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Can You Snort Gabapentin?

Can You Snort Gabapentin?

Also known as Neurontin, gabapentin is most commonly used to treat epilepsy, restless leg syndrome, nerve pain, and hot flashes. Gabapentin belongs to a class of drugs called GABA analogs or anticonvulsants, which appear to function like tranquilizers by reacting with the GABA neurotransmitter. Although it’s different from drugs of abuse, like benzos and opioids, gabapentin is known to produce withdrawal symptoms and psychoactive effects when misused. To experience these side effects, some people might start using the drug in ways it wasn’t meant to be used, such as through inhalation. Banyan Treatment Centers Chicago asks the question, “Can you snort gabapentin?”

Why Do People Snort Gabapentin?

When misused, gabapentin acts as a mild tranquilizer, producing a euphoric high similar to a marijuana high in some people. It also tends to create a sensation of calm and increased sociability and empathy for others. Common street names for gabapentin include morontin and gabbies, and it’s also commonly used with other substances – such as alcohol – to increase the side effects of gabapentin or the other substance.

Gabapentin may also be used by those attempting to mitigate withdrawals of substances like alcohol. However, because of its low potential for addiction, the rate of gabapentin abuse is fairly low compared to substances like opioids or alcohol. It does, however, produce physical dependence and withdrawals, which are markers of addiction.

The high produced by the drug can also lead to a sensation of euphoria, which users might find enticing. The process of treating people for gabapentin addiction might be more complex because the individual will most likely be addicted to another substance simultaneously and, therefore, require PHP treatment (a partial hospitalization program) for several forms of drug use.

With that said, people snort gabapentin to increase its side effects and experience a more intense high or sense of intoxication. Snorting gabapentin is not an intended form of use. Gabapentin pills are meant to be taken orally, but people who want to abuse the drug via inhalation might crush the pills to create a snortable powder.

What Happens if You Snort Gabapentin?

To be clear, you cannot snort gabapentin. This is an unsafe form of use that’s not intended for this drug. Gabapentin pills are meant to be taken orally and as prescribed. However, to get high and increase the effects of the drug, some people might crush the pills and snort them.

One of the earliest signs of gabapentin addiction is using the drug in ways it’s not intended, which includes snorting. Users crush pills or tablets and inhale the residual powder into the nasal passages. Some common side effects of snorting gabapentin include:

  • Restlessness
  • Nosebleed
  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Euphoria
  • Violent or unusual behavior
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Double vision
  • Uncontrollable shaking or tremors
  • Impaired memory
  • Impaired motor function
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Weight gain
  • Fever
  • Swollen hands and feet
  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Lack of coordination

Sniffing gabapentin is also another way for someone who’s become tolerant to a certain dose of the drug to experience its effects again. Increased tolerance occurs with many drugs when they’re taken for long periods, including gabapentin. As a result, a person who takes the drug for recreational purposes might turn to other forms of administration, such as snorting, to get high.

In the end, this may only give way to physical dependence, which is characterized by highly uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Gabapentin withdrawals present themselves when a person who’s physically dependent on the drug reduces their dose dramatically or goes a certain length of time without taking it. Seizures and other dangerous symptoms commonly occur during the withdrawal period, which is why many people opt for medically monitored detox when they decide to quit a drug.

Is Gabapentin a Controlled Substance?

In the United States, gabapentin is not categorized as a restricted substance at the federal level. Its legal standing can, however, differ from one nation or jurisdiction to another. Due to its lower risk of abuse and addiction than medications like opioids or benzodiazepines, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had not classified gabapentin as a restricted substance in the United States. It is typically given to treat neuropathic pain disorders and some forms of seizures. But it's important to remember that drug classifications can change over time, so it's best to verify with your doctor or a dependable source for the most recent details about gabapentin's legal standing in your area.

What Should You Avoid While Taking Gabapentin?

It's essential to be aware of potential interactions and behaviors to avoid to ensure the efficiency of gabapentin and your general safety. First off, gabapentin mixed with alcohol should be severely restricted or avoided altogether. Mixing gabapentin and alcohol might exacerbate the drowsiness and vertigo that this medicine may cause, increasing the risk of accidents or decreasing cognitive function. Additionally, it may intensify gabapentin side effects, including tiredness and vertigo, which are already frequent.

Taking gabapentin and driving should also be approached cautiously. Because gabapentin has sedative effects, you may be less able to react quickly and make decisions, endangering both you and other drivers on the road. It is advised to postpone participating in these activities if you notice considerable drowsiness or vertigo while taking gabapentin until you have determined how the drug affects you specifically.

Additionally, wherever feasible, it is best to avoid mixing gabapentin with other CNS depressants, such as opioids or certain sedatives. These medications may intensify gabapentin's sedative effects and increase the risk of significant respiratory depression or other negative side effects. Be sure to always check with your doctor before combining drugs.

Help for Gabapentin Recreational Use

Gabapentin snorting is a common practice among recreational users, and while the drug is considered to be less addictive than opioids and stimulants, long-term abuse is shown to result in toxic delirium, intense cravings, and prolonged post-withdrawal. With that said, any form of drug abuse is dangerous, and the addictive nature of most drug users would be considered to be “worth” abusing are highly addictive.

For those who are struggling with gabapentin abuse and addiction, our Chicago drug rehab offers various levels of care for substance abuse treatment that can help. Our addiction specialists work with patients in every step of their recovery to ensure that they’re receiving the physical and psychological care they need to get sober.

Banyan’s Chicago Addiction Treatment Center offers various forms of psychotherapy in addition to illicit and prescription drug addiction treatment to help people with all kinds of addictions overcome their struggles, get healthy, and find lasting sobriety. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, don’t wait to get help.

Call our drug rehab in Chicago today at 888-280-4763 to learn more about our prescription drug addiction services and Illinois treatment facilities.

Related Reading:

How Long Does Gabapentin Stay in Your System?

Does Gabapentin Cause Hair Loss?

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.