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Rehab Warns on Dangers of Gabapentin and Opioids

Duffield, VA – ReVIDA® Recovery posted an educational piece warning about the dangers of gabapentin and opioids. They have facilities throughout Tennessee and Virginia that offer medication-assisted treatment and outpatient therapy.

“Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant that reduces pain in nerve cells in the brain. Typically, this medication reduces seizures and pain. Some brand names gabapentin falls under are Neurontin®, Gralise®, and Horizant®. However, some people might use gabapentin in illicit ways, as well. There have been reports that using gabapentin in this way has resulted in feelings of euphoria, relaxation, a sense of calm, and improved sociability. Sometimes, dealers will mix it with opioids to increase the effects of the opioid, which increases the potential of an overdose. Some people might refer to it on the street as ‘gabbies’,” the article reads.

Typically, gabapentin prevents and controls seizures but can also treat restless leg syndrome and pain associated with shingles. Medical professionals may use it to treat pain that results from numbness caused by diabetes or hot flashes that result from menopause or breast cancer. Opioids are also prescribed for pain, often after surgery or for those with chronic conditions causing pain. Both opioids and gabapentin can be used illicitly and cause similar effects. Experiencing an overdose from either substance is also possible.

Gabapentin and opioids are different, however. Gabapentin is not an opioid and will not react to Narcan® (naloxone) if an overdose is experienced. The main type of pain it treats is nerve pain, where opioids treat pain related to cancer and recovering from surgeries. The half-life of gabapentin is around 6.5 hours whereas most opioids are just a few hours.

“Generally, gabapentin, when used as intended, does not put people at risk of overdose. Sometimes, doctors may prescribe an opioid with gabapentin to treat chronic pain. However, caution is essential because when someone uses gabapentin and opioids simultaneously, they create an increased risk of overdose and death. This risk occurs because both substances are known to slow down breathing.

This increased risk is even more dangerous when gabapentin is mixed into illicit opioids, as it can be challenging to know if this combination is in your batch at the moment. Combining any two or more substances can be unpredictable. Even if you have taken gabapentin and opioids together before, it is still essential to take precautions when you or the person you have gotten the substances from combine them. These precautions are necessary because the dosages might be different between batches, and the different batches can be unpredictable,” the article continues.

Signs of an overdose include drowsiness, unconsciousness, slowed breathing, choking, confusion, small pupils, and blue nails. The reason someone might mix opioids and gabapentin is because they built up an opioid tolerance. Some will take more opioids while others will try pairing gabapentin with it, increasing the risk of an overdose.

ReVIDA® Recovery has been helping those with opioid use disorders for years in the Appalachia communities. Their approach utilizes medication-assisted treatment as they have seen how it saves lives. They offer case managers to help with housing and job assistance as well as getting connected to resources like SNAP. Outpatient therapy is a part of their program, and many options are available to fit different schedules.

To learn more about ReVIDA® Recovery, call 423-631-0432 or visit their website.


For more information about ReVIDA Recovery® Duffield, contact the company here:

ReVIDA Recovery® Duffield
Tonya Shelton
198 Ross Carter Blvd,
Duffield, VA, 24244

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