The generic drug gabapentin (sold as Horizant®, Gralise®, and Neurontin®) is a prescription medication primarily to help with seizures. It is also prescribed to relieve nerve pain associated with shingles and detox from other substances. Off-label, it has been used in restless leg syndrome (RLS) and migraine management. Some people may have withdrawal symptoms if they take a high dose of gabapentin and suddenly stop taking the medication. Symptoms of gabapentin withdrawal can appear as early as twelve hours after stopping Gabapentin, while some symptoms may take seven days to appear.
What happens when you snort gabapentin? Snorting gabapentin produces a euphoric high, which is why multiple users abuse the drug recreationally. Others abuse gabapentin snorting to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings caused by other illicit drug use. At this time, scientists are saying gabapentin is not addictive since it doesn’t interfere with nerve receptors in the same manner as benzodiazepines; or opioids. However, some patients still develop a physical dependency on the snorted gabapentin.
Common symptoms of gabapentin withdrawal symptoms may include anxiety and confusion. In severe cases, symptoms of gabapentin withdrawal may lead to tremors, insomnia, and an increased heart rate. This can be unpleasant for people and may push them towards unhealthy substance use to avoid adverse withdrawal effects. Medically-assisted detox from gabapentin is an unavoidable first step to recovery. It helps you slowly wean off gabapentin while under medical care.
What is Gabapentin?
Gabapentin is a prescription medication known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) analog. Gabapentin pills, tablets, and oral solutions assist persons with epilepsy control some seizures. It is also used for postherpetic neuralgia pain treatment (the burning, stabbing aches that can last for many months or years after an attack of shingles).
Restless legs syndrome is treated with gabapentin extended-release tablets (Horizant) (a condition that causes discomfort and pain in the legs and a strong urge to move the legs, primarily at night and when sitting or lying down). The drug’s street names include “Gabbies” and “Johnnies.”
According to the (NIH) National Institute of Health , gabapentin is in a class of drugs known as anticonvulsants. This medication treats seizures by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain. It relieves postherpetic neuralgia’s pain by changing how the body senses pain. It is not known precisely how gabapentin works to treat restless legs syndrome.
What is Gabapentin Approved for?
Gabapentin is used to:
- Prevent and control partial seizures. Gabapentin can treat partial seizures in adults and children aged three and above.
- Reduce adult nerve pain caused by shingles. Shingle is a painful rash that appears years after a person has had chickenpox. The virus that causes chickenpox lies latent in the dorsal root ganglion of the spinal nerve root. This latent virus is triggered for unknown reasons, generally by stress, resulting in a shingles outbreak. Postherpetic neuralgia is nerve pain that occurs after shingles.
- Treat primary restless legs syndrome that is mild to severe. Neurontin and Gralise, two branded gabapentin medications, are authorized for partial seizures and postherpetic neuralgia. Horizant, a branded gabapentin medication, is also authorized for restless legs syndrome and postherpetic neuralgia.
Can Gabapentin Be Snorted?
Gabapentin can have serious adverse effects, especially if someone takes too much, snorts it, or mixes it with other drugs. Unfortunately, recent reports have shown a rise in gabapentin abuse. Drugs can be harmful to your health if you snort them. The cumulative irritation of the external nares (nostrils), nasal passageways, and sinus structures in drug users who often snort substances like gabapentin can result in many negative effects, such as:
- Perforation of the nasal septum.
- Irritation of the nasal mucosa.
- Nose bleeds.
- Nose bleeds.
- Loss of sense of smell.
- Problems swallowing.
Pregabalin vs Gabapentin
Both pregabalin and gabapentin are used as anti-epileptic medications to treat nerve pain. They are always being compared. But there are several differences between them. Some research shows that pregabalin may have a higher addiction potential than gabapentin due to its faster absorption and onset of action.
How Long Does Gabapentin Withdrawal Last?
Gabapentin withdrawal can continue for 5 to 10 days or longer, according to case reports, although the length has not been thoroughly established in human investigations. Symptoms may appear 12 hours to 7 days after discontinuing gabapentin. The duration of your withdrawal symptoms is determined by how much substance you are taking and how long you have taken it.
