Gabapentin is a prescription anticonvulsant medication that can act as a mild sedative. Generally, it is used for epilepsy and controls pain caused by nerve damage. It can be used in other capacities, such as drug withdrawal or diabetic neuropathy.

In 2004, a generic version of this drug was released, and this is often found illegally, and its long-term effects are not fully researched. Gabapentin comes in many forms. It can be taken orally or inhaled, and it may be combined with other drugs, such as opioids, enhancing the effects and creating a bigger euphoria. However, it has serious health implications when abused and can lead to overdose and even death.

There are many signs and symptoms to look out for. Any type of addiction is a disease that requires a stringent plan to overcome it. Drug rehabilitation is the preferred and most successful method to remove addiction from your life.

Gabapentin Addiction and How it Develops

As with most addictions, its inception begins with overusing. Overusing any drug leads to tolerance; your body is immune to its effects and constantly craves more.  This type of drug usually works by reducing excitatory brain signals.

This means that it can relieve pain and calm the body. It may even be used for certain types of anxiety disorders. When taken in moderation and as prescribed, there are few side effects and no chance of addiction. However, the risk of drug addiction increases when you begin to take over the recommended daily allowance and tolerance is built. Compared to opioids and other drugs, Gabapentin has a low risk of addiction, but this is only a guideline.

Therefore it is vital that you are aware of the signs so that you can identify them early. The biggest risk of overdose is mixing it with other substances or alcohol. If you are concerned that you have an addiction, you should be aware of the associated risks.

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Risks of Gabapentin Addiction

There is a long list of side effects associated with Gabapentin, and it can be deadly when taken in high doses or combined with other drugs. Some of the most troubling side effects to be aware of are:

  • Strange or weird thoughts
  • Uncontrolled eye movements
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea/ Constipation
  • Weight gain
  • Swelling in the extremities
  • Fever
  • Psychosis (in some cases)

Noticing the symptoms early and being aware of the psychological changes will allow you to identify addiction and seek the help you need. Psychological changes may include irritability, anger, anxiety and depression, the constant thought of the substance, and financial troubles. You may have recently lost your job, become withdrawn from your career and life, and may suffer from relationship troubles/homelife troubles. These signs are red flags and should be dealt with immediately.

What Treatment Options are Available?

Thankfully, there are many options available to people suffering from Gabapentin addiction. Private drug and alcohol rehab is the most successful route to take, and whilst there are other options available, such as outpatient rehab, they do not have the same success rates and level of intense therapies. Therefore relapse is more common.

Private rehab takes place in a controlled and often luxurious environment. At Ocean Recovery Centre, it will feel like a home from home, and you will be able to partake in new activities whilst you heal. Private rehab will be able to offer drug detox, numerous psychotherapies, and a dedicated aftercare plan which seeks to prevent relapse.  Some of the therapies that are used to combat addiction are:

  • CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
  • Individual, group, and family therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Mindfulness and meditation
  • Long-term follow-up to prevent relapse

It is very important to heal any past traumas regarding addiction. Often, the social circumstances or current issues may lead to addiction. In rehab, you will have a chance to address these problems and involve your family and friends in a collaborative effort. You will be taught new coping methods, as well as be able to identify recurring triggers and ultimately remove the addictive behaviour.

What are the Benefits of Going to Rehab?

Beyond the physical and mental healing aspects of rehab, there are a plethora of added benefits to rehabilitation. Firstly, the healing process is split into three phases: detox, therapies and aftercare. This will arm you with tools, allow you to work through traumas and reshape your behavioural patterns. Your physical health will improve, and you will feel fitter and more able to tackle daily tasks.

However, beyond the standard benefits, you will find that there are so many more positives to note. Rehab offers a large support network, allowing you to meet new people, broaden your horizons, share your stories, and potentially help others. You will have time to rest and recuperate in a luxury setting, allowing you time to heal. You will have lifelong tools and tips to ensure you do not relapse and set personal goals. Not only does it remove addiction from your life, but your outlook on life is reshaped, and your pathway appears clearer.

We’re Here to Help

At the Ocean Recovery Centre, we are a dedicated multidisciplinary team ready and waiting to help you. Addiction can rob you of precious time, and it may feel as if your life is spiralling out of control.

We want to put the control and power back into your hands. We proudly offer a friendly and welcoming setting, which is luxurious and feels just like home. You’ll feel comfortable, cared for and above all, valued. Addiction does not mean failure. We take confidentiality very seriously, so you can be sure that your best interests are at heart. Call us on 0800 880 7596.


John Gillen - Author - Last updated: December 22, 2023

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.

Dr Adel Ghaly

    Dr Adel Ghaly - Clinical Reviewer - Last reviewed: December 20, 2023

    MB BCh, Psychological Medicine (Substance Misuse Psychiatry) from 2002

    Dr Adel Ghaly is a registered Doctor who is a specialist psychiatrist. Dr Ghaly gained an MB BCh in 1982 from Assiut University and has since become a substance misuse specialist and psychiatrist. After gaining his qualification in Psychological Medicine (Substance Misuse Psychiatry) in 2002, Dr Ghaly has worked in hospitals and as a specialist trainer recognised by the GMC.