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Quaaludes Addiction Treatment

Prescription Medication Abuse

Its no secret that today’s generation is far more likely to come in contact with drugs and/or alcohol than they were 20 years ago. Considering the multitude of new pharmaceutical drugs on the market each year, it’s no wonder that prescription medication abuse among teenagers continues to rise. In addition to alcohol, marijuana, crystal meth, cocaine, and heroin, today’s generation is forced to navigate a virtual mine field of pharmaceuticals on an almost daily basis.

According to a 2005 National Survey on Drug Use & Health, more than 14% of young people over the age of 12 have admitted to using some form of an illicit drug within the last year. Today, experts believe the painkiller Oxycontin to be the most widely abused prescription drug in America. Countless medicine cabinets all over the country are quickly becoming the number one place our children go to get high. We all know about the addictive properties of opiate painkillers but what about the other lesser known drugs that are often overlooked? Some of those include benzodiazepines, sedatives, or other tranquilizers that we don’t always hear as much about.

Methaqualone or Quaaludes

One of those is undoubtedly the drug most of our older generation knew as Quaaludes. Quaaludes, or Methaqualone as it is officially known, is part of a class of drugs called “central nervous system depressants.” Most often prescribed to treat anxiety, Quaaludes rose to fame in the 1970s when people began to use them for their euphoric, sedative effects. Even though Quaaludes weren’t considered physically addictive ,they still came with a very high risk of overdose, often leading to death if left untreated. While actual Quaaludes are rarely found on the streets these days, the name itself is now often used to refer to a number of other drugs that are much more harmful and addictive. Most of the “ludes” people come into contact today actually refer to barbiturates, or benzodiazepines such as:

  • Valium – A benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety and nervous disorders. Overdose can occur when taken with Alcohol and can lead to blackouts or even death.
  • Xanax – Another faster acting benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety that is also sought after for its euphoric high. High risk of overdose when mixed with alcohol.
  • Klonopin – A Benzodiazepine with similar uses for anxiety and insomnia. It is easily obtained and can lead to addiction and overdose.
  • Phenobarbital – Another central nervous system depressant infrequently prescribed for seizure disorders or anxiety. Barbiturate use can cause physical dependence and overdose is common when used with alcohol.

Quaaludes Overdose and Misuse

While many benzodiazepines are prescribed with great success in the treatment of anxiety or other nervous disorders, they are still physically addicting and pose a high risk of overdose when taken in large quantities. More and more often it seems that young people take them while drinking to enhance the effects of alcohol. This is where the real danger comes in to play as barbiturates and benzodiazepines can reach fatal levels in the blood stream, often ten times as fast when using alcohol. Due to their potential for physical dependence people seeking treatment for addiction to these modern day “Quaaludes” often need close monitoring and inpatient care. Sometimes withdrawal symptoms lead to seizures and have been known to be fatal in severe cases. The fact is that even though sedatives may not have the allure and stigma associated with drugs like Oxycontin, they are still addictive and when used improperly can lead to death – sometimes quicker than opiates or more illicit street drugs. Keep an eye on your medicine cabinet and know what your children are up to. Nowadays these drugs are everywhere and our young people have to grow up in a world with more temptation than ever before. Opening a channel of communication now may end up stopping your child from beginning the vicious cycle of addiction and ultimately save their life.

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