If you think you may be addicted to pregabalin, we can help you to break this addiction. We can find the right rehab treatment centre for you to help you overcome your pregabalin addiction and return to your drug-free life.
This page will tell you all about pregabalin addiction, including pregabalin abuse/ Lyrica abuse, pregabalin withdrawal, and what to expect from pregabalin addiction treatment.
What is Pregabalin?
Pregabalin, also known as Lyrica, is a form of medication used to treat a variety of conditions – such as epilepsy, generalised anxiety disorder, and nerve pain. It is currently a Class C drug in the UK – and is a controlled substance. [i] This means that it is a prescription-only medication, and should be used as such.
When used to treat epilepsy, it can prevent seizures from occurring by reducing the abnormal activity within your brain. Likewise, when used to treat anxiety disorder, pregabalin works to prevent your brain from releasing certain chemicals – the chemicals that cause feelings of anxiety.
This Class C controlled substance works to treat nerve pain by affecting the pain messages that travel through your central nervous system, [ii] making it an effective pain reliever.
When taking pregabalin to treat central neuropathic pain and peripheral pain (e.g diabetic neuropathy), the recommended maximum dose is 600mg per day in 2-3 doses.
For focal seizures, the recommended dose begins at 25ml, moving up to 50mg daily, and increasing at 7-day intervals up to 600mg daily. If you take pregabalin for anxiety, you will typically be given a 150mg daily dose, to begin with, moving up to 300mg, with a maximum of 600 mg daily if necessary. [iii]
The Effects of Pregabalin
Although pregabalin is only available on prescription, some people take it recreationally due to the effects it can have on your body. Pregabalin can leave you feeling relaxed and calm, and you may experience feelings of euphoria.
Taking pregabalin can also enhance the effects of other drugs – particular opioids such as heroin. However, the combination of pregabalin and opioids can be deadly and can affect your breathing. [iv] This can be one of the more severe drug interactions as difficulty breathing can be fatal.
When taking pregabalin – especially for long periods of time or if you take more than recommended, there is always a risk of developing a physical dependence or a psychological dependence on the drug. You are more at risk of developing a pregabalin dependence if you are a hard drug user. [v]
Like many other prescription medications, pregabalin can have side effects other than just pain relief. Some common side effects include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Digestive issues (e.g gas, bloating, constipation)
- Lack of coordination
- Weight gain and increased appetite
- Happy mood
- Trouble paying attention
- Memory issues
- Breathing problems
- Itching/ rash/ hives [vi]
Can You Be Addicted to a Prescription Drug?
Many people make the mistake of thinking that prescription drugs are safe because they are prescribed. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case – prescription drugs, just like hard drugs and substances such as heroin or cocaine, can be addictive and dangerous if abused.
You can also abuse prescription drugs – just like you can abuse alcohol. If you take your prescription drug (e.g pregabalin) in a way other than prescribed by your doctors or medical professionals, then you are abusing it.
Prescription drug addiction isn’t just taking prescription drugs to get ‘high’ – it can include taking your prescription even if you don’t need it, taking somebody else’s prescription, or taking more than the recommended amount.
Mixing your prescription drugs with other drugs and substances such as opiates or heroin is classed as substance abuse, and can be dangerous – sometimes even lethal.
If you take prescription drugs such as pregabalin on a regular basis, you may be addicted to them but not aware until you stop taking them or lower your dose. If you’re addicted to prescription medication, you may experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it.
Pregabalin Abuse vs Pregabalin Addiction
Many people use the terms ‘drug abuse’ and ‘drug addiction’ interchangeably – however, they have different definitions. You can abuse Lyrica/ pregabalin without being addicted to pregabalin – but if you’re addicted to the drug, chances are, you abuse it.
Pregabalin abuse is a form of prescription drug abuse – which is characterised by using more of the drug than recommended, using it when you don’t need it, mixing it with other substances or other drugs, or simply using it in any way other than recommended. [vii]
Pregabalin abuse and pregabalin addiction are forms of substance use disorder – with pregabalin addiction being more severe. This is because drug addiction is recognised as a chronic brain disorder, characterised by relapsing.
Like any drug addiction, abusing pregabalin can affect many aspects of your life – your finances, your relationships, and your physical health and mental health.
Pregabalin Withdrawal Symptoms
If you suddenly stop taking pregabalin or drastically decrease the dose, you may begin experiencing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
Like with many prescription drugs, pregabalin or Lyrica withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and require medical assistance. This is why it is often best to conduct a pregabalin detox on an inpatient basis at a residential treatment facility – especially if you have existing mental health issues such as depression or panic attacks.
Just like with alcohol withdrawal, you may experience a combination of physical symptoms, psychological symptoms, and behavioural symptoms. Here are some common pregabalin withdrawal symptoms:
- Mood swings
- Nausea and vomiting
- Suicidal ideation/ suicidal thoughts
- Increased heart rate
- Intense cravings
Pregabalin Addiction Treatment
Getting help for your Lyrica addiction/ pregabalin addiction is the best thing you can do to get sober and live a drug-free life. At Help4Addiction, we can connect you with the best rehab treatment centres around England and Wales.
It’s not just pregabalin addiction that we can help with – we can also help with alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction, addiction to other prescription drugs and other controlled substances, as well as heroin, cocaine, cannabis, and many more.
The first stage of the pregabalin addiction treatment process involves detoxing from the drug. This can be unpleasant as you may experience uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. The symptoms you experience can depend on numerous factors – for example, your history of substance abuse, your usual dose, and your height and weight.
Many people choose to undergo pregabalin rehab at an inpatient at a residential facility – however, you may prefer to undergo rehab on an outpatient basis.
Upon detoxing from the drug, you move on to the next stage of treatment – therapy. This stage of the process focuses on your mental health, with the aim to build up your confidence and give you a better understanding of yourself and your addiction. During this stage, you may be offered group therapy sessions and learn effective coping strategies to prevent relapse.
Once you have completed the main bulk of rehab, you truly begin your recovery. Most people benefit from receiving secondary treatment on an outpatient basis.
This can help to ease the transition back into society and aims to prevent relapse. Some examples of secondary treatment include support groups, further counselling sessions, or group therapy with addiction counsellors.
Contact our friendly team today to discuss your treatment options. We have extensive knowledge regarding substance use disorders, addiction risks, and the rehab process, and can discuss your options with you in a judgement-free and friendly manner.