Mandrax (Methaqualone)

Originally a product of Indian science mandrax, also called Quaalude, ludes, buttons, press outs, andquas, quacks, soaps, and sopes was developed by biochemical researchers in the early 1950s. As a highly addictive sedative drug typically sold in the form of a tablet, mandrax allegedly gives its abuser a "rush," or a feeling of euphoria.

Physical and mental dependency can be developed towards mandrax, and the drug often causes severe withdrawal symptoms when users attempt to abstain from it. Its addictive nature, derived from its active ingredient: Methaqualone, can cause serious emotional problems including depression, epilepsy, and delirium. [ref]http://www.drugaware.co.za/mandrax.html[/ref]

Interestingly, mandrax was originally prescribed as a treatment for insomnia or used as a sedative and muscle relaxant. Taking the form of a recreational drug only about a decade after its inception into the medical world, mandrax was quickly added to India's list as another drug menace.[ref]http://www.drugtext.org/library/books/recreationaldrugs/methaqualone.htm[/ref] [ref]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methaqualone[/ref]

Mandrax Threats

Only as much as 150-500 mg (not more than a therapeutic dose) can produce a sensual, euphoric state and a relaxed, intimate mood. This effect explains the drug's popularity and potential for abuse.

But mandrax presents a number of serious threats to its user. After repeated doses or prolonged use, the drug can accumulate in the blood. It is highly addictive, and abrupt withdrawal, if not properly supervised, can cause death.[ref]http://archives.drugabuse.gov/pdf/monographs/32.pdf[/ref]

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, "Methaqualone [mandrax] is particularly dangerous when consumed with alcohol. Coma and convulsions can result from acute ingestion of 2 grams of Methaqualone and death from 8 grams."

Mandrax Use In India

Originally developed for medicinal purposes in India around 1950, mandrax was widely used as a recreational drug in India in the late 60s and early 70s. It is now more popular in South Africa and some parts of Europe.

It is produced in India, Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Swaziland, Mozambique, and South Africa.[ref]http://www.drugaware.co.za/mandrax.html[/ref]

Mandrax Effects

Mandrax has a number of acute and potentially chronic effects on its abusers. The sedative drug's key effects are listed below:[ref]http://www.enotes.com/topic/Methaqualone[/ref]

  • Reduced heart rate
  • Increased sexual arousal
  • Parenthesis (numbness of the fingers and toes)
  • Slurred speech
  • Headaches
  • Convulsions
  • Death through cardiac or respiratory arrest.

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