Gabapentin is an anti-seizure medication used to treat restless leg syndrome, epilepsy, and hot flashes. The United States Enforcement Administration (DEA) has not listed it as a controlled substance. However, states such as Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia have classified it as a Schedule V drug. Other states expect users to report Gabapentin users to get prescriptions for their drugs.
There are several aspects you need to learn about Gabapentin. In this article, you’ll learn about Gabapentin, its addictive nature, its side effects and symptoms, and more.
What is Gabapentin?
Gabapentin is a prescription painkiller in its drug class known as Gabapentinoids. It’s sold under the brand name Neurontin. It’s an anticonvulsant used to treat epilepsy, neuropathic pain, and restless leg syndrome. Gabapentin street’s names are “Johnnies” and “Gabbies.”
Gabapentin has a similar chemical Gamma-aminobutyric Acid (GABA), the brain chemical that stimulates the nervous system. It produces a feeling of calmness and relaxation to alleviate anxiety, nerve pain, and poor sleep. Prescription Gabapentin alters the user’s calcium channel to reduce seizures and eases nerve pain. You can find it as an oral solution, capsules, or tablets.
Is Gabapentin Addictive?
Yes. Although it’s a less addictive drug than opioids, some users tend to abuse it and end up addicted to it. Frequent Gabapentin use may cause physical dependence on the drug. This occurs when a person cannot function normally without taking a specific type of drug.
Physical dependence refers to a normal body response caused by consistent drug intake. Similar to other drugs, you will start experiencing withdrawal symptoms when lessening or stopping using the medicine. However, you handle these withdrawal symptoms if you follow the required treatment regimen.
Symptoms of Gabapentin Withdrawal
Anyone trying to quit Gabapentin will most likely experience withdrawal symptoms. Some of the withdrawal symptoms associated with Gabapentin include:
- Difficulty sleeping
A Gabapentin user can start experiencing these symptoms within 12 hours of the last time they used the drug. If a person was using this drug to treat seizure disorder, abruptly stopping the use of the drug might increase their seizure frequency.
Please note that Gabapentin withdrawal can trigger compulsive thoughts similar to those experienced through abuse. These symptoms may last up to a few months.
Gabapentin Side Effects and Symptoms
A doctor should closely monitor anyone using Gabapentin to treat any of the above conditions and mitigate its side effects. However, users will most likely experience a rush of euphoria or “highness” while using the drug. This can prompt them to use higher doses or other ways than the prescribed process.
Some of the signs of excessive Gabapentin use are as follows:
- Coordination problems
- Difficulty speaking
- Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
Many cases of the euphoria-like high caused by Gabapentin don’t show in a drug screening process. Some users usually take the drug with Opioids to produce a high euphoria. Combining Gabapentin and Opioids can be deadly.
In a study, 22% of sampled opioid-dependent individuals have a gabapentin prescription. And 40% reported having used this drug more than their prescription.
Characteristics of a Person with Gabapentin Addiction
Anyone addicted to Gabapentin may show sure signs that prove their addiction. Some of the signs associated with Gabapentin addiction include:
- Looking out for multiple doctors to get more prescription
- Exaggerating or lying about their symptoms to doctors
- Switching doctors once the initial doctor refuses to continue writing their prescription
- Changing social circles or habits
- Change in grooming habits or hygiene
- Refusing to quit the drugs even with looming legal, financial, or social consequences
- Frequent failed attempts to quit
Can You Overdose on Gabapentin?
There are chances of overdosing, whether using Gabapentin alone or combining it with other drugs. Currently, there’s no antidote for a person who suffers from a Gabapentin overdose.
Anyone with a Gabapentin overdose may show signs such as:
- Muscle weakness
- Drooping eyelids
Seek immediate medical attention if you discover that a friend or a loved one is experiencing these signs.
Treatment Options for Gabapentin Addiction
Anyone with Gabapentin addiction should seek immediate treatment. This provides the necessary measures needed to eradicate Gabapentin dependence. Gabapentin addiction treatment is usually carried out in a rehabilitation facility.
A rehab facility may adopt a sole Gabapentin addiction treatment or a polydrug treatment for users. Since there’s no FDA-approved antidote for Gabapentin addiction, rehabilitation centers usually adopt various therapeutic approaches.
Some of the programs that you may expect to find in a rehab facility are as follows:
- Behavioral therapy
- Individual and group counseling
- 12-step work
- Chemical dependency education
- Relapse prevention strategies
- Life skills development
- Alternative therapies such as art therapy, music therapy, or animal-assisted therapy
Inpatient Gabapentin Rehab and Outpatient Treatment
When exploring treatment options, people will find that most rehab centers offer outpatient, inpatient, or both treatments. Before choosing either option, a person will need to learn more about what they offer.
For inpatient treatment, patients live in the facility for a specific period. Residents follow a structured daily schedule consisting of process groups, individual counseling, meditation, or any other approach best suited for them.
Outpatient gabapentin allows the patient to live at home and attend rehab lessons. Addiction treatment from the rehab centers usually facilitates the treatment process.
Some facilities provide ongoing treatment to eradicate the possibility of a relapse. They may offer a sober living or aftercare program.
Get Help with Inland Detox in Temecula, CA
Gabapentin addiction can occur. Its misuse can lead to dependence or addiction despite being a lower intoxicant than opioids. It’s crucial to seek treatment to detoxify, learn healthy coping skills, and develop plans to avoid relapse.
If you’re looking for a Gabapentin addiction treatment center in Temecula, CA, look no further than Inland Detox. We are a premier drug and alcohol rehab center serving Southern California and the US. We provide the highest care possible by ensuring that our clients get the safest and most comfortable detox and recovery environment. Contact us today to learn more about our program and how we can help.