Cosby Admits Getting Drugs to Give to Women for Sex

Court documents have revealed that Bill Cosby admitted to purchasing drugs to give to women in order to have sex with them. The recently unsealed documents arose from a 2005 civil suit brought against the comedian by former Temple University employee Andrea Constand. She is one of the dozens of women who have publicly accused the comedian of sexual assault. The Associated Press had subpoenaed the documents.

According to the documents, Constand’s lawyer, Dolores M. Troiani, asked Cosby on Sept. 29, 2005: “When you got the quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?”

Cosby answered “Yes.”

She went on: “Did you ever give any of these young women the quaaludes without their knowledge?”

Cosby’s lawyer objected, although Troiani petitioned the federal judge to force Cosby to cooperate. Cosby later said he gave Constand 3 half-pills of Benadryl.

According to the AP, “two other women who testified on Constand’s behalf said they had knowingly been given quaaludes.”

What are Quaaludes?

Quaaludes (chemical name: methaqualone) are a synthetic central nervous system depressant, similar to barbituates. Methaqualone is an anti-anxiety and a sedative-hypnotic drug.  They are also known as ‘ludes, Lemmons, and 714s. Although they were initially  introduced as a safe barbiturate alternative, they were later shown to have the addictive and withdrawal symptoms as those of barbiturates.

gaba receptorsMethaqualone is a depressant that increases the activity of the GABA receptors in the brain and nervous system. When GABA activity is increased, blood pressure drops and the breathing and pulse rates slow, leading to a state of deep relaxation.

The drug was originally discovered by Indian researchers in the 1950s.  It was patented in the US in 1962. According to PBS, Quaaludes were frequently “prescribed to housewives with trouble controlling their nerves and sleeping.” In the seventies, it became a favorite of teens and at the club scene, as the addition of alcohol to the mix produced what was referred to as a “drunken, sleepy high.”  Unfortunately, overuse lead to serious consequences:

“Overuse could lead to respiratory arrest, delirium, kidney or liver damage, coma, and death. As the abuse reached its peak, it was linked to overdoses, suicide attempts, injuries, and car accidents.”

The DEA stepped in, and in a matter of only a few years, were able not only to make it’s use illegal, but to shut down production of the drug.

 Effects can include:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • lowered heart rate
  • decreased respiration
  • increased sexual arousal
  • erectile dysfunction
  • paresthesias (numbness of the fingers and toes)

Larger doses can bring about respiratory depression, slurred speech, headache, and photophobia (a symptom of excessive sensitivity to light).

An overdose can cause:

  • delirium
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • increase in body tone and reflexes
  • vomiting
  • kidney failure
  • coma
  • death through cardiac or respiratory arrest.

The standard one tablet adult dosage of Quaalude was 75 mg; a dose of 8000 mg is lethal. However, a dose as little as 2000 mg could also be lethal, especially if taken with an alcoholic beverage

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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