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Methaqualone Addiction Treatment

Methaqualone and its Effects

Methaqualone has been one of the most popular recreational drugs in the college and party scenes for decades. Commonly known in the United States as Quaaludes or Sopors, the depressant methaqualone was first introduced as a prescription drug in 1965, intended to be a safe substitute for barbiturates in the treatment of anxiety and insomnia. However, methaqualone hit its stride as a recreational drug in the 1970s (Quaaludes’ popularity at discos earned them the nickname “disco biscuits”) due to its sedative, hypnotic effect. In fact, “luding up,” or taking Quaaludes with wine, became a common pastime at colleges in the early 1970s. Methaqualone also goes by the names “lude,” “mandrax,” “mandrake,” “karachi,” and “714.”

The most common effects of methaqualone include euphoria, relaxation, drowsiness, reduced heart rate and respiration, increased sexual arousal (aphrodisia), and paresthesias (numbness of the fingers and toes). Larger doses of methaqualone have also been known to trigger respiratory depression, slurred speech, headache, and photophobia (pain in the eyes when exposed to light).

The Addiction

Although chemically dissimilar in composition, methaqualone and barbiturates share similar addictive and withdrawal properties. Methaqualone is highly addictive both physically and psychologically, and continuous moderate to heavy useage leads to tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms. Because of the problems associated with this drug – including its abuse potential and its popularity as a street drug – methaqualone was placed in Schedule I by the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1984, meaning that it has a high potential for abuse; has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States; and lacks the accepted safety for use under medical supervision. Thus, methaqualone can no longer be prescribed or manufactured in the United States.

Help and Treatment

Abruptly stopping the intake of methaqualone (quitting “cold turkey”) produces adverse and sometimes life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, including the following:

  • Anxiety/panic attacks
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Convulsions
  • Confusion
  • Delirium
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • High fever
  • Seizures

Process of Detox

The process of detoxification (or “detox”) not only diminishes the severity of withdrawal, but also increases the chances for safe and successful recovery. It is strongly recommended that methaqualone detoxification take place in an inpatient setting while under proper medical supervision, to ensure that withdrawal symptoms can be monitored and treated appropriately. The average duration for detox is seven to 10 days. In addition, withdrawal symptoms typically begin approximately 12 to 24 hours after the last dose of the drug has been taken, and they peak 24 to 48 hours later. During medically supervised withdrawal, doctors may prescribe a substitute sedative to ease the initial symptoms or antidepressant medication may be prescribed for individuals experiencing anxiety or sleep disorders. Methaqualone rehab centers offer inpatient care and treatment for individuals who are battling with addiction. To learn more about methaqualone addiction and treatment, please visit our discussion forum on methaqualone and connect with others who have their own experiences with the drug or are also on the road to recovery.


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