The Truth Behind Gabapentin Abuse

Gabapentin Abuse


Though Gabapentin doesn’t have the same notoriety as other abused prescription medication, it is certainly a drug that warrants careful use – especially to those with a prescription.  Gabapentin is a prescription anticonvulsant medication commonly known by the brand name Neurontin.

Gabapentin comes in many distinct forms, each of which may used to treat various conditions.  It’s positive effects, and ability to treat multiple conditions has made it a popular drug since it’s release in the early 90s.

In a pill, capsule, and oral solution form, this medicine has used to treat epilepsy and postherpetic neuralgia. The extended-release pills are sometimes used to treat restless legs syndrome. This medication is also used to treat pain associated with diabetic neuropathy and to stop hot flashes.

By decreasing abnormal activity in the brain, this medication can prescribed to prevent seizures and muscle spasms.  Gabapentin may, in fact, alter how the body reacts to pain signals.



Gabapentin Effects

It acts as a mild tranquilizer, giving users calmness and providing a euphoric feeling that some report is similar to the high from cannabis.  It has also known to heighten the euphoric effects of other opioids which makes using this drug a risk.



How Gabapentin is Taken

Gabapentin is administered orally with or without food as directed by a primary physician. The dosage prescribed is based on one’s medical condition as well as their response to treatment.

It is strongly recommended not to take any more than what’s recommended by your doctor.  Doing so may increase side effects.



Who Are Abusing Gabapentin?

Gabapentin has a low probability of being abused, the danger is using this drug in conjunction with other opioids.  Being that it is a relatively new drug, with low abuse potential, who are those who are actively abusing it?  According to the American Addiction Centers, the first reported incident of Gabapentin Abuse came out of a study that surveyed patients in a Florida Correctional facility in 2004.  They state:


Five of the inmates surveyed reported crushing the pills to snort them, with four of the five reporting a high similar to that of cocaine, and they all had histories of cocaine abuse. After that, gabapentin was removed from a number of correctional facilities as an acceptable medication to dispense to inmates.

Today, Gabapentin’s abuse, though not as widespread as other prescription medications is still an ongoing concern.  Who are those who are at risk of substance abuse?


Gabapentin abuse



Gabapentin Abuse

Roughly 1 percent of the populace currently misuses gabapentin. Individuals initially prescribed gabapentin for valid uses constitute about 40-65 percent of people who abuse the drug, while those who abuse opioids constitute 15-22 percentage of gabapentin abusers.

There also have reports of this drug being used as a” cutting edge” representative for heroin, meaning gabapentin is mixed with heroin and sold as a street drug. Unsupervised usage of Gabapentin can result in a fatal overdose in which case there is no known antidote.



Signs of a Gabapentin Addiction

Effects of excessive Gabapentin use include:


    • Drowsiness


    • Coordination problems


    • Tremors


    • Dizziness


    • Depression


    • Suicidal thoughts/behaviors


    • Changes in mood


    • Dizziness


    • Poor coordination


    • Forgetfulness


    • Anxiety


    • Difficulty speaking


    • Inability to feel pleasure



Is there a Drug Test for Gabapentin?

As Gabapentin is still considered a newer drug, abuse has been a growing concern in recent years.  Though a standard panel drug test kit does not detect this drug, it is still possible to test for it.  You can purchase Gabapentin Test Strips. They’re convenient to use and you can receive test results in just a few minutes.


    • The GAB test strips provide quick results within five minutes.


    • Our GAB testing strips possess a cutoff level of 2000 ng/ml.



We’re  Here to Help!

12 Panel Now provides the nation’s most affordable Drug Testing Supplies, including Drug Testing Cups and Strips both for personal, and medical use.  Our selection of Urine Drug Testing cups is one of the nations most affordable and reliable. Urine Drug Tests only take minutes to perform and evaluate.

If you are concerned about your levels or would like to test someone you know, we have Single Use Drug Tests available as well.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us or send us an email.