What Are Quaaludes? Inside the Popular 70s Drug Cosby Offered to Women

Quaaludes are now getting lots of attention after Bill Cosby admitted giving them to women.

Read: Bill Cosby's Attorney: Alleged Victim Accepted Quaaludes Before Consensual Sex

Nicknamed "Disco Biscuits,” Quaaludes were hugely popular in the 1970‘s - widely consumed in nightclubs like the legendary Studio 54.

Originally developed as a sleeping pill, Quaaludes had a deeply relaxing effect, much like strong alcohol.

Dr. Yael Varado, an anesthesiologist told INSIDE EDITION: “It's not the typical high you'd get if you're taking ecstasy and you're partying, or  if you're doing coke and you're up - it's more of a relaxed kind of high.”

But Quaaludes were often abused. In 1977, director Roman Polanski gave then 13-year-old Samantha Geimer a portion of a Quaalude before he allegedly had sex with her. He fled the country to avoid prison - never to return.

Dr. Varado said: “It's not uncommon to see seizures, comas, or death - which is why the drug became a major problem and was quickly taken off the market. By the eighties it was gone.”

Bill Cosby was prescribed Quaaludes for a bad back. He says he never took them, but kept them on hand to offer dates.

“Why didn't you ever take the Quaaludes?” He was asked in that bombshell deposition.

“Because I used them,” he replied.

He was then asked: “For what?”

“The same as a person would say, 'have a drink,'” he said.

Therese Seregnese describes how Cosby gave her Quaaludes at a Las Vegas hotel in 1976. She was 19, Cosby was 40.

Read: Beverly Johnson Reacts to Bill Cosby's Deposition: 'I Wasn't Surprised. It Is Sad.' 

“He held out his hand. He had a glass of water in the other hand, he had two pills and just he said take these. It wasn't the 'Hey, do you want to take these?' it was 'Take these,'” she said.

Model Beverly Johnson says Cosby drugged her by slipping something in her coffee.

She said: “I took another sip and then I knew, I knew I had been drugged. It was that powerful. It was like a train was coming and I could feel myself very woozy. The room was spinning.” Her effect sure sounds a lot like a Quaalude.

Cosby's attorney Monique Pressley denies he ever gave Quaaludes to anyone without their consent.

She said: “Saying he had them available for a young woman who would want one is very different than saying he was drugging someone - which is a crime.”

Watch Below: Bill Cosby's Attorney Slams Media Coverage of Deposition