The synthetic drug methaqualone (brand names include Quaalude and Mandrax), is a central nervous system depressant. Originally used as a sleeping aid to treat insomnia, as a sedative and as a muscle relaxant, methaqualone quickly became an overused and misused drug. Manufacturing it was banned in the United States in 1982 and it was listed as a Schedule 1 drug in 1984.Illegal makers of the drug sometimes use heroin, decongestants, laxatives, baking soda, flour, pain relievers and talcum powder as filler in methaqualone.
So what are the drug abuse effects of methaqualone? Methaqualone abuse has both psychological and physical effects. As a depressant, methaqualone lowers blood pressure, reduces breathing and slows pulse rate and the user experiences a sense of deep relaxation. Within a few hours the drug reaches its peak and the effects last for up to eight hours. Individuals who use methaqualone for prolonged periods of time and in increasingly high amounts build up a tolerance to the drug that requires more with each use to achieve the same results. As the dosage is increased there is a danger of the central nervous system shutting down which could lead to coma and death. Taking methaqualone with other substances, including alcohol and marijuana, can increase those risks.
The side effects from taking methaqualone include nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, irregular heart rate, fatigue, itching, chills and/or sweats, headache and seizures. The drug abuse effects of Methaqualone can have a significant effect on coordination and muscle control. Sometimes users have a pins and needles tingling sensation in the fingers and face which is known as paresthesia. There is a high risk for psychological dependency when methaqualone is taken in high amounts for prolonged periods of time. Symptoms of dependency include impaired judgment, impaired learning, difficulty being able to focus on school or work, memory loss and preoccupation with getting more methaqualone.
If methaqualone use is stopped suddenly withdrawal symptoms can begin within twelve hours of the last time the drug was taken. The symptoms usually peak within 48 hours and may include increased heart rate, anxiety, tremors, sweating, nausea, vomiting and seizures.
Medical detox with IV therapy is the best method of detox from methaqualone use. IV therapy is implemented under doctor supervision and is considered the safest and most effective method of detox because of the ability to make changes to the medication protocol as the withdrawal symptoms dictate. The average length for detox from methaqualone is seven to ten days. Depending on the extent of drug use, a person may or may not need detox.
The non-religious, non-profit Freedom Model Retreats offer an educational cognitive behavioral program that highly effective in helping people with methaqualone use. Guests learn how to reevaluate their choices, habits and behaviors through self-assessment and self-change. They become empowered to take back control of their life from drug use permanently.
The Retreats program is periodically evaluated by outside professional research organizations. Its independently tested and certified long term success rate is at least 62%. This is significantly higher than that of any other program.