Quaaludes (methaqualone), the wiggliest sedative-hypnotic staple of ‘70’s discotheques, might be making a retro comeback in Britain. VICE News has obtained statistics of drug seizures by British law enforcement and found an important precursor chemical used to make Quaaludes.
Precursors are chemicals needed in the production of another compound. In 2012, British authorities seized a kilogram of N-acetylanthranilic acid, a UN Red Listed drug precursor. Quaaludes and their shady available online analogues, etaqualone and methylmethaqualone, are downers, prescribed for anxiety and sleep problems, but were so far-out, man. They were a popular accompaniment to wine for young partiers starting in the late ‘60s, through the ‘70s, and into the ‘80s, until they were banned. By the ‘90s, they were all but forgotten — but looks the Wolf of Wall Street’s infamous ‘lude scene may have brought them back.
We’ve tried these disco-biscuits, and they are probably the most euphoric of the sedative-hypnotics. Forget Xanax or Valium — and if you are taking too many ‘ludes, you just might: it’s like you’re drunk, but without a heavy “body-load.” Despite a huge number of overdoses, especially after mixing with even a little alcohol, and addictions, it stayed on the market. Like oxycodone today, methaqualone in the ‘70s was trivialized and overlooked by the very people we entrusted with our safety. Not everyone is a pharmacologist or chemist, after all.
For those who are, it’s not hard to use Google to find not only a synthesis for methaqualone from N-acetylanthranilic acid (or related precursors) but even a synthesis for these precursors from uncontrolled substances.
Stick with the beers next time you’re in a discotheque; try not to die.