• Free 24/7 rehab helpline

  • Using Gabapentin Recreationally – What Are The Dangers?

    Gabapentin Recreational Use

    What is gabapentin?

    Gabapentin, also known by the brand name Neurontin, is a prescribed drug for patients experiencing post-surgery pain. This drug has anticonvulsant and analgesic properties.

    It also functions as anxiolytic because GABA (an inhibitory neurotransmitter) slows the central nervous system activity. This drug has an effect similar to Diazepam, aka Valium. Since gabapentin is so often prescribed drug, it has become a recreational drug of choice for some users and is often misused and abused.

    How do people use gabapentin recreationally?

    Gabapentin is prescribed to treat various conditions such as post-operation pain. With easy access to prescription medication, people can easily get ahold of it.

    Oral ingestion

    Individuals who use gabapentin recreationally usually being by taking the drug orally in the pill form. Users may intake a dose of 600 mg but, for those with a higher dependency on gabapentin, doses may reach as high as 3000 mg.

    There are other ways to ingest gabapentin, such as by snorting or intravenous injection. These methods are more likely to lead to a coma or other life-threatening effects.

    Use it to get “high”

    It usually takes an hour before gabapentin takes effect on the recreational user. The initial effect is very subtle, such as a feeling of relaxation. As the drug intensifies, the sense of euphoria or “high” is increased. The “high” feeling can last for several hours and eventually fade off.

    “High” maintenance

    Once the effects of gabapentin diminished hours after the initial intake, recreational users may resort to another round of dose by taking smaller doses consecutively to maintain the “high” feeling.  For them to maintain this “high,” a large supply of the drug is necessary.

    Crash

    After the gabapentin high effect, most recreational users will experience the withdrawal symptoms the following day and week. Here, users may complain of anger, agitation, anxiety and depression. If this happens, the recreational user may need more of the drug to prevent a crash.

    Is gabapentin recreational use dangerous?

    People who use it recreationally face fewer risks as compared to other drug dependents who are taking drugs that cause addiction. If the recreational user tries to mix gabapentin with other substances, such as alcohol, dangerous effects may occur, including:

    • Vomiting, nauseau, and coma
    • Psychological dependence
    • Overdose

    Interactions with other drugs

    If users mix gabapentin with other drugs, adverse reactions may occur and can lead to emergency room visits, coma, and even death.

    Non-medical administration

    Improper administration of gabapentin can be extremely dangerous. If users aren’t aware of the best dosage, they can easily trigger an overdose.

    Tolerance

    Recreational users may develop a tolerance to gabapentin; as a result, increased dosages and frequency may become necessary.

    Withdrawal

    If the user decides to quit gabapentin, withdrawal symptoms may arise, including anxiety, dizziness, and depression.

    What are the reasons for the growing number of gabapentin recreational users?

    One reason for the sudden increase in the number of recreational gabapentin users is the belief that it affects GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter. It appeals to recreational users because provides relaxation.

    Affordable

    The drug comes in various dosages: 100 mg, 300 mg and 400 mg. For upwards of 120 generic pills, you won’t spend more than $20.

    Drug withdrawal

    Patients normally get the gabapentin as part of their drug and alcohol treatment program. The drug is used for a patient undergoing opiate addiction treatment to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms.

    Quick access

    Gabapentin is not considered a controlled drug and can be acquired through prescription. Nowadays, getting a prescription can be done via an online or via a simple doctor’s visit.

    Minimal complications

    One of the reasons why drug users resort to gabapentin because of the minimal complications, which only include drowsiness, nausea, and lack of coordination.