Lyrica addiction is getting more and more common and is very widespread in certain areas of the United Kingdom. Despite being popular in the United States, Pregabalin addiction is not as common in North America but it does exist and as the drug is prescribed more and sought out by more and more recreational users, this addiction is growing.
Is Pregabalin Addictive?
Of course! In fact, there are many people who claim to have a Pregabalin addiction, with many stemming from legitimate prescriptions and from medicinal use that just spiraled out of control.
Like all addictions, pregabalin addiction begins with the user getting used to the drug and the way it makes them feel, before becoming reliant on that feeling. They may feel that they can’t survive without it or that they just function better with it. They begin to take it everyday and can’t imagine a life without it.
Once that regular consumption begins then the tolerance kicks in and they need more and more, after that the Pregabalin addiction has truly taken hold and if they stop then they will experience withdrawal symptoms, as described on our Pregabalin Side Effects and Withdrawal page.
The threat of withdrawals and the sickness they bring is why many people with Pregabalin addiction simply prefer to continue using the drug, essentially choosing their addiction.
What is Pregabalin?
Pregabalin, which goes by the brand name Lyrica, is a drug that was developed as a successor to Gabapentin. It is comely prescribed to treat nerve pain, anxiety and epilepsy, but there are many off-label uses and it is also becoming very popular as a recreational drug, with Lyrica addiction on the rise around the world.
Pregabalin addiction actually seems to be more common in the UK and Ireland, even though the drug was first sold in the US and sees to be prescribed more often over there. There are several reasons for this. The first is that generic Pregabalin is not available in the US and will not be available until 2018 because of patents. In the UK, however, it has been available for awhile, which means cheaper versions of Pregabalin have flooded the market.
Also, the UK has cut back on prescription drugs like Valium and they do not prescribe opiates in the sort of numbers that the US does. As a result, more doctors have been turning to drugs like Pregabalin and more recreational uses and addicts have been acquiring it to supplement addictions and to get high, thus developing Lyrica addictions of their own.
What is Pregabalin Used For?
The main use of Lyrica seems to be neuropathic pain, such as the pain that can be caused by shingles. It is also commonly prescribed to help with anxiety disorders, as well as the mental health disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Off-label uses of Lyrica include lower-back pain, depression, insomnia and more. However, in these cases there are more effective drugs on the market for these conditions, including drugs that don’t produce as many side effects and don’t have as much potential for abuse (Valerian, Melatonin, etc,).
How Does Pregabalin Work?
Just like many drugs, the way that Lyrica works is not fully understood. This may sound worrying and to an extent it is, but it is true of many things. We know how it makes people feel and we know how certain interactions happen, we just don’t fully understood them.
Pregabalin abuse is very widespread in parts of the UK, particularly in Northern Ireland. In these areas it is the main recreational drug of choice and it is even more popular than opiates and drugs like Valium. Abuse of this drug involves taking large amounts to feel a strong sedative effect, leaving the user in a zombie-like state.
This Pregabalin abuse can lead to all kinds of problems, including an increased risk of suicide. This was always thought to be a rare side effect and it has been listed as such for a while. However, cases of suicide are increasing with users of this drug and it may be more common than first thought.
Snorting Pregabalin: Dangerous Habit
Lyrica can be snorted and it has been snorted by those with Pregabalin addiction as a way of getting the drug into their bloodstream quicker. However, this is not advised and it’s really not necessary. It damages the thin membranes in the nose.
The reason the drug gets into the bloodstream in the first place is because this membrane is so thin and the drug easily passes through, so bear this in mind when you are putting all that pressure on it, snorting drugs that gradually eat away at it and damage your noses and sense of smell.
Is Pregabalin a Controlled Substance?
Pregabalin is a prescription drug in most countries, but it is not always controlled. This doesn’t mean that you can order it over-the-counter, but it does mean that you won’t face charges if found in possession of it. It’s a strange law, but it’s also irrelevant as it’s changing. In the UK, it was not controlled for a long time, but changes were brought in after it was discovered that Pregabalin addiction was quite prevalent.
In the United States, Lyrica is a Schedule 5 substance, which means it is considered to have a much lower potential for abuse than other drugs, although this could easily change.
Pregabalin Toxicity / Pregabalin Overdose
The side effects of Lyrica are pronounced when an overdose is taken.
This means that all of the Lyrica side effects we mentioned above will basically be amplified if you take an overdose. At lower level overdoses it will just be incredibly unpleasant, but at higher level doses it may cause serious and even fatal problems.
Lyrica overdoses that result in death are rare, but there are reports in literature of this happening. In fact, as you can see on this Pregabalin overdose fact-sheet, there have been a couple of fatalities recorded in-depth.
Lyrica vs Pregabalin
There is always a little confusion when it comes to generic drugs and their brand name counterparts. With Pregabalin it’s no different. Simply put, both Lyrica and Pregablin are the same thing. There is no real difference between Lyrica and generic Pregabalin. It’s the same compound and the only difference is the brand that appears on the box and the blister packets.
Users still tend to opt for the brand name where possible, but that’s more about the power of advertising than anything else and it’s not because the generic Pregablin is any less potent or any less useful than Lyrica.
Why is the Pregabalin High So Popular?
It’s hard to pin down. The recreational uses of drugs like opiates have always been obvious. They release a lot of feel good chemicals and essentially create feelings that all humans respond to positively. That’s why these drugs are so widespread and why codeine addiction and heroin addiction, as well as everything in between, are so common.
But Lyrica addiction is a different thing altogether. It tends to occur in poverty stricken areas though and is usually the result of overprescribing. So it may simply be a case of there being nothing else available. Drug users will always seek something that provides a stimulating or sedative effect and it seems that many are turning to Lyrica because it’s so easy to get from doctors, even in countries that are typically very strict about prescribing drugs with potential for abuse.
As for the Lyrica high, it does produce a sedative effect and euphoria. It’s not as strong as other drugs, but the effects are there and that’s what users are chasing.
The maximum recommended Lyrica dosage is 100mg three times a day. Therapeutic doses can be much less than this and they can be taken once or twice a day. That’s something that your doctor will work out after assessing your physical health and your needs. They may also recommend that you start with smaller doses and only work your way up to the maximum dose if the smaller doses are not working.
Does Pregabalin Get You High?
In a sense, yes. That’s why Pregabalin addiction is so prevalent after all. The euphoria felt from this drug is not as pronounced as the euphoria felt from other drugs, that’s why the abuse potential is so low. However, it is abused, it is addictive and it does produce effects that are considered to have recreational value.