Mandrax (methaqualone) sometimes comes in light and dark blue capsule or white scored tablets. It is sometimes crushed and smoked with dagga in a "White Pipe".

Its has its origins in medicine when barbiturates (which are also called "downers" and which were developed to treat sleeplessness, anxiety, tension, high blood pressure and convulsions) were found to produce dependence, barbiturate-like drugs such as methaqualone and flurazepam were introduced as substitutes, but they too have been found to produce dependence.

The short-term effects is the slowing down of activity of central nervous system. Small dose relieves tension; large dose produces staggering, blurred vision, impaired thinking, slurred speech, impaired perception of time and space, slowed reflexes and breathing, reduced sensitivity to pain. Overdoses cause unconsciousness, coma and death.

Many of the deaths due to drugs (excluding alcohol) are caused by barbiturates and barbiturate-like drugs. Accidental overdoses occur when children swallow pills or when adults with increased tolerance are unsure of how many to take. Use with alcohol can be very dangerous.

The long-term effects include anaemia, impairment of liver function, chronic intoxication (headache, impaired vision, slurred speech) and depression. Babies of chronic users may have difficulty in breathing and feeding, disturbed sleep patterns, sweating, irritability and fever. Smoking chemicals will obviously damage your lungs.

Regular use results in tolerance, making increased doses necessary to produce desired effect. Since less tolerance develops to harmful effects rather than to desirable effects, the margin between effective dose and lethal dose gradually narrows. Psychological dependence can occur with regular use, as can physical dependence. Withdrawal symptoms include restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, delirium, convulsions and even death.

SANCA / Phoenix House (South Africa) 011 726-4210


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