Addiction A-Z

Quaalude

Quaalude is the name brand of a sedative-type drug that was popular in the US in the 1970’s. The generic name is methaqualone. Although Quaaludes were available by prescription and widely available 30 years ago, one must really go out of there way now to find a supplier of this now underground illicit substance. Quaaludes act by depressing the user’s central nervous system, often resulting in sedation or euphoria.

Although Quaaludes were initially intended as a sedative or sleeping pill, recreational users quickly discovered the substance’s euphoric effect. Additionally, the pill can make people black out and have no memory of previous events. It also increased sensitivity and decreased inhibition while offering relaxation during sex. The majority of recreational users enjoy the euphoric and hypnotic effect. A Quaalude high typically lasts about five hours and, because it is also a muscle relaxer, users had to be especially careful while walking around or driving.

However, as the drug caught fire on the US market it came under the scrutiny of various medical societies and news organizations, culminating in a series of Congressional investigations. By 1973, Quaaludes landed on the Controlled Substances list (Schedule II drug).

Once the drug came under federal control, however, the Quaalude black market flourished with thefts and unscrupulous doctors providing the supply. As a result, the US government banned the production of Quaalude in 1981 entirely and, by 1983, the drug had been placed on the Schedule I Controlled Substance list.

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