Gabapentin Drug Facts | A Center for Addiction Recovery

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Is Gabapentin a Drug of Abuse and Addiction?

Is Gabapentin a Drug of Abuse and Addiction?Gabapentin is a prescription drug that is mainly used to treat epilepsy and neuralgia. It is often also prescribed to treat other pain syndromes such as anxiety, restless leg syndrome, alcohol withdrawal and mood disorders to name a few. The drug has been statistically found to not bind to neuroreceptors that other addictive drugs, such as opioids, tend to bind to during addiction. The drug was actually previously thought to be totally safe, although doctors and researchers do not have a clear definition as to why this drug was found to be effective in the treatment of pain syndromes.

As it has become more widely used, it was found that gabapentin does share characteristics of other medications that have been abused to the point of addiction. This striking similarity stems from the withdrawal symptoms the drug incurs when it is stopped, some symptoms which escalate to psychoactive effects. Some individuals who have used gabapentin also report that the drug causes effects such as euphoria, increased relaxation and a sense of tranquility. Sedative qualities of the drug are reported to cause feelings of sluggishness or weakness in patients.

The drug which was considered to be safe for treatment was found to be abused both orally, taken in pill form, as well as inhaled through the nostril after the pill was crushed up. Both methods can cause the mild reactions described above, however when the drug is inhaled it does produce a faster acting "high." There have been quite a few reports that the drug has caused withdrawal symptoms to those who either stopped taking the medication or were no longer able to obtain it. Symptoms include tremors, sweating, pallor color and other symptoms. Many individuals have required hospitalization due to their withdrawal symptoms.

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