March 3, 2024
Gabapentin is a prescription drug that is often misused for its reported ability to create a 'high.' However, the truth behind its potential for abuse is often misunderstood. This article explores the misconceptions surrounding gabapentin, its effects on the brain, and the dangers of its recreational use.

Can Gabapentin Get You High? The Truth Behind Recreational Use

Gabapentin, a prescription drug used to treat seizures and nerve pain, has been gaining popularity among drug users for its reported ability to create feelings of euphoria and relaxation. However, the misconception that gabapentin can get you high has led to its misuse and abuse.

The Misconception About Gabapentin: The Truth Behind Its ‘High’ Potential

Gabapentin was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993 as a treatment for seizures. Since then, it has also been prescribed for various types of nerve pain, such as those caused by shingles and spinal cord injuries. However, gabapentin has become increasingly popular for its recreational use, largely due to its reputation for inducing a ‘high.’

However, the truth is that gabapentin is not a narcotic, and it has not been found to have the same addictive properties as drugs like opioids or other prescription painkillers. Despite this, many people still misuse the drug in search of a ‘high,’ leading to a rise in its abuse over the last few years.

Gabapentin: The Prescription Drug That’s Often Misused for Recreational Purposes

People who abuse gabapentin often do so to experience feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and sedation. Gabapentin can cause a ‘buzz’ similar to that of alcohol, leading some individuals to treat it as an alternative to drinking. However, it’s important to note that the drug’s effects can vary from person to person, and it doesn’t necessarily create a ‘high’ in everyone who uses it.

Despite this, gabapentin is often abused by individuals who have had previous substance abuse issues or who use the drug in combination with other substances, such as opioids or benzodiazepines. This practice can be dangerous, as can the misuse of gabapentin on its own.

Understanding Gabapentin and Its Effects on the Brain: Can It Really Make You High?

Gabapentin works by binding to specific receptors in the brain. These receptors are responsible for controlling the release of neurotransmitter chemicals, which are involved in a range of brain functions, including mood, sensation, and movement. By increasing the release of these chemicals, gabapentin can produce effects like relaxation and sedation.

However, despite its effects on the brain, gabapentin does not cause a ‘high’ in the same way as other drugs that are often associated with addiction, such as opioids or cocaine. The development of a gabapentin addiction is uncommon, and withdrawal symptoms are generally mild in comparison to those seen with other substances.

Debunking the Myths Around Gabapentin and Its Recreational Use

One of the most pervasive myths surrounding gabapentin is that its recreational use is safe and risk-free. However, this is not the case. The misuse of gabapentin can lead to a range of negative health outcomes, including addiction, overdose, and even death.

Another myth is that gabapentin is not a ‘real’ drug, and therefore it’s not as dangerous as other narcotics. However, as with any drug, gabapentin can be harmful when misused, and it’s important to take its potential side effects seriously.

The Dangers of Gabapentin Abuse: Separating Fact from Fiction

The risks of gabapentin abuse include a range of physical and mental health issues. Excessive use of the drug can lead to respiratory depression, seizures, and coma. Long-term use can also result in damage to the liver and kidneys, as well as chronic pain.

Additionally, gabapentin misuse can lead to mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and psychotic symptoms. This is especially true in those who already have a predisposition to such conditions.


Gabapentin is a prescription drug with legitimate uses. However, its recreational use has led to a rise in abuse and addiction. It’s important to understand the truth behind gabapentin’s ‘high’ potential and to be aware of the risks associated with its misuse. If you or someone you know is struggling with gabapentin abuse, seek help from a healthcare professional.

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