Gabapentin One of 2017’s Most Prescribed Medications: Now it’s Part of the Opioid Problem

Problems with gabapentin

When one drug becomes a problem, just switch to a different one.

That seems to be the morbid motto of the drug crisis. Use drugs to solve a problem, then once the drug becomes a problem, just switch to a different one. It’s this very mindset that got our society in a world of trouble in the first place. People became addicted to substances that gave them a “mind-change” because, plain and simple, they felt better when they were high. They kept using, physical and mental addiction took hold, and instead of figuring out why they didn’t feel well while they’re sober, they found a different drug to solve the problems of the first one.

That’s the story of Suboxone, methadone, Vivitrol, and the like. And that’s also the same story when it comes to Gabapentin. One of 2017’s most prescribed drugs, the nerve pain and seizure medication became a “safer” alternative to traditional opioids for those caught in addiction. The drug has been around for over two decades and recently grew in recreational popularity since painkillers have been in shorter supply due to firmer regulations of Schedule II narcotics. Addicts have turned to the drug for yet another high, resulting in thousands of overdose deaths due to Gabapentin.

Because the drug causes moderate sedation, it helps a user get by when they don’t have their opioids of choice and, when they do, it enhances the high that much more.

Recently, Van Ingram, executive director of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, told NBC News, “We started hearing from pharmacists about people trying to get early refills. That is usually a sign that something is being abused.

More patients have been prescribed Gabapentin in recent years and ODs are happening so often that the FDA headed a study to not only research actual uses of the medication but also to take swift action against it. Unfortunately, there’s no known reversal drug for Gabapentin in the case of an overdose and in some states, it’s been placed on the list of controlled substances in order to have its availability and dispensing decreased.

Gabapentin causing overdoses

Here we are, at the end of 2018 and now we have another drug causing chaos and havoc in our communities. We need to stop having this “cure drugs with drugs” mentality because it’s only proving to cause way more problems than it’s solving. If it’s not one thing, it’s another, and now a seizure medication is killing people.

Wake up, smell the coffee, and get sober. Really sober…completely drug free. You don’t have to worry about OD’ing when you’re not on drugs. And while many can’t see it now, life is way easier sober than chasing medications around trying to constantly numb the pain and handle your problems.

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Jason Good

Jason has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 10 years. Having been an addict himself he brings real-word experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Jason is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions. Jason is also the co-host of The Addiction Podcast—Point of No Return. You can follow Jason on Google+, Twitter, or connect with him on LinkedIn.