Gabapentin addiction is a growing problem in the United States, with increasing prescriptions and rampant abuse driving addiction rates ever higher. The long-term physical effects of gabapentin addiction are well understood, but the addiction itself can have a host of negative consequences.
What Is Gabapentin?
Gabapentin is a controlled substance and medication that has two FDA-approved medical uses: as a treatment for nerve pain and to reduce seizures in people with epilepsy. Yet the vast majority of gabapentin prescriptions are for off-label uses without clear scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness. Gabapentin is prescribed for all manner of ailments, including:
- Alcohol treatment
- Chronic pain
Despite the limited evidence for gabapentin’s effectiveness in treating these disorders, it is frequently prescribed in high doses to patients who are unaware of its severe side effects.
Gabapentin belongs to the class of drugs known as anticonvulsants, which are used to treat epilepsy by reducing the frequency of seizures. This drug class includes phenobarbital, Lyrica, Topamax, Keppra, and Klonopin.
Gabapentin mimics the effects of the neurotransmitter GABA within the brain. GABA is the primary neurotransmitter responsible for calming the central nervous system. It reduces respiration and heart rate and makes people feel relaxed and disinhibited.
Other drugs that affect the neurotransmitter GABA include alcohol, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates. As such, the effects of taking gabapentin are often compared to feeling drunk, disinhibited, and relaxed.
Gabapentin Abuse: Is Gabapentin Addictive
People who take gabapentin regularly can quickly develop physical dependence and substance abuse problems, particularly if they take higher doses than recommended by their physician. Gabapentin addiction symptoms follow a similar pattern to other drugs of abuse and can include:
- Taking more gabapentin than intended
- Constantly seeking out more gabapentin through prescriptions or illegal routes
- Loss of interest in activities outside of drug abuse
- Experiencing gabapentin withdrawal symptoms
- Multiple failed attempts at stopping gabapentin use
- Continued gabapentin use despite physical, social, or occupational problems
People living with gabapentin addiction will often attempt to hide their drug use from others and can experience significant side effects as a result of their substance abuse.
Perhaps the greatest danger of gabapentin addiction is that many who are addicted won’t be able to stop on their own. Abusing gabapentin can lead to physical dependence and subsequent withdrawal symptoms that can push people to relapse.
Finding help at a gabapentin treatment center is the best choice for people experiencing severe gabapentin addiction symptoms who want to achieve recovery.
Gabapentin Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms
The symptoms of gabapentin withdrawal can be severe. The effects of gabapentin withdrawal are similar to those of alcohol or benzodiazepine withdrawal because all of these drugs affect the same neurotransmitters within the brain.
Common gabapentin withdrawal symptoms include:
- Nerve pain
Certain people are at heightened risk of experiencing severe gabapentin withdrawal symptoms. People taking gabapentin to treat seizures, for instance, are at much higher risk of having a seizure during gabapentin withdrawal.
The gabapentin withdrawal timeline depends on several different factors. A person’s age, weight, length of time using gabapentin, level of physical dependence, and typical gabapentin dose can all contribute to the severity and length of gabapentin withdrawal symptoms.
Thankfully, many of the symptoms of gabapentin withdrawal can be treated with the help of a specialized gabapentin detox.
A gabapentin detox center focuses on helping people overcome gabapentin withdrawal symptoms and achieve recovery. At Jewel City Treatment Center, our team of mental health and medical professionals deliver targeted gabapentin withdrawal treatment that is customized to each client’s particular needs.
Gabapentin withdrawal treatment is a targeted addiction treatment method that uses several approaches to help people during this difficult period.
It starts with a thorough assessment and diagnostic procedure to help our clinicians understand the severity of gabapentin withdrawal syndrome. We will also determine whether you have any co-occurring mental health disorders that may impact your treatment.
After being evaluated, our team treats severe withdrawal symptoms with specialized medications to help minimize risks and maximize your comfort. Detox lasts until your withdrawal symptoms have abated, after which our team helps you plan the next steps of your treatment.
Our specialized addiction treatment center has many options that can meet your needs. Engaging in psychological therapy as part of an outpatient program can help you learn the skills of recovery that can last a lifetime.
Gabapentin Addiction Treatment Center
After you have overcome your physical withdrawal symptoms, our gabapentin treatment center can provide targeted treatments and therapies to help you maintain your sobriety for years to come.
Drug abuse treatment centers for Gabapentin abuse focus on helping people build healthy coping mechanisms, prevent relapse, and deal with any co-occurring mental health conditions that may influence their recovery.
Jewel City Treatment Center focuses on bringing the best evidence-based methods for helping people overcome addiction. This includes treatments and therapies like:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Relapse prevention programs
- Motivational interviewing
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Family therapy
- Experiential therapy
The goal of our addiction treatment center extends far beyond mere abstinence. Our team understands that in order to create lasting sobriety, people need to build healthy and worthwhile lives in recovery.
By teaching people how to enjoy their lives to the fullest free of substance abuse, we can help them create lives that they would never trade for a return to active addiction.
As such, Jewel City Treatment Center delivers addiction treatment in a strictly outpatient format. Unlike residential treatment, this allows our clients to continue living at home, in their communities, and with their friends and family.
This allows our clients to put the skills they learn in treatment into real-time applications. We’ve found that recovery skills are best retained when people use them regularly in real situations rather than in controlled environments.
Start Treatment Today
If you or a loved one is struggling with gabapentin addiction, reach out to the team at Jewel City Treatment Center by calling or filling out our confidential online contact form. You can overcome addiction, and our team can support you every step of the way.