respiratory depression
  • Photophobia – An extreme sensitivity to light
  • Paresthesias – Numbness of the fingers and toes
  • Drowsiness, headache, and slowed speech

Psychological Effects

The abuse can lead to harmful psychological effects such as:

  • Delirium
  • Insomnia
  • Mood disorders
  • Increased Anxiety
  • Depression

Social Effects

The following are ways that addiction can negatively interfere with your social life:

  • Decreased social interactions
  • Increased isolation and segregation from loved ones
  • Withdrawal from social activities and events

Signs and Symptoms of Quaaludes Addiction

Knowing the signs and symptoms of a Quaalude addiction can be helpful to you or a loved one. The following signs and symptoms may happen as a result of abusing this drug:

  • Nausea, Vomiting
  • Excessive sweating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Slurred speech
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Memory Loss
  • Hives
  • Weakness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Motor dysfunction
  • Overdose, death

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these possible side effects resulting from Quaaludes, please seek help. It is essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Finding Treatment For Substance Abuse

People who are addicted to Quaaludes are more likely to overdose or inflict self-harm. It is essential to be able to recognize the severity of the problem if you are ready to seek treatment for Quaaludes or depressants. This is the first step and the most important step in overcoming an addiction. 

In Outpatient Rehab Program in San Diego promotes treatment with lasting recovery. Give us a call if you or someone close to you may have an addiction to Quaaludes or other depressants.

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