Methaqualone (Quaalude) Controversy

Methaqualone, known popularly as Quaalude, is a sedative-hypnotic that was at the center of a wider drug panic over prescription medications in the United States during the 1970s. Developed in the early 1950s by Indian researchers, the drug entered foreign markets in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Although advertised as a nonaddictive and safe alternative to barbiturates, within a few years of its introduction it became clear that the drug possessed addictive qualities. A boom in consumption (seen in both illicit use and through medical prescription) prompted vocal concerns over its prominence throughout the 1970s. As fears over the drug’s popularity grew, it was gradually shifted downward through the United States list of drug schedules until it was declared a Schedule I substance ...

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