Most people have heard of Quaaludes. This drug was extremely popular during the 1970s and was used both clinically and recreationally. Eventually, many people became addicted to them. As a result, Quaaludes were taken off the market in 1983 and were added to the list of Schedule I drugs in 1984. The story of the rise and fall of the Quaalude is an interesting one. Read on to learn more about them.

What Are Quaaludes?

What is a Quaalude? Quaalude is the brand name for a drug called methaqualone. This drug was primarily manufactured and sold under the Quaalude brand name; Sopor was another brand name for it that is lesser known. Methaqualone is a hypnotic sedative that is a member of the quinazolinone class of drugs.

This drug was first synthesized in India in 1951. American medical researchers first discovered the sedative and hypnotic effects of methaqualone in 1955, and the drug was patented for use in the United States in 1962.

Doctors began prescribing this drug soon after that. By 1965, it was widely prescribed all over the world and by 1972, it was one of the most heavily prescribed sedatives in the United States.

In general, methaqualone was used primarily for the treatment of insomnia and anxiety. Its sedative effects were immediately helpful to many. It also worked as a muscle relaxant that was effective for some in treating pain.

Quaaludes Effects

Quaaludes and methaqualone in general promote an overall feeling of relaxation. Users reported the ability to fall asleep easily and to stay asleep. They make the body relax, and as a result, sleepiness follows, due to a drop in blood pressure. This slows the pulse rate, which can be helpful to people who have difficulty sleeping.

These Quaalude effects also lead to feelings of happiness, calmness, and euphoria for many. For this reason, methaqualone quickly became in demand as a recreational drug. Many sought out the euphoric feelings brought on by Quaaludes. Soon, this drug became one that was heavily abused not only in the United States, but around the world.

Medical Use of Quaaludes

In a medical setting and under medical supervision, methaqualone was very effective in helping people who needed sleep to get the sleep they needed. Oral dosages of 75 to 150 mg led to light sedation that was all that many people needed. More commonly, though, people who struggled with acute insomnia were prescribed 300 mg.

Tolerance of this drug built rapidly, though, and in time, some people were taking as much as 2000 mg to get some rest. Since methaqualone takes about 30 minutes to begin working and then lasts for five to eight hours, many people were grateful for the aid this drug provided in helping them to sleep through the night.

Societal Impact of Quaaludes

Unfortunately, the widespread prescription of this drug soon made it popular as a recreational drug. Users found that a barbituate-style dependence quickly developed; higher dosages were quickly required to experience the same high for regular users.

This drug was the cause of the first major prescription drug epidemic, long before opioids became the problem they became decades later. This drug was placed on Schedule II of the Controlled Substance Act in 1973 because it was clear that the use of Quaaludes was becoming an issue in the United States; at that point, it became difficult to get this drug without a prescription, and it became illegal to possess without one. By 1983, it was taken off the market and moved to Schedule I. Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and have no accepted medical treatment in the United States.

The government moved quickly to stop the spread of addiction to methaqualone in our nation. Since then, this drug has not been available in our country through legal channels. They’re very rarely available on the black market as well. Only on rare occasions does methaqualone enter the United States from other countries through smuggling.

Quaaludes Side Effects

Quaaludes’ side effects are numerous. Users may experience dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and vomiting. Other common side effects include rashes and itching, sweating, and dry mouth. Some people even experience seizures from their use. Furthermore, the fact that methaqualone causes a reduced heart rate and slowed breathing makes them even more dangerous – especially when mixed with alcohol. When Quaaludes were legal, many people were killed in car accidents due to people driving under their influence.

The move to make this drug illegal in the United States was wise. It’s likely that more and more people would have continued to become addicted to methaqualone if it continued to remain widely available.

Quaaludes in the Past vs. Today

Are Quaaludes still made? Can you still get Quaaludes? Quaalude pills were taken off the market in the early 1980s. However, they are still made in illegal labs. They’ve been outlawed around the world, but people still use illicit versions of this drug in many countries. Methaqualone today is still used recreationally in India and South Africa in particular.

Quaaludes that are sold on the street are likely not actual Quaaludes after all these years. They’re more likely knock-offs made in an illegal lab. This makes them very dangerous, as users have no guarantee that they are in any way pure methaqualone. In most cases, they are almost definitely not. Effects can be unpredictable and may result in death. It’s best to avoid any substance sold as methaqualone at all costs in 2023.

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What is a Quaalude today?

Today, the term Quaalude refers to Methaqualone, which is currently banned. It is no longer legally produced or prescribed due to its high potential for abuse and addiction.

When did they stop making Quaaludes?

Quaaludes, or methaqualone, ceased production in the United States in 1984 due to concerns over abuse and addiction. It was classified as a Schedule I substance, indicating a high potential for abuse with no accepted medical use, effectively ending its legal manufacturing and distribution.

When did they stop making Quaaludes?

Quaaludes, or methaqualone, ceased production in the United States in 1984 due to concerns over abuse and addiction. It was classified as a Schedule I substance, indicating a high potential for abuse with no accepted medical use, effectively ending its legal manufacturing and distribution.

Why were Quaaludes made illegal?

Quaaludes were made illegal due to their high potential for abuse, addiction, and serious health risks, including the likelihood of overdose and severe withdrawal symptoms.