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Neurontin Abuse and Treatment

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Treatment for Three Decades and Counting

If you or a loved one is experiencing addiction, we’re here to help.

Neurontin (also known as gabapentin) is an anticonvulsant that is primarily used to treat seizures and some types of pain. Off-label uses include the treatment of restless leg syndrome, mood disorders, nerve damage related to diabetes, and cocaine or alcohol withdrawal. In very rare occasions, it is used to treat anxiety and insomnia.1,2

Neurontin is the brand name of the generic medication gabapentin. Unfortunately, gabapentin is known to cause several side effects. It is important for anyone who takes this drug to know that anticonvulsants may cause suicidal thoughts in some users. For this reason, it is critical to communicate with your prescribing doctor about any and all side effects experienced while taking Neurontin.1

Side Effects of Neurontin

Common side effects of gabapentin and Neurontin include:

  • Loss of coordination/dizziness
  • Fatigue/drowsiness
  • Shaking/tremors
  • Blurred/double vision
  • Unusual eye movements
  • Swelling of feet, hands or ankles
  • Fever
  • Constant sore throat
  • Cough

Neurontin Abuse

Tired young womanGabapentin and Neurontin are not classified as controlled substances because they do not usually lead to dependence when used as prescribed to treat seizures. However, like other controlled substances, gabapentin can produce changes in mood, perception, and behavior. Neurontin may also lead to withdrawal symptoms if a person suddenly stops using this medication, especially if he or she has been misusing this drug.

Why would anyone abuse Neurontin? It seems that the side effects of misusing this drug would deter many people. However, some people report that it gives them a sense of relaxation, euphoria, a high, or a “zoned-out” feeling. These sensations are only temporary, but they can become very habit-forming and dangerous. It is possible to become dependent on this medication and suffer severe adverse effects.

In some cases, these problems begin with a legitimate prescription, while other addictions are worsened by “doctor shopping,” or asking for this drug by name from a variety of doctors. In some cases, people who don’t actually need this drug fake their symptoms to obtain more substances. Doctors are becoming more aware of this issue and are increasingly alert to the signs of gabapentin abuse.4

Like all prescription drugs, Neurontin can also fall into the wrong hands. If you or someone you love (or even a visitor to your home) has had an issue with substance use in the past, or a tendency to try and misuse, experiment with, or sell substances, your Neurontin may not be where you think it is. In fact, well over half of all people who misuse prescription drugs obtain those drugs through a friend or family member, who allowed access to their own prescription supply. On the street, gabapentin goes by the nickname “gabbies,” a name you may have heard if a loved one is misusing this substance.

Treatment for Neurontin Abuse

At Michael’s House, our rehab services are tailored to the needs of the individual substance abuser. If you, or your loved one, are abusing Neurontin singularly or in combination with other drugs, we can provide a safe detox, followed by evidence-based, comprehensive treatment in our state-of-the-art rehab facility. Call us today to learn more.


1 Neurontin. 2018.

2 The Psychiatry Letter. Drug of the Month: Gabapentin. 2018.

3 Drug War Facts. Diversion of Pharmaceutical Drugs. Nd. Retrieved 20 Mar 2018.

4 Smith, Blair H et al. Substance Misuse of Gabapentin. The British Journal of General Practice. 2012.