Gabapentin withdrawal is uncommon unless you have acquired a physical dependence or are abusing the substance. Misusing implies taking more gabapentin than recommended or using it for purposes other than those advised by your doctor.
Gabapentin Drug Facts
Generic Name: gabapentin [ GA-ba-PEN-tin ]
Brand Names: Gralise, Horizant, Neurontin, Gabarone
Drug Class: Gamma-aminobutyric acid analogs
How Does Gabapentin Make You Feel?
Gabapentin is also used to treat and prevent hot flashes (sudden strong feelings of heat and sweating) in women who are being treated for breast cancer or who have experienced menopause (“change of life,” the end of monthly menstrual periods.) Discuss the risks of using this medicine for your illness with your doctor.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States is advising that individuals with respiratory risk factors who use gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise, Horizant) or pregabalin (Lyrica, Lyrica CR) may experience substantial breathing issues.
Gabapentin is a controlled substance (schedule V) with no over-the-counter counterparts. All gabapentin alternatives are prescription drugs.
Gabapentin is used for seizure treatment by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain. Gabapentin relieves postherpetic neuralgia pain by altering how the body senses aches. It is not known exactly how gabapentin functions to treat restless legs syndrome.
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Gabapentin Addiction Statistics
Prevalence of snorting gabapentin, abuse, and misuse in the general population was reported to be 1%, 40– 65% among individuals with prescriptions, and between 15–22% within populations of people who abuse opioids. An array of subjective experiences reminiscent of opioids, benzodiazepines, and psychedelics were reported over various doses, including those within clinical recommendations.
Gabapentin was primarily misused for recreational purposes, self-medication, or intentional self-harm and was misused alone or in combination with other substances, especially opioids, benzodiazepines, and/or alcohol. Individuals with histories of signs of drug abuse were most often involved in its misuse.
Neuropathic pain affects up to 8% of the population, causing significant distress and morbidity. Gabapentin is one of the recommended mainstays of evidence-based treatment.
The prevalence of gabapentin abuse in the general population was reported to be 1%,
40–65% among individuals with prescriptions and between 15–22% within populations of people who abuses opioids also abuse gabapentin.
Physiological Dependence on Gabapentin & Snorting Gabapentin
Specific prescriptions and illegal drugs may lead to physical dependence in individuals who take them for more than a few weeks. Taking this drug regularly, a person’s body adapts to and essentially starts to expect a drug to be present and will depend on it to operate normally. When a dependent individual quits consuming the drug or significantly lessens the amount of the drug they have been using regularly, they will likely soon experience withdrawal.
Physiological dependence frequently develops in pair with tolerance, in which a person’s system does not react to the drug like before. The individual must take higher and higher dosages to reach the effect they experienced when they first started using.
Dependence vs Addiction
Physiological dependency is often mistakably confused with substance use disorders. However, the two are not the same thing. For example, a person using a medication to treat a chronic condition may develop a physical dependency. But if they continue to safely take the medication according to its prescribed intents and under the supervision of their healthcare provider and doctor and do not show other signs of compulsive misuse, they would not be considered addicted to it.
Addiction involves a compulsion to seek out and use the drug, with such drug use negatively interfering with other aspects of the person’s life. Dependency is more feasible in individuals who intentionally misuse or snort gabapentin recreationally. Nevertheless, maladaptive patterns of gabapentin abuse may also develop in people who have initially prescribed the drug but began to misuse it. If you or a loved one is abusing the medication, speak with your doctor or seek help from a rehabilitation program or addiction professional.
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Snorting Gabapentin Addiction
According to research published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information , A recent police report indicates the increasing tendency to use gabapentin as a ‘cutting agent’ in street heroin, further adding to the abuse and danger potential. Snorting gabapentin and addiction tend to happen in individuals with opioid addiction or other drug abuse. Like opiates, gabapentin is deadly in overdose; unlike opiates, there is no remedy, and the long half-life entails prolonged, intensive management of overdose. The outcomes of snorting gabapentin intoxication are a sense of euphoria, calm, and a high similar to cannabis.
One analysis found that of the 503 participants declaring illicit drug use, 15% reported using gabapentin and other drugs to get high in the previous six months. Another research, working with a sample of participants indicated to embody the national population, found almost a quarter of patients with co-prescriptions of gabapentin and opioids were getting more than three times their prescribed amount to supply their addiction.
