Gabapentin Addiction Treatment

A complete guide to Gabapentin addiction treatment. Learn what happens in rehab and how to get started with treatment here. More about what to expect, with a section at the end for your questions.

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ARTICLE SUMMARY:  If you’ve tried to quit Gabapentin but failed, medical treatment may be the best option for you. More here on what you can expect from a quality rehab and how addiction is treated medically.



Understanding Addiction

Addiction can lead you to darkness. In the grips of addiction, people are capable of doing things they would never normally do. In fact, it is quite common for people who are struggling with a drug problem to face:

  • Legal problems, especially regarding child custody.
  • Health problems because you ignore your basic needs.
  • Relationship problems such as separation, bitterness, and loneliness.
  • Financial issues of bankruptcy, theft, or incredible debt.

So, what causes addiction?

Experts at the NIAAA believe that genetics make up an estimated 50% of the risk for alcohol or drug addictions. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has reported similar research findings. Still, not all people who use Gabapentin will become addicted, dependent, or even use the medication regularly.

Ultimately, addiction is influenced by many factors, including:

  • A person’s environment.
  • A person’s individual physical response to drugs.
  • The parents you grew up with.
  • Social and culture expectations of drug use.

No matter how far down you think you’ve fallen, help is just a phone call away. In fact, addiction is a medical condition, one that is treatable with professional help. While few addicts can overcome it alone – without help – rehab programs can offer the help you need.

Types of Treatment

Despite the addictive nature of Gabapentin, recovery from addiction is possible with professional help. We believe that there is a treatment option for everyone! The type you choose will depend on your personal needs, co-occurring diagnoses, co-occurring addictions, financial resources, and personal preference. There are two main clinical models used to treat addiction: inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment.

OPTION 1: Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient treatment models are typically full-time, monitored, and comprehensive. Clients stay on site to avoid potential outside stressors that may hinder recovery. Inpatient care generally offers a more intensive treatment regime for those with long-term or more severe addictions or for people who have tried quitting Gabapentin on their own, but cannot. Inpatient rehab also includes the cost of accommodations and meals.

OPTION 2: Outpatient Rehab.

In outpatient treatment models, clients attend a variety of sessions, meetings, and workshops each day and then return home at night. These programs generally high motivation and require a tight support network focused on treatment and recovery. These types of programs require your own transportation to and from the clinic and can often be planned in evening or weekend hours.

How Long?

In terms of ideal length of stay, there is no exact timeline specified for the “best” term of addiction treatment. Again, care needs and recovery are highly individual. Still, many people benefit from at least 30 days of residential rehab, followed by at least a year of continued care. People with more severe cases of dependence or needing additional support are encouraged to stay 60-90+ days in rehab. Others people choose longer term residential care for 6-9 months.


Main therapies incorporated in treatment plans are based on psychotherapy and/or behavioral therapy. These types of guided therapies are applied by licensed clinical professionals such as counselors, therapists, and sometimes even psychiatrists. The main goal of psychotherapy in addiction treatment is to identify the principle underlying reasons for using drugs (what problems does the drug fix?) … and then offer alternative coping mechanisms.

The most common psychotherapies used by reputable rehabs can include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dual Diagnosis Treatment
  • Educational Sessions
  • Family and/or Couples Therapy
  • Medication Maintenance Therapy
  • Motivational Interviewing

In the end, what makes treatment work best for YOU is finding a program that can be tailored and customized to your unique needs for care.

Medical Detox

Treating addiction means resolving a number of physical and psychological issues that have arisen as a result of Gabapentin use. But first, you need to have the drug out of your system completely. This is why the first step of treating addiction is typically a stay in medical detox under the supervision of medical experts.


It is possible to become physically dependent on Gabapentin even when using it only as prescribed. In fact, drug dependence and even tolerance can develop after long-term use. This is why medical detox is recommended for people who have been using Gabapentin chronically, for a long period of time of six months or more, and for those who have developed addiction.

Many people stay on Gabapentin due to the fear of painful and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms occur when you stop using Gabapentin. They are the body’s response as a result of physically dependence.

Physical withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • anxiety
  • difficulty sleeping
  • depression
  • mood swings
  • nausea
  • pain
  • sweating
  • suicidal thoughts

… can last weeks or even months.

Don’t let the fear of withdrawal prolong your addiction. Seeking drug detox is an important step in the recovery process. Detox staff can provide you with the medications, counsel, and support that you need to clear your body of the drug. While addiction recovery starts with a detox program, it doesn’t end there. Detox is only the first step of addiction recovery. Then, a stay in rehab can be help you learn new ways to live without drugs.

The main objective of any rehab is to help patients achieve and maintain sobriety.

What Goes on in Rehab?

