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COVID-19 and Rehab: Facts about drug and alcohol addiction treatments during pandemic.


February 3, 2021

Pregabalin is an anticonvulsant drug. It is a prescription medication which has a lot of use in the treatment of seizures, nerve pain, and fibromyalgia. As a gabapentinoid, it belongs to the same class as gabapentin, a drug with similar uses.

There is a lot of concern as to whether this drug does or does not have addictive potential. There are withdrawal symptoms often experienced following discontinuation. Many addicts may use Lyrica in combination with other illicit substances. This brings up a lot of concern for its safety.

One might have many questions, such as is Lyrica addictive medication, and how to stop taking Lyrica? This article will answer those questions as well as what is Lyrica. It will also inform you on its addictive potential, symptoms and serious side effects of Lyrica, and treatment of problematic use.

What is Lyrica (Pregabalin) and why is it addictive?

Lyrica, known by its generic name of pregabalin, is a drug used in the treatment of conditions related to the nervous system. This is due to its mechanism of action. This medication inhibits receptors known as Alpha-2-Delta receptors in the central nervous system. This effectively slows down nervous system activity and reduces symptoms.

Lyrica is a prescription medication that comes in capsules. Many addicts abuse it with other drugs.

This drug is a Schedule V drug as classified by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency. This means that it has medical use and Lyrica abuse potential is low.

It is used majorly for the treatment of conditions which originate from the nervous system, such as the following:

  • Neuropathic pain
  • Epilepsy
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Generalized anxiety disorder

Since this is a prescription drug, many individuals develop their addiction to Lyrica following the legitimate prescription of the drug. However, it is often abused by many as they say that it enhances the effects of drugs that it is combined with, particularly opioids.

Its addictive potential and mechanism is yet to be well established. But one study found that the neurotransmitter glutamate seemed to play an important role in the development of this addiction.


What are the symptoms and signs of Lyrica addiction?

In an individual who has developed a Lyrica dependence, there are symptoms and signs that can be noted in their behavior. These can be used to tell whether you or your loved one may be dealing with a pregabalin addiction. The symptoms of Lyrica abuse include the following:

  • Noticing that the usual dose of the drug is less effective due to the development of tolerance
  • Having withdrawal symptoms on attempts to abstain from the drug
  • Frequently switching doctors in order to maintain prescriptions for Lyrica
  • Exaggerating symptoms in order to continue abusing Lyrica
  • Attempting to stop the use of the drug but failing
  • Feeling strong cravings
  • Continued use of pregabalin despite identifying its negative effects on health and relationships
  • Preoccupation with the medication and frequently mentioning it in discussions
  • Denying the frequency of drug use

Get a free online consultation to learn how to manage these symptoms for you or your loved one >>>

What are the short and long term side effects of Lyrica abuse?

No drug is entirely safe. Lyrica drug abuse can come with adverse effects alongside the ones that the addict abuses it for. These can be short term effects of pregabalin or can occur years after.

Short-Term Effects of Lyrica Abuse

These common side effects of Lyrica can show up minutes to hours after using Lyrica:

  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Vomiting
  • Impaired muscle coordination
  • Tremors
  • Vertigo
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Constipation
  • Erectile dysfunction

Long-Term Effects of Lyrica Abuse

Lyrica long-term side effects may appear months to years after abuse:

  • Weight gain
  • Memory impairment
  • Depression
  • Pancreatitis
  • Dependence

How does Lyrica addiction start?

Many addicts got their dependence branch off from legitimate use of the drug. For people with a history of addiction to other substances, it can arise due to combining pregabalin with other drugs that they use. This is most frequently seen in those who abuse opioids such as heroin or morphine. 

Tolerance develops quickly and stopping the drug brings about withdrawal symptoms. Due to these symptoms that arise, stopping consuming Lyrica alone, without any help, would be a difficult affair.

An infographic showing some common withdrawal symptoms encountered when abstaining from pregabalin.

What is the treatment for Lyrica dependence?

Addiction to Lyrica is dangerous. Combining the medication with other illicit substances significantly increases the risk of overdose and abuse. This can lead to an array of side effects. It is best for addicts to stop the habit as soon as possible, with the help of professionals.

Rehabilitation centers exist to provide drug detoxification for many substances, including pregabalin. The addicts check into the treatment center, where they reside for the period of Lyrica treatment. However, outpatient programs are also available. Since the Lyrica detox period comes with withdrawal symptoms, it is safest to undergo in professional care. Under medical control, patients are constantly monitored and given medication to make that period much easier.

A group of pregabalin addicts discuss their challenges with treating the Lyrica addiction.

After, the patient undergoes rehab, which repairs damage that the addiction has caused them mentally and socially. This involves frequent check-ins and therapy sessions to make sure they are still on the right track.

How to get started with Lyrica addiction treatment?

Lyrica has a lot of use medically and can help those that suffer from a variety of conditions. However, its use can spiral into dependence and many addicts pair it with other drugs for abuse. 

The side effects of Lyrica abuse can have makes it important to quit the habit as soon as possible. Professional treatment programs are available to help you achieve this. The road to recovery doesn’t need to be hard.

Book a free online consultation to learn about the treatment program and how to start your detoxification >>>

Published on February 3, 2021
by Dr Vorobjev Clinic team

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