Individuals taking and snorting gabapentin without a prescription are growing concerns in many places. Due to gabapentin’s legal status, this is challenging to address from a policing standpoint. The states where snorting gabapentin misuse is becoming more prevalent are beginning to distinguish the drug as a more strictly regulated substance.
Gabapentin’s remarkable ability to address multiple ailments has made it one of the most prevalent prescription medications in the US. In November 2021, it was reported that it was the sixth-host prescribed drug in the nation. Unfortunately, despite its low abuse potential, its ability to be used with other medications causes widespread harm and addiction.
Effects Of Snorting Gabapentin Addiction
According to research published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) , in the latest guidance report for pain treatment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified gabapentin as a first-line medication for treating chronic pain. Since its market release in 1993, this medication was presumed to have no abuse potential, which has likely led to its extensive off-label prescribing (it is estimated that between 83–95% of all gabapentin prescriptions are for non-approved use). However, individuals taking this medication should be aware of the drug’s abuse liability and the effects that may accompany its use.
Effects of extreme gabapentin use and snorting gabapentin include the following:
- Coordination problems.
- Suicidal thoughts/behaviors.
- Mood changes.
- Difficulty speaking.
Recognizing these symptoms and being mindful of other signs and symptoms, such as many pill bottles, is necessary. These effects can damage one person’s health, living, and overall safeness. Many individuals snorting gabapentin are in early recovery from gabapentin addiction because, at high doses (800mg or more), they may undergo a euphoric-like high that does not appear on drug screens. Gabapentin abusers typically take the drug with opioids to produce their desired wide, treacherous, and potentially fatal variety.
Signs of Gabapentin Addiction
- Lying about or exaggerating symptoms to doctors.
- Changes in social habits and circles.
- Pursuing numerous doctors to get extra doses.
- Switching doctors after the initial doctor denies to continue prescribe the medication.
- Rejection to quit despite social, financial, or legal impacts.
- Differences in personal hygiene and grooming routines.
- Nervousness at the thought of the drug being inaccessible.
- Failed attempts to quit.
Gabapentin Overdose Symptoms
It is possible to fatally overdose on this medication, on its own or in combination with other drugs. However, no cure can be administered to a person with a gabapentin intoxication, as with opioid overdoses. Because of gabapentin’s long half-life, quick medical attention is essential to manage the complications linked with a toxic amount of this medication. Although most overdoses happen due to mixing gabapentin with other substances, it was found that some individuals have committed suicide by intentionally overdosing on this drug. 
Signs of Gabapentin Overdose
If a person has overdosed on gabapentin, the drug can be removed from their system in the emergency room through a process of kidney dialysis. Signs of gabapentin overdose include the following:
- Labored breathing.
- Ataxia (decreased muscle coordination).
- Ptosis (drooping upper eyelid).
- Double vision.
- Marked sedation.
- Slurred speech.
What To Do in Case of Gabapentin Overdose
If you are near someone overdosing, check the person’s airway, breathing, and pulse. If the person is unconscious, call 911. You can also perform these steps:
- Roll the person toward you on their side.
- Bend the top leg, and the hip and knee are at right angles.
- Tilt the head back to keep the person’s airway open.
- Try to keep the person calm.
- Stay with the person until help comes.
Gabapentin Withdrawal Symptoms
Even individuals who take gabapentin as prescribed may develop some physical dependence. However, those who abuse or misuse it recreationally may undergo significant dependence and withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop or slow its use. There are reported cases of withdrawal symptoms in individuals who took daily doses between 400 and 8000mg for at least three weeks.
The gabapentin withdrawal symptom may resemble some of the symptoms of benzodiazepine and alcohol withdrawal. This resemblance may be because gabapentin and these other drugs all act on gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. The primary withdrawal symptoms associated with gabapentin use include:
- Sensitivity to light.
- Irregular heartbeat.
Moreover, individuals taking this medication for seizures and suddenly quitting it may encounter a rebound or heightened commonness of seizure activity, including uncontrollable, continuous seizures (status epilepticus). Withdrawal from this drug commonly occurs within twelve hours to seven days after quitting the medication. Though a gabapentin withdrawal timeline hasn’t been documented, some research has reported symptoms that last up to ten days. Factors that can affect withdrawal include:
- Length of use.
