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  #1  
Old 12-06-2001, 04:29 PM
Jimbrowski Jimbrowski is offline
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In the Dead tune Truckin’, Jane is described as “…livin’ on reds, vitamin C, and cocaine…”

What exactly are these “reds”? I assume they’re pills of some sort, but what exactly?

In context (song lyrics, above), it sounds like they’re downers (“…livin’ on (downers), vitamin C, and (uppers)…”), but what exactly are they?

If you lived in Haight Ashbury in 1968 and you purchased “reds” from a dealer, what would you have received?
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2001, 04:32 PM
Ivar Ivar is offline
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My WAG is that reds are a barbituate of some sort, to take the edge off the cocaine.
  #3  
Old 12-06-2001, 04:44 PM
ImInvisible ImInvisible is offline
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Seconal(secobarbital), known on the street as reds, red birds, red devils.


DESCRIPTION
Orange capsule marked "Lilly F42" (50mg) or "Lilly F 40" (100mg).

It's a common barbiturate or "downer."
  #4  
Old 12-06-2001, 09:12 PM
cleops cleops is offline
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ImInvisible nailed it, to my--and I hope the OP's-- delight! Just love accuracy in regard to all those old drugs I don't take any more.
  #5  
Old 12-06-2001, 09:31 PM
Rysdad Rysdad is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ImInvisible
Seconal(secobarbital), known on the street as reds, red birds, red devils.


DESCRIPTION
Orange capsule marked "Lilly F42" (50mg) or "Lilly F 40" (100mg).

Orange? They're, obviously, red. I'm positive about that. I also know from experience that these are some powerful fuckers that should not be used for recreational purposes ever.
  #6  
Old 12-06-2001, 09:49 PM
happyheathen happyheathen is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rysdad

...that should not be used for recreational purposes ever.
spoilsport!
  #7  
Old 12-06-2001, 10:37 PM
Jorge Jorge is offline
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I was trying to find a half-remembered quote re. seconal [and barbiturates in general] from Keith Richards; with no luck.

It was roughly to the effect that he deplored 'all the new-fangled drugs on the market, and pined for the old days with good old standbys like barbiturates..."
  #8  
Old 12-06-2001, 11:07 PM
Dirty Earthworm Dirty Earthworm is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rysdad
[/B]
Orange? They're, obviously, red. I'm positive about that. I also know from experience that these are some powerful fuckers that should not be used for recreational purposes ever. [/B][/QUOTE]



As a former pill-popper, I will definitely second that. Damn things almost killed me. Pills are bad ... pills are very bad......

-Syko
  #9  
Old 12-06-2001, 11:24 PM
ImInvisible ImInvisible is offline
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Seconal: Red or Orange

My first post was simply copied from a website I found by entering "reds seconal" into Google (I instinctively knew that "reds" were Seconal, as I grew up in the '70s). It says they are "orange," as I quoted. After further research, I was unable to find another physical description or a picture.

Perhaps they are reddish/orange? I don't think I ever took them and, if I did, I don't remember. It does seem strange that all the slang names for an orange pill would contain the adjective "red". Maybe color perception among drug users in the '70s was impaired. But, then, they seemed to be able to identify "orange sunshine" and "brown acid."

Anyway, here is a link to the webpage that called them "orange":

http://www.bankhead.net/BoozeAndDrug...s/seconal.html
  #10  
Old 02-16-2017, 05:17 PM
BanjoBob BanjoBob is offline
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I lived in L.A. in the 60's and the "Reds" were a red Capsule containing Seconal, a white powder that was very bitter tasting. They were made by Lilly and sometimes called F40 Rockets. This along with Whites were the main two drugs available back then. The Whites were an amphetamine that cost 10 cents each, or $35 for 1000 of them. They were a fairly large tablet that was scored into an X on the surface, and called Bennies because they were Benzadrine. Later they became much smaller and were called Mini Bennies, or Truckers. Both of these were the staples for all the Hippies and used with Mexican Weed which was $10 for an ounce, or $100 for a pound.
  #11  
Old 02-16-2017, 05:47 PM
MonkeyMensch MonkeyMensch is offline
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The whites, if prescription, were probably Benzedrine and also known as cross tops for the scoring on the tablet.
  #12  
Old 02-16-2017, 05:56 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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The Seconal I dispensed was a large reddish-orange capsule, and most commonly given to women who'd just had a baby and weren't breast-feeding, as a PRN sleep aid. I don't remember seeing it ordered anywhere else. This was in the late 1990s.

