Methaqualone, commonly known as Quaalude, is a psychoactive depressant that was initially used in treating various conditions, including sleep disorders, anxiety and high blood pressure. In the 1960s and ’70s, it became popular as a recreational drug, leading to its notoriety for abuse and addiction. Consequently, it was classified as a controlled substance and is no longer commonly prescribed. In South Africa, methaqualone, also known as Mandrax, is uniquely smoked in a dagga pipe and the country is known for this specific method of consumption.

First synthesized in 1951, methaqualone is a synthetic depressant similar to barbiturates. Its medical use was primarily for treating sleep disorders and as a muscle relaxant but it gained recreational popularity under the names Quaalude and Mandrax. However, due to its high potential for dependence, it was listed under Schedule 2 of the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Today, it is mostly produced in clandestine laboratories.

In South Africa, methaqualone entered the market under the trade name Mandrax and remained popular, leading to illegal production and distribution. Often sold in colorful tablet form, it is commonly smoked mixed with cannabis, using a ‘bottle neck’ or ‘white pipe’ for faster effects. The drug’s calming effects contribute to its popularity in various social settings, including bars, clubs and parties, which has raised concerns about its potential epidemic use. The South African government is responding with public education campaigns and stricter law enforcement.

The 1970s saw a significant rise in methaqualone misuse due to its sedative properties, which appealed to those seeking euphoria or relaxation. The resulting health consequences highlighted the drug’s addictive nature. To address this, rehab and addiction treatment centers offer specialised services, starting with evaluations to determine the addiction’s severity and underlying mental health issues. Detoxification is often necessary to manage withdrawal symptoms, ranging from anxiety and restlessness to more severe effects like insomnia and seizures.

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    Founded in 2008, WeDoRecover has evolved from an advisory service for addiction treatment into a comprehensive provider of care, following its 2019 merger with Changes Addiction Rehab in Johannesburg. Specialising in connecting patients to top-tier addiction treatment centers in the UK, South Africa and Thailand, WeDoRecover supports individuals globally, including those from the United Arab Emirates and Europe. Accepting both South African medical aid and international health insurance our organisation facilitates access to high-quality treatment for substance and alcohol use disorders, offering individualised care that addresses the physical, mental and social needs of patients.

    Our team, led by Gareth Carter, offers empathetic and professional support, guiding you through every step of the treatment process. Whether you're in South Africa or abroad, our acceptance of various insurance plans makes quality care accessible, providing a platform for lasting recovery and a healthier future.

    Inpatient Rehab

    Rehab care is a good option if you are at risk of experiencing strong withdrawal symptoms when you try stop a substance. This option would also be recommended if you have experienced recurrent relapses or if you have tried a less-intensive treatment without success.


    If you're committed to your sobriety but cannot take a break from your daily duties for an inpatient program. Outpatient rehab treatment might suit you well if you are looking for a less restricted format for addiction treatment or simply need help with mental health.


    Therapy can be good step towards healing and self-discovery. If you need support without disrupting your routine, therapy offers a flexible solution for anyone wishing to enhance their mental well-being or work through personal issues in a supportive, confidential environment.

    Mental Health

    Are you having persistent feelings of being swamped, sad or have sudden surges of anger or intense emotional outbursts? These are warning signs of unresolved trauma mental health. A simple assesment by a mental health expert could provide valuable insights into your recovery.

    Finding the right rehab close to you is simple with WeDoRecover. Our network includes the finest rehab centers, ensuring personalised, quality care for your recovery needs. Let Gareth Carter and our empathetic team help guide you to a center that feels right for you, offering expert care and support. Start your healing today by choosing a rehab that's not just close to you, but also that truly cares about your loved ones recovery.

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