- Medical or mental health problems.
- Concurrent use of other drugs or alcohol.
In some cases, individuals at risk of or already showing severe withdrawal symptoms may require intensive inpatient treatment, monitoring, and medical withdrawal management if complications emerge. Specialists recommend slow and smaller doses of gabapentin to comfortably and safely wean a person off the medication. Such tapering schedules are commonly used with drugs like gabapentin, which can produce unwanted withdrawal effects when discontinued.
Gabapentin use can be phased out over one week, but the exact schedule will depend on the person’s situation. Slower tapers may allow for safer discontinuation of the drug. Experts recommend reducing the daily dose to a maximum rate of 300mg every four days.
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What Helps Gabapentin Withdrawal?
The secret for safely withdrawing from this medication is to stop taking it and slowly wean off it (a taper). Speaking with a doctor or obtaining the services of a treatment facility will assist people in sticking to progressively lowering gabapentin doses. This will result in the greatest potential withdrawal possibilities while ensuring that the other problems addressed by gabapentin receive sufficient care.
Gabapentin should be tapered for at least one week. The specific tapering schedule will be based on the individual’s mental and medical health status, their probability of sticking to the tapering instructions, and factors such as the following:
- Your health condition for which gabapentin was prescribed.
- Your current dosage and regimen.
Other factors that affect the taper might also be challenging, so you should always work with a doctor to determine your proper schedule. For example, some patients may not respond well to the typical tapering timeline and may need to modify the dose.
If you have been prescribed gabapentin and want to quit, talk to your physician about a taper. If you abuse gabapentin and want to stop, consider the gabapentin detox protocol and substance rehabilitation—mainly if you use it with other drugs or alcohol. These treatment programs can help you taper off gabapentin and teach you skills to modify your lifestyle and prevent a relapse.
Can You Snort Gabapentin?
Snorting gabapentin causes the effects of the medication to happen within minutes because intranasal drug use may increase the absorption rate and bioavailability of the drug. Rather than waiting for the gabapentin to move through the digestive tract, insufflation or snorting brings the substance directly through the nasal tissue and into the bloodstream. This is what makes snorting substances, in general, so appealing to drug users.
Not only does gabapentin snorting produce a faster high, but the effects experienced are also often intensified. Since the high is stronger and sets in faster when “snorted gabapentin,” snorting gabapentin is more addictive as users will develop a psychological dependence faster. People who crush and snort gabapentin are also more susceptible to adverse effects and drug overdose.
What Happens If You Snort Gabapentin?
As with any prescribed medication, it is possible to develop an addiction to gabapentin. Unfortunately, if the medication is snorted or used in greater dosages than recommended, it may cause major adverse effects. Due to a quicker onset of effects and a stronger high, snorting gabapentin often increases the risk of addiction.
What happens when you snort gabapentin? Drug addiction or substance use disorder is a progressive disease. People with addiction need treatment to stop taking drugs. Addiction therapy is not a quick or simple procedure. The longer and more intensive your drug usage, the more intense your therapy. Long-term follow-up treatment is critical to recovery in all situations. Thankfully, there are several resources available to assist you.
Why Do People Snort Gabapentin?
If you take a medicine such as gabapentin in a method distinct from what the doctor has prescribed, it is called prescription drug addiction. It could be:
- Using a drug that was prescribed for someone else.
- Taking a larger dosage than you are supposed to consume.
- Taking medication in a different method than you are supposed to. It could be crushing tablets and then snorting or sniffing gabapentin or injecting them.
- Taking the drug for another purpose, such as getting high.
Can I snort gabapentin? Misusing prescription drugs, such as snorting gabapentin, can lead to addiction. These include opioid addiction, sedatives, and tranquilizers.