Some caffeine tablets, which are often to this day sold as fake speed, are also white with a cross top (or an X, depending on which angle you look at it).

I once saw an "Antiques Roadshow" episode where a woman had an intact sample pack of drugs from the 1930s. It included Seconal, which was apparently OTC in some areas.

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 02-16-2017 at 05:56 PM.
  #13  
Old 02-16-2017, 06:43 PM
seal_cleaner seal_cleaner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyMensch View Post
The whites, if prescription, were probably Benzedrine and also known as cross tops for the scoring on the tablet.
We called them white cross, there were commercially sold under the name Desoxyn. I rarely slept more than 3 hours a night freshman year.
  #14  
Old 02-16-2017, 07:29 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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Originally Posted by seal_cleaner View Post
We called them white cross, there were commercially sold under the name Desoxyn. I rarely slept more than 3 hours a night freshman year.
One of my favorite stories from college was giving a ride home to a girl who had taken one white cross the night before to cram for final exams. She talked non-stop for the entire 2-hour trip.
  #15  
Old 02-16-2017, 08:06 PM
yabob yabob is offline
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Up until 1965, amphetamines, marketed under the trade names Methedrine, Benzedrine and Dexedrine were OTC. At that point, they became prescription only, and controls were further tightened in 1970.

Benzedrine used to be marketed in inhalers intended for relieving congestion. People took the strips out of them and chewed on them.

Last edited by yabob; 02-16-2017 at 08:06 PM.
  #16  
Old 02-16-2017, 09:29 PM
buddha_david buddha_david is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImInvisible View Post
Perhaps they are reddish/orange? I don't think I ever took them and, if I did, I don't remember. It does seem strange that all the slang names for an orange pill would contain the adjective "red".
I'm guessing in the dim light of nightclubs, dark alleys, and other places where drug deals would go down, the pills looked more red than orange?
  #17  
Old 02-16-2017, 09:38 PM
DSYoungEsq DSYoungEsq is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yabob View Post
Up until 1965, amphetamines, marketed under the trade names Methedrine, Benzedrine and Dexedrine were OTC. At that point, they became prescription only, and controls were further tightened in 1970.

Benzedrine used to be marketed in inhalers intended for relieving congestion. People took the strips out of them and chewed on them.
Tim, Tim Benzedrine!
Hash! Boo! Valvoline!
Clean, clean, clean for Gene!
First, second, neutral, park!
Hie thee hence, you leafy narc!

  #18  
Old 02-16-2017, 09:50 PM
pkbites pkbites is offline
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Nice zombie thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post
Some caffeine tablets, which are often to this day sold as fake speed, are also white with a cross top (or an X, depending on which angle you look at it).
The OTC white crosses of the 70's and 80's were ephedrine. You could buy them through the mail in bottles of 1000 and even 10,000 for next to nothing. I'd never understood why anyone would want 10K of them until I got into law enforcement in the early 80's and learned they were used to make meth.

They gave a weird buzz. Made the hair on the back of your neck stand up and tingle. When mixed with a high dose of caffeine (some pills back then came with both in them) a guy could party all night. To a certain degree that combo negated the felt effects of alcohol.

I never liked them. Never felt quite right after taking them. My cousin thought he was Keith Moon and took an entire handful of them once and drank 12 beers.
Started spinning around like the Tasmanian Devil. That was in '77. We still don't know where he ended up.
  #19  
Old 02-16-2017, 10:41 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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I hadn't noticed that it was a zombie!

I have dispensed Desoxyn once, and that was for a person with terminal cancer, to combat morphine-induced lethargy. Those tablets were orange and triangular, with rounded edges, and scored.

