Prescribed to treat a variety of medical conditions, Neurontin, more commonly known as its generic name, Gabapentin, is a commonly used anticonvulsant. From restless leg syndrome and post therapeutic neuralgia to epileptic seizures and more, this medication helps decrease brain activity that is unusual. When you need alcohol and drug treatment in Asheville NC, call Legacy Freedom.
Gabapentin is very popular for those who have seizures. The medication can positively impact this condition as it changes the way your brain responds. It can also help change the way your brain responds to pain, as well. This medication can be taken in pill, capsule, or oral suspension form.
Most people have heard of this medication. It is no secret to those with neuropathy or other neurological-type pain. Unfortunately, we don't always hear about the side effects or reactions that can come when someone with the following conditions takes it:
- Day sleepers due to work shifts
- Drug abusers or those with a history of substance abuse
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Mood disorder
- Other seizure disorders
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
You might be surprised to see that drug abuse history is a concern when considering whether or not Gabapentin is something you should be taking. This is a highly addictive drug that can be dangerous when abused. Abuse of this drug, also known on the streets as Johnnys, is on the rise.
Use of Johnnys on the Rise
It's being sold on the black market and is growing in popularity on the street. Because it can treat a variety of things, many people have used it for various reasons. In 2016 alone, 64 million Gabapentin prescriptions were sold in the United States.
New research shows that there is growing evidence of abuse among those who have been prescribed the medication. In some cases, doctors have reported that patients are asking for the drug by the name Johnnys. Then, they're realizing their mistake and correcting themselves.
This medication can create a very calm and relaxed state, much like marijuana. It can also offer a euphoric state, as well. Because of that, people are abusing Gabapentin in order to get these feelings. They either want to feel high or drowsy. Because the medication can leave you in a euphoric or sedated state, it is highly sought after.
In the Appalachia area of the United States, use of the medicine among those using it to get high rose 3000% from 2008 to 2014, according to research and surveys that were done by doctors and scientists in the area.
There are several side effects that can happen when taking this medicine, even if you aren't abusing it, including:
- Back or joint pain
- Blurry or doubled vision
- Difficulty with memory
- Dry mouth
- Ear pain
- Increased appetite and weight gain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Red, itchy eyes
- Shaking in one part of the body
- Strange or unusual thoughts
- Swelling in the extremities
- Uncontrolled eye movement
It's also possible to overdose on the medication accidentally. Especially when it's abused, overdose can happen. Symptoms of overdose include:
- Double vision
- Slurred speech
Because this medication can be highly addictive, withdrawal might happen if the medication is stopped abruptly. Symptoms of Gabapentin withdrawal include:
- Difficulty sleeping
According to the NIH, "Unfortunately, our clinical experience suggests that Gabapentin is now prevalent as a drug of abuse. The drug's effects vary with the user, dosage, past experience, psychiatric history, and expectations. Individuals describe varying experiences with Gabapentin abuse, including euphoria, improved sociability, a marijuana-like ‘high’, relaxation, and sense of calm, although not all reports are positive (for example, ‘zombie-like’ effects). In primary care, an increasing number and urgency of prescription requests cannot necessarily be explained by the increased number of cases of neuropathic pain. In the substance misuse service, the numbers admitting to using Gabapentin are also growing."
People who abuse this medication are calling themselves "gabbies" and often admit to their abuse. This is alarming the medical field. Many times, abusers won't admit that they're using prescription drugs for recreational use. However, with this being a medication that is continually prescribed and used, in addition to it being a non-narcotic, people are feeling more comfortable with their abuse.
The abuse of prescription drugs has been going on for quite some time. However, the biggest abusers of these medications are young adults aged 18 to 25. This isn't the case for Gabapentin. Many people of all ages are abusing it. It might be difficult to believe this, but many individuals have a history of abusing various types of prescription medication, including anti-anxiety, opioid pain meds and ADHD stimulant medications for recreational use.
Dealing with prescription drug abuse is difficult. That's why we are here to help you through this complicated and dangerous situation. If you have questions or concerns about the risk of prescription drug abuse or want to learn more about our personalized rehabilitation treatment, don't hesitate to contact us at any time.
Holistic Outpatient Alcohol and Drug Treatment in Asheville NC
If you feel like these symptoms are a part of your everyday life, it might be time to consider getting help. Please contact Legacy of Asheville to learn more about our holistic therapy programs.
We are here to help you get back on track to a happy, healthy life. You'll find the following alternative, holistic treatment programs are geared toward helping individuals cope with substance abuse:
- Adventure Therapy
- Acupuncture Therapy
- Chemical Dependency
- Equine Assisted
- EMDR Therapy
- Inner Child
- Life/Purpose Coaching
- Meditation Therapy
- Nutritional Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Sound Therapy
- Tai Chi
Accepting that you need help with addiction can be difficult. Often, those suffering blame themselves for their situation and rarely believe that they can be helped. Feeling helpless and hopeless is a common problem with substance abuse issues. However, accepting help is the first step in the right direction. Know that whatever it is that's causing your addiction, our alcohol and drug treatment in Asheville NC can help. Holistic, alternative therapy is here for you. All you have to do is acknowledge that you need it. Then, we will help you detox, find the root cause of substance abuse and recover.