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Gabapentin Detox and Addiction Treatment
Suddenly discontinuing gabapentin can boost the probability of seizures, so it’s vital to seek assistance when looking to quit. Suppose you are getting treatment for a gabapentin addiction problem. In that case, you will likely begin with a medically-assisted gabapentin detox to slowly eradicate the drug from your body in a controlled way. After completing the gabapentin detox, you need medical clearance before transitioning into an inpatient drug rehab treatment program. There are several gabapentin addiction treatment options available, including:
- Medically-assisted Gabapentin Detox
- After heavy or extended use of this drug, your system depends on gabapentin and needs it to function and avoid a possible dangerous withdrawal symptom. Getting medically-assisted gabapentin detox protocol helps you slowly wean off gabapentin while under medical care.
- Inpatient Treatment
- If your gabapentin addiction is severe or you have co-occurring mental health or medical issues, an inpatient program can provide intensive care. Inpatient treatment demands you live at the facility for your entire treatment duration. These programs provide a safe environment and a high level of structure that minimizes triggers to use the drug. Before starting treatment, medical professionals will assess your situation and your addiction to create a tailored treatment plan. This may include group and individual therapy, family therapy, relapse prevention lessons, support groups, and aftercare planning.
- Support Groups
- Before, during, or after treatment, you may attend 12-step meetings like AA/NA or other support groups. When you go to a support group, you will be welcomed by individuals who know what you’ve been through because they’ve gone through it too. Feeling accepted can make a massive difference in your healing because you will create a new support network of sober people and learn from individuals who have been abstinent from drugs for longer.
After you leave treatment, you must stay involved with aftercare recovery treatment to prevent relapse.
- While in rehab, you will get ready for your transition out of treatment by developing a rehab aftercare plan. This will look different for every person and may include the following:
- Transitioning into a sober living facility.
- Locating a counselor or therapist outside of treatment.
- Regularly attending 12-step meetings or other support groups.
- While in rehab, you will get ready for your transition out of treatment by developing a rehab aftercare plan. This will look different for every person and may include the following:
Find the Right Gabapentin Addiction Treatment Plan at We Level Up, NJ
The inpatient treatment approach works best to change the person’s behaviors. Also, it will help clients establish social support systems and better coping methods. However, a person will likely experience many different side effects from the abuse and misuse of gabapentin.
These side effects may be physical, emotional, or mental. For instance, someone in withdrawal will likely experience many uncomfortable feelings and negative thoughts about life during gabapentin detox. Unfortunately for those with dependency, medically assisted gabapentin detox is an unavoidable first step toward recovery.
Please, do not try to detox on your own. The gabapentin detox process can be painful and difficult without medical assistance. However, getting through the gabapentin detox process is crucial for continued treatment.
We Level Up New Jersey provides proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to assist your recovery. So, reclaim your life. Call us to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions. Each call is private and confidential.
Top 5 Snorting Gabapentin Detox FAQs
Why do people snort gabapentin?
People who snort drugs have substance use issues. Addiction develops when a user begins to show compulsive behaviors related to substance use, such as snorting gabapentin. An addicted person will continue to abuse the drug despite adverse effects on health, career, relationships, finances, etc.
What happens when.you snort gabapentin?
Someone who snorts gabapentin for a lengthy period of time may acquire a tolerance to it. Tolerance develops when a person’s dose must be regularly increased to produce the desired effects. When tolerance develops, drug users may consume more of the substance or seek new methods of ingesting the drug to increase the potency of the effects. This is one of the most common reasons individuals snort gabapentin.
Is gabapentin a controlled substance?
According to the federal government, gabapentin is not a controlled substance. But several states have passed their own laws classifying gabapentin as a schedule V controlled substance.
Is gabapentin addictive?
Although gabapentin is usually considered nonaddictive, there have been occasional anecdotal instances of concern. According to one research, a person who abused gabapentin suffered “toxic delirium, severe cravings, and a lengthy post-withdrawal.” It’s also important to remember that any psychoactive drug might lead to emotional or psychological dependence. This is true regardless of whether or not there is any physiological reliance. Cravings, anxiety, agitation, and melancholy are some psychological dependency symptoms.
Can you overdose on gabapentin?
Yes. It is possible to fatally overdose on this medication, on its own or in combination with other drugs. If you are near someone overdosing, check the person’s airway, breathing, and pulse. If the person is unconscious, call 911.
Prescription Drug Abuse & Prescription Medication Addiction Recovery & Sobriety Story
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