What does it look like?
Gabapentin is manufactured as either white, yellow or orange capsules and tablets.
It is a prescription only medicine used to treat epilepsy and neuropathic pain – which is the result of damage to nerve tissue which can produce a burning, shooting or scalding feeling.
Gabapentin capsules and tablets are normally swallowed, but there have been reports of the powder from gabapentin capsules being snorted.
How does it make you feel?
Gabapentin can produce feelings of relaxation, calmness and euphoria. Some users have reported that the high from snorted gabapentin can be similar to taking a stimulant.
It can also enhance the euphoric effects of other drugs, like opiates, and is likely to increase the risks when taken in this way.
Gabapentin may also enhance the euphoric effects of other drugs, like opiates, and is likely to increase the risks when taken in this way.
How long the effects last and the drug stays in your system depends on how much you’ve taken, your size, whether you’ve eaten and what other drugs you may have also taken.
Physical health risks
Gabapentin has effects in similar brain pathways to those that are affected by drugs like benzodiazepine.
It can cause dizziness, forgetfulness, drowsiness and confusion, all of which can put you at risk of hurting yourself, especially in certain environments.
Manufacturers recommend that when used as a medicine, gabapentin should only be used by women who are breastfeeding if the potential benefits outweigh the risks. They also point out that in animal studies toxicity has been seen during pregnancy. Gabapentin has been associated, rarely, with jaundice.
Gabapentin commonly causes:
- vomiting and feelings of wanting to vomit
- increases in blood pressure
- trouble sleeping
- weight gain
Mental health risks
Gabapentin commonly causes feelings of depression, hostility and anxiety.
Gabapentin has been associated, rarely, with hallucinations and suicidal thoughts.
What is gabapentin cut with?
It’s likely that most of the gabapentin that is available on the black market has been either stolen from a hospital or pharmacy, or stolen (possibly brought) from people who have been prescribed gabapentin. They might have also been imported from abroad.
You cannot normally be sure of the purity unless you are certain that the drug you have is a genuine pharmacy medicine.
Can you get addicted?
It is recommended that prescribed gabapentin use is not stopped abruptly as it may cause anxiety, insomnia, nausea, pain and sweating.
Withdrawal symptoms, reported when gabapentin use was stopped abruptly include anxiety, disturbed sleep, nausea, pain and sweating.
Like drink-driving, driving when high is dangerous and illegal. If you’re caught driving under the influence, you may receive a heavy fine, driving ban, or prison sentence.
If the police catch people supplying illegal drugs in a home, club, bar or hostel, they can potentially prosecute the landlord, club owner or any other person concerned in the management of the premises.
Additional law details
Gabapentin is a prescription only medicine and can only be prescribed following a consultation with a doctor.
It is to be reclassified as a Class C controlled substance from April 2019.