Gabapentin: Is it the new Xanax?
Gabapentin, also known by the brand name Neurontin, has been showing up more and more lately in the news. This anti-seizure drug is now being associated with illegal street drugs such as heroin and also abused prescription medications such as oxycontin, opana, oxycodone, morphine, dilaudid and others. Like Xanax, Gabapentin is being found in drug overdoses and drug-related arrests.
It’s not just for seizures.
Gabapentin happens to be very interesting prescription medication because of the many uses that it has besides what the FDA has approved it for. It is used to treat neuropathic pain and other forms of chronic pain. Interestingly, it has been found to be useful in making opioid withdrawal more tolerable. In fact, gabapentin has been used to help in the transition after finishing buprenorphine treatment.
Gabapentin is not Xanax
Xanax is a drug with at least a moderate potential for abuse. It is a tranquilizer that is very sedating and, at high doses can cause sleepiness, amnesia, and slowed motor reflexes. Well Gabapentin can also cause sleepiness, it does not have nearly the same potential for abuse as Xanax. However, some lawmakers have expressed concerns and would like to limit the use of Gabapentin. For example, Kentucky has already made Gabapentin a controlled drug.
why is Gabapentin being associated with heroin and other opioids and opiates?
It’s hard to say why Gabapentin is being found to be associated with Heroin on the streets. Gabapentin is not a drug that typically is thought of as something that people can get high by taking. It’s possible that Gabapentin increases the potency of other drugs when taken in combination. another possibility is it it has been used by drug addicts on the streets in attempt to reduce drug use.
There’s a reason why prescription drugs require a doctor’s prescription.
Gabapentin is a medication with many uses. As with any prescription medication, it also has potentially dangerous side effects. While it is considered to have very little if any abuse potential by itself, the possible abuse potential of Gabapentin in combination with drugs of abuse should be studied further.