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Understanding Gabapentin Abuse

Gabapentin is a prescription drug with a variety of uses, primarily for people with seizure disorders. People can abuse it by taking it with other drugs. For drugs like opioids, it can release more of the drug into the bloodstream, causing the drug’s high to be felt more intensely. It can also lead to overdoses because of this effect.

How is Gabapentin Used in Medicine?

This drug is a fairly common drug with specific uses. Doctors prescribe it off-label to treat neuropathic pain and other medical problems, including anxiety. The anti-anxiety effect is caused by slowing the production of something called glutamate, which not only can calm the nerves sending pain signals but can also calm anxiety or mania in some people.

The prescription drug doesn’t kill pain, but instead, it thought to work by scrambling pain signals.

How Is It Taken?

This drug is only available via prescription, which means it comes in capsules, tablets, and solutions. Hospitals can administer it via IV. It is mostly processed by the kidneys.

In settings like prisons or jails, inmates often abuse gabapentin by snorting. For people who abuse gabapentin in these settings, they often take or snort large amounts to to “get high”.

Gabapentin Misuse and Abuse

A research study by NIH revealed that gabapentin is abused regularly because of the interactions it has with other drugs of abuse.

Taking the drug at high levels (typically over 3200mg a day) can be dangerous and cause different side effects, including organ failure. The drug often makes people sleep, so it is unclear what benefit is perceived by people who abuse it alone.

When combined with drugs like morphine, high doses of gabapentin can cause euphoria, hallucinations, and other psychedelic effects. Gabapentin can have powerful sedative and psychedelic effects. It can cause a feeling of out-of-body experience or make users feel more friendly and less anxious. These are usually at high doses combined with other drugs.

Like opioids and other sedatives, large amounts of this drug can cause a person to have decreased respiration, which can lead to overdose and a body shut-down.

Getting Help for Gabapentin Abuse

Gabapentin abuse is dangerous, especially when it’s combined with other drugs. Mixing prescriptions on a regular basis can cause serious long-term damage to your body and brain. However, detoxing from drugs and staying sober can help you live a more fulfilling life.

Addiction is a disorder that millions of people experience and get help every year. You don’t have to continue any self-destructive patterns. Learn more about getting help for your substance use by calling us at 1-800-970-8774.

 

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