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Lyrica Abuse

Lyrica, also known as pregabalin, is a prescription medication that has been FDA-approved to treat several conditions. At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we have recognized a steady rise in Lyrica abuse.

Lyrica is in the low-risk category for addiction, but abuse is still possible. With that potential for abuse comes the need for recovery from Lyrica abuse.

What is Lyrica?

The drug was initially approved as an anticonvulsant to treat those who suffer from seizures. The drug was approved due to its ability to effectively reduce the brain impulses responsible for some types of seizures. It was later discovered that Lyrica is an effective choice for treating some types of pain. It impacts the chemicals in the brain that are responsible for sending pain signals throughout the body’s nervous system.

Lyrica to Decrease the Feelings of Pain

Lyrica does not produce the same euphoria feelings with prescription drugs that are known to be highly addictive. It does, however, significantly relax those who take it. Lyrica abuse can occur due to the decrease in feelings of pain, coupled with minor feelings of relaxation that can result in a mild high.

Understanding Lyrica Abuse

There are not many studies documenting a chemical addiction to the drug Lyrica. However, there is the risk of developing a psychological dependence on the drug, particularly if there is a prior history of addiction or perhaps an addictive personality.

Many may wonder: Does Lyrica feel like opiate abuse? The truth is that, while the feelings of euphoria felt when abusing opiates are not quite there with Lyrica abuse, the drug does produce the relaxed feelings associated with some drugs, like valium.

Of greater concern to our team at Resurgence Behavioral Health is that those who abuse Lyrica may want to move onto a stronger drug. Consequently, that drug could be a highly addictive prescription opiate.

You may be wondering how the drug is consumed and question if people snort Lyrica. Most will likely take the drug in pill form, but some addicts may attempt to snort the drug for a faster effect.

Snorting Lyrica is incredibly dangerous, as it can cause permanent damage to the thin nasal membranes. It can also have a marked impact on your sense of smell, with the permanent loss of smell being a possibility. There are some known side effects of taking the drug periodically, but they are typically not severe enough to discourage Lyrica abuse. Some of these side effects may include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Being unsteady on your feet
  • Twitching and pain in muscles
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Swelling in the extremities
  • Stomach upset
  • Suicidal ideation

The impact of taking the drug long-term can be much worse than the occasional use to control pain.

Lyrica Abuse Effects

When Lyrica is used for long periods, it can become addictive. There are several concerns that those who abuse Lyrica should take into consideration. These concerns could become serious if they are not addressed in a rehabilitation and recovery setting.

One concern is a change in mood and behavior that includes withdrawing from relationships or activities that once brought happiness. Those living with Lyrica abuse may also become aggressive, have manic episodes, and potentially see the introduction or worsening of panic attacks.

There is also the potential for a decrease in fertility in men who abuse the drug. Women who are pregnant and abusing Lyrica may find that their unborn baby is at a much higher risk for certain types of congenital disabilities.

There may be a lower risk of addiction to Lyrica, but it is still possible to see an addiction develop. Those who take Lyrica recreationally have noted that they build up a tolerance quickly to the feelings of relaxation experienced from the drug. Quick tolerance can lead to a doubling or tripling of the prescribed dosage.

It might also mean that those addicted to Lyrica start to seek a better high, perhaps from stronger prescription drugs. Or perhaps from an illegal drug. Teenagers are, in particular, at high risk for abusing Lyrica. As a result, teenagers are at an increased risk of developing an addiction to other drugs that result in a stronger high.

Mental Illness and Lyrica Abuse

In general, there is a strong connection between mental illness and drug addiction. Lyrica is not intended for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder in the United States. However, it is prescribed for the treatment of anxiety across Europe. This is because the mild feelings of relaxation that the drug can inspire can relieve panic and anxiety attacks.

That said, the same drug is known to lead to an acceleration in panic attacks in some individuals. Another concern is that those who may have an addictive personality or a history of mental illness and addiction could be more likely to abuse the drug.

Those on medications to treat other mental health issues might be at an increased risk of experiencing serious side effects such as visual hallucinations. If a patient is already struggling with depressive episodes and other mental illness, they may be at an increased risk of worsening their symptoms. Perhaps even experience suicidal thoughts.

At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we encourage patients to disclose their full medical and mental health history. This encouragement allows for a customized treatment plan that takes previous concerns into account.

Treatment for Lyrica Abuse

The treatment for Lyrica abuse will typically begin with the detox phase of withdrawal. It is generally recommended that the addicted individual checks into a residential treatment facility to detox from the drug safely and effectively.

According to data released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction treatment efficiency can be boosted, contingent on the length of treatment. The majority of individuals require a minimum of 90 days of treatment to see lasting positive results.

With that, it’s important to note that the process of treating addictions is incredibly individualized. Results will, of course, vary greatly based upon factors unique to the individual.

 A recovery program for Lyrica abuse may include some of the following:

  • Education programs defining the disease of addiction and chemical and psychological dependency
  • Education programs about the prevention of relapse
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Specialized therapy, to include art, music, and comforting pet therapy
  • Development of life skills and offered resources
  • Balanced and nutritious meals to help with the restoration of physical health
  • Programs to help restore family relationships
  • Individual, group, and family counseling

The goal of any recovery program will be to treat the patient as a whole and not just the addiction. Holistic treatment can mean that other comorbid conditions are also addressed, including physical and mental health concerns.

Addiction Treatment At Resurgence Behavioral Health

At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we recognize just how important it is to get the right type of support during detox and recovery from Lyrica abuse. Our team includes professionals who will offer you the comprehensive recovery that you need to promote long-term sobriety.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.