Rehab is a bit like adult education meets overnight camp. Programs vary in intensity, offerings, and daily routine. However, most rehabs will offer all of the following:

REHAB TREATMENT 1: Individual Therapy 

This is probably the most commonly used modality for exploring and overcoming the underlying issues behind addiction, particularly those related to attachment and trauma. There is no particular modality which is known to work best, but Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing techniques can be particularly beneficial for managing negative thinking patterns and relapse prevention work. Attachment issues are often best addressed through psychotherapy. You can find a therapist at:

REHAB TREATMENT 2: Group Therapy 

Most addiction therapists push the importance of group work during rehab, as well. Although most people fear by the thought of joining a group, it can be the most effective way of reducing shame. People constantly struggle with shame, guilt, remorse and a round of other negative emotions when it comes to drug use…when, in fact, deep down we’re truly kind, loving respectable, and responsible people. Seeing that other people also struggle with the same issues can help you understand that addiction does not define your personality. It helps you break through shame and isolation.

Rehab begins the tradition of talking out loud in a group … that you can then take with you into 12 step or peer support group attendance You can find a local support group at or online via groups like SMART Recovery, S.O.S. Sobriety, or a community program in your area.

REHAB TREATMENT 3: Education on the disease model

The lack of accurate information about the dangers of substance use keep us in a loop. The educational sessions about the effects of drug use consists of classes about drugs and the brain. The idea is to give people accurate, biological information about drugs so that we can make better decisions and healthier choices.

If you are dealing with an addiction in your family, there is a way you can help your loved one find the road to recovery.

How To Help Someone

According to the non-profit, Facing Addiction, an estimated one on three American families are affected at some level by this disease. Gabapentin users can be students, professors, attorneys, employees, sons, daughters, spouses, mothers and fathers. Addiction is an equal-opportunity destroyer.

So, what can you do?

Firstly, seek professional help. Simply, friends and family members of addicts usually lack objectivity because they are too closely engaged with the problem. Plus, they lack expertise. Addiction is a medical condition which is best managed by professionals (doctors, counselors, psychiatrists) in a controlled and drug free inpatient environment.

Second, get education. Education about the effects, mode of action and addiction signs of gabapentin is another good starting point in the attempt to help your addicted loved one. Learning how to talk to your kids about drug addiction and how to talk to your family about addiction recovery is key.For any questions, support and recovery opportunities you can also call our helpline to find out more about addiction treatment services.

After these steps, staging an intervention with the help of an interventionist can be life changing. During the intervention, you’ll be asked to address how addiction has affected you.  NOTE HERE: Don’t expect an answer or commitment right away. Motivation varies.

Lastly, set clear boundaries and avoid enabling or supporting a person in active addiction. Drug abuse is compulsive in nature; it literally makes people obsessive about their next dose. Make sure you let your loved one know which behaviors you will not tolerate. Be aware of emotional blackmail as well. Addicts often use loved ones emotional vulnerability and will try whatever methods they can to get to their next dose.

Encourage family members, loved ones, or friends of an addict to seek help TODAY. No need for hitting rock bottom before you can intervene and support someone on the road to recovery.

The Long-Term Plan

Have you recently finished your treatment program? Congratulations! Successful completion of a treatment program is a huge step. But the work does not end here. Living without mind-altering substances requires constant work.

Ongoing support in the form of  individual and/or group therapy, alumni groups, or support group attendance can help keep you away from the “danger zone”. But you’d do best to focus on relapse prevention. Here are some novel ideas and strategies currently in use.

1. Relapse prevention strategies.

A trigger is any thought, feeling, or sensation that generates the desire to act out. After rehab, you’ll be reminded of the emotional and environmental (people places and events) triggers that can threaten relapse. Once you master identifying triggers you will know how to minimize their impact on you.

2. Managing unavoidable triggers using the RUN technique

Remove yourself immediately from the situation.
Undistort your thinking. Do not put yourself in a position to tell “one more lie”.
Never forget what you have to lose. You made the decision to stop being a gabapentin addict because it was ruining your life and that fact has not changed.

This technique can be literary translated as “get out of the situation”, whether that means leaving the house, hotel, party or wherever a threat is present. Learning to RUN is one of the most important relapse prevention techniques in aftercare.

3. Developing a healthy lifestyle includes learning how to:

  • Be physically healthy (improving sleep quality, exercise, diet).
  • Become emotionally intelligent.
  • Develop assertiveness and a healthy self-esteem.
  • Establish a healthy balanced life and relationships with friends and family.

Because addiction can quickly become part of any person’s lifestyle aftercare activities make sure that the newly reached sobriety remains a long term goal.

Does Treatment Work?

Yes. Treatment works for those who are passionate and motivated to end the repeated cycle of addiction. You can indeed recover … if you’re determined to leave old habits behind.

Recovery requires a lot of hard work on your part but once you start the process, you’ll see it’s worth the effort. Everyone deserves to have a better life. Choosing recovery can help you get to a better place, one that does not involve addictive lifestyle.

Your Questions

Have any questions for us? We’d love to hear from you. We invite your question in the comments section at the end.

Getting an addiction under control can help you live the life you deserve. Why not start today?

Reference Sources: NCBI: Misuse and abuse of pregabalin and gabapentin: cause for concern?
NIH: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction
NIH: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)
SAMHSA: Treatments for Substance Use Disorders
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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