A drug that has hypnotic and sedative properties. Although Methaqualone is not considered a barbiturate, using the drug can produce similar results. Common street names for Methaqualone are Quaalude, Lude, Quay, Quad, Mandrex and Sopors. Methaqualone can be injected, and also taken orally. Methaqualone commonly is manufactured in tablets or capsules. The drug can also be found in brown, gray or black tacky powder. An average dose of Methaqualone is about 3 grams. This depends on the persons body height, weight, the use of any other drug, such as alcohol, and the tolerance built to Methaqualone.
Within 4-8 hours of taking Methaqualone, the user may experience slurred speech, disorientation, lack of coordination, and increased reflex time. Methaqualone is also commonly used because it causes drunken behavior without the odor of alcohol. The drug also relieves tension, mental stress and anxiety. The possible long-term effects of Methaqualone are psychological and physical dependence, cardiac and respiratory depression, and the reduction of mental activity. The withdrawal symptoms of Methaqualone are anxiety, insomnia, tremors, convulsions, and possible death. The effects of Methaqualone when overdosed are unpredictable, which makes the drug even more dangerous.
Overdose by Methaqualone is also more difficult to treat than most barbiturate overdoses. These effects range from cold and clammy skin to a possible death. People that lived through a Methaqualone overdose have also experienced shallow breathing, dilated pupils, and coma. When introduced in 1965, Methaqualone was legally used as a sedative-hypnotic. Doctors prescribed Methaqualone to patients who needed the relief of side effects that were associated with over-stimulation or the withdrawal of other drugs.
By 1972, the abuse of Methaqualone was prevalent among both teenagers and adults. Luding out, or orally ingesting Methaqualone with liquor became popular with teenagers. This made the abuse of Methaqualone twice as hazardous because it increased the effect, as well as the danger. Adults used Methaqualone to reduce anxiety, and as a sleeping aid. Because Methaqualone was widely abused, in 1984 the drug was made illegal in many countries, including the United States. Although most of the effects of the drug are known, Methaqualone is still one of the most widely abused drugs. The most common dangers from abusing Methaqualone are due to car accidents. Because Methaqualone causes faulty judgement and drowsiness, it is very easy to injure or even kill yourself or others in a car accident.
- Kunz, Jeffery and Finkel, Asher. The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide. New York: Random House, 1987.
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