Gabapentin Abuse in Ohio: What You Should Know

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Drug abuse is a complex problem, not least because of the fact that there are so many different drugs that could lead to addiction. If your friend or family member is addicted to gabapentin, you need to understand the drug so that you can learn more about the symptoms and problems connected to its abuse. You also need to be aware of the treatment options that are available in your area. If you live in Ohio, there are options available to you for recovery from gabapentin addiction and other drugs associated with this addiction.

Drug Abuse in Ohio

According to the Ohio Department of Health, “In 2007, unintentional drug poisoning became the leading cause of injury death in Ohio, surpassing motor vehicle crashes for the first time on record.” There is a heroin and opioid drug epidemic in Ohio, and it is only getting more serious over time. In a recent Washington Post article, an investigator for the coroner stated that the drug abuse and overdose epidemic now far exceeds the drug problems of the 1960s and 70s.

What is Gabapentin?

Gabapentin is also known as Neurontin, and it is an anticonvulsant medication. Pain problems are an epidemic in our society, and gabapentin is commonly prescribed for nerve pain. It is not an opioid nor is it designated as a controlled substance, and it is one of the most widely-prescribed drugs in the country. It can address many different kinds of pain problems. It acts as a sedative and is generally considered to be non-addictive.

However, one of the challenges of gabapentin is that it is so readily available. For those who are using other drugs, it can increase the euphoria on an opioid and make it easy to stop the blocking effects of addiction treatment medications. According to a February 2017 report by the Mental Health and Addiction Services of Ohio, the drug was first seen on the street in Ohio in 2014. “Athens, Cleveland, Columbus and Youngstown participants indicated that the street availability of Neurontin® has increased during the past six months.”

What Are the Symptoms of Gabapentin Abuse?

Those who are prone to gabapentin abuse tend to be addicted to other drugs. They use gabapentin for the slight high and to medicate themselves during withdrawal. Since the drug intensifies the feeling of opioids, opioid addiction is a risk factor for gabapentin abuse.

If you notice that a family member who has been experiencing pain seems dizzy, uncoordinated, or has jerky movements, this could be a sign of addiction. Emotional symptoms such as euphoria, impulsivity, mania, and depression can also be signs of gabapentin addiction.

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What Can You Do To Help?

Stopping an addictive substance quickly can increase health risks, and in the case of gabapentin, it can increase the chance of seizures. It is important to have medical oversight as you withdraw. Working with a recovery center such as the Recovery Village Columbus can help you get the medical help you need, work with other addictions and mental health issues, and do so in an environment where everything from withdrawal to aftercare is accounted for in the system.

At Advanced Recovery Systems, we are here to help you or your family member move onto the path of recovery from addiction. We have a full complement of therapies available, from medical assistance to counseling and support for those dealing with mental health challenges. Contact us today to learn about admission.