Used to be, this stuff was dispensed like candy, as a weight-loss aid. In fact, Adderall used to be called Obetrol for obvious reasons. They even had Dexamyl which was dextroamphetamine and amobarbital. Uppers and downers at the same time - what could possibly go wrong there???!!!??? Apparently Judy Garland really liked those.
  #20  
Old 02-16-2017, 11:36 PM
I Love Me, Vol. I I Love Me, Vol. I is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seal_cleaner View Post
We called them white cross, there were commercially sold under the name Desoxyn. I rarely slept more than 3 hours a night freshman year.
I believe White Crosses was a street name for Dexedrine or Benzedrine (amphetamines) and later ephedrine or even caffeine. But Desoxyn is the brand name for pharmaceutical methamphetimine. Never seen it with a cross on it (scored for pill cutting).
  #21  
Old 02-17-2017, 12:57 AM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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IIRC, 'reds' were (as was said earlier) barbiturates. They were also the "dolls" in Valley Of The Dolls. (FTR, the book is good, the move is awful, like not a in a 'the book was better' type way, the move really was just bad).

@I Love Me, Vol 1. Dexedrine is a time release capsule (technically spansule) full of little beads so you can't cut it in half. You may be thinking of Dextrostat which is just dextroamphatimene IR. Funny story, without getting too into it, I used to 'prepare' the dexadrine, and when it was ready, to get my friend's attention from the crowd she was in, I'd call out "Come on Eileen", referencing Dexie's Midnight Runners. Turns out they named their band name after the same drug. FTR, I do see some pictures of dexadrine tablets on GIS, but (other than one), they're pretty iffy sites. All the rest are the half clear, half brown capsules with the orange and white beads that I'm used to seeing.
  #22  
Old 02-17-2017, 06:47 AM
watchwolf49 watchwolf49 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq View Post
Tim, Tim Benzedrine! ...
ohgodohgodohgodohgodohgodohgodohgod ...

I've always assumed we were getting caffeine pressed into cross tops back in Hicksville Agricultural College ... because every once in a while they'd be some kick-ass shit ... like we got some actual speed ... I ran with the microdot crowd hangin' at Winterland so I have no idea what we were taking for the most part ... anyone else remember four way birth control pills ... [chorkle] ... pretty cool ...

Last edited by watchwolf49; 02-17-2017 at 06:49 AM.
  #23  
Old 02-17-2017, 06:56 AM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbrowski View Post
In the Dead tune Truckin’, Jane is described as “…livin’ on reds, vitamin C, and cocaine…”
I didn't read the first line when I first glanced at this thread.

I've heard this song thousands of times and always assumed, for no particular reason, that the reds in question were cigarettes. "Reds" are also the name for [regular] Marlboros. You can go to a gas station right now and ask for a pack of Marlboro Reds and they'll know exactly what to hand you.
Now that I think about it, I have no idea if the back was the same color, or even if they existed in the late 60's/early 70's.

But living on downers, uppers and vitamin C makes sense too.
  #24  
Old 02-17-2017, 08:16 AM
Elemenopy Elemenopy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
. Dexedrine is a time release capsule (technically spansule) full of little beads so you can't cut it in half. You may be thinking of Dextrostat which is just dextroamphatimene IR.

Huh. I'm prescribed 10 mg Dextroamphetamine TID due to narcolepsy, though I rarely take more than 5 mg per day (any more makes me...even nuttier than usual...and can't sleep for ever...and now I have a wacky heart rate that nobody but me seems concerned about, so I keep my intake to a minimum). Funny thing is, my last doc gave me that dosage on top of 70 mg Vyvanse (another stimulant) plus topiramate. Whee! I can certainly attest to the weight management properties of that combo, if nothing else. I was a lean mean manic machine in those days. Anywho, not sure what the pharmaceutical differences between Dexadrine spansules and plain old generic dextroamphetamine are (probably a time release mechanism), but my rX is a small pink pill with an X on top. It's very cheap, too; I pay the cheapest copay for those, $10 a month I think, although I only refill every few months given how little I'm willing to ingest. It actually makes me wonder why illegal amphetamines are still such a thing when it's so easy and cheap for me to acquire this stuff. I just don't enjoy it in the slightest and take the minimum that keeps me semi-functional. :/

As far as an amphetamine-barbituate combination drug, I am not at all surprised that that was experimented with in the name of science. When my old doc gave me the super-speedy triumvirate I mentioned above, and I mentioned the side effects, he also prescribed me a pretty high dose of klonopin (benzodiazapine similar to Valium) to take as needed. Which I did need. He was...an interesting doc, to say the least. Lord knows what I would have been prescribed if I pointed him in another direction.
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