Quaaludes is the North American slang term for methaqualone. Which is a synthetic, barbiturate-like, central nervous system depressant created in India during the 1950’s. Quualudes are an anxiolytic and a sedative-hypnotic drug. Originally they were introduced as a safe barbiturate substitute, however they eventually began show signs that the individual could develop a tolerance, addiction and withdrawal symptoms similar to those of barbiturates. Recreational use of Quaaludes became popular in the late 1960’s, this is when its risk of abuse became clear to the government. Due to the high risk of abuse, Quaaludes are a  Federal Schedule I, and no longer legally available in the United States as of 1984.


Quaaludes were originally synthesized to be useful sedative and anxiolytic, as the drug promotes relaxation, sleepiness and a drop in blood pressure and slows the pulse rate. In 1972 Quaaludes where the United States most prescribed sedative medication. In 1984 they were banned and labeled to be a Federal Schedule I drug.

Quaaludes became popular due to its euphoric effects. Its popularity grew among college students in the 1970, taking the drug with wine to increase its effects.

Signs and Symptoms

Quaaludes hold a high risk of tolerance, addiction and withdrawal syndrome. As the individual begins o develop a tolerance they will begin to increase their dose to achieve the desired effects. As the dose increases so does the risk of dependency. When an individual is dependent, addicted, to Quaaludes they are unable to stop the use of the drug without experiencing painful, even uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. These withdrawal symptoms often include but are not limited to:

  •  restlessness
  • irritability
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • weakness
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • tremors
  • mental confusion
  • seizures


Quaaludes addiction is similar to barbiturates, requiring inpatient treatment to help the patient overcome the addiction. Patients begin treatment with medical detox, helping them to cleanse the body of the chemicals and toxins related to drug abuse with the aid of a prescription medication. The patient will then undergo therapy and counseling services to help them get to the root cause of their addiction and work through it. Throughout the treatment process, patients will be developing the key skills needed to maintain their sobriety in their day to day lives, overcoming cravings and preventing relapse.