GABApentin, also known as Neurontin, is a medication being prescribed to treat alcoholism by improving mood and staving off cravings. GABA is not a revolutionary discovery. The human brain naturally produces gaba-based neurotransmitters within the brain. GABA doesn’t require a prescription, either. For alternative forms of GABA, supplements can be found in natural or health food stores- even available in a flavorful chew.
GABA is gamma-aminobutyric acid. As a neurotransmitter, GABA lives in the cortex. Along with mood, GABA participates in brain functions like motor control and regulating anxiety. Alcohol, even in small servings, impairs motor functioning, executive decision making, and judgment. Long term alcohol abuse damages GABA neurotransmitters and receptors. GABApentin increases production of GABA neurotransmitters while also repairing GABA receptors. For essential functions of the body, GABApentin helps rebuild otherwise broken systems. Additionally, GABApentin helps with mood regulating which can contribute to a reduction in the intensity of cravings.
Does GABApentin cause dependency?
GABApentin should not be categorized with MAT, medication assisted treatment, medications like Suboxone. GABApentin works naturally with the brain without providing any alcohol related substances to the body. Medications like suboxone and methadone have traces of morphine and other opioid based compounds to keep the body from going into total withdrawal. However, overtime, the body can become reliant on GABApentin for helping it to function normally. Withdrawal symptoms typically only occur when the drug is stopped being taken abruptly after regular use. Symptoms can include: sleep difficulties, sweating, irritability, anxiety and nausea.
How long do I need to take GABApentin?
Being prescribed GABApentin in treatment does not indicate necessity for lifelong use. For the initial treatment period, however, GABApentin can be a practical supplement, supporting recovery efforts in therapy sessions, lectures, and other activities. After some time if you feel you are able to function on your own and don’t notice an impact from the medication any longer, you can begin to wean off the drug. Work with your psychiatrist or physician to slowly taper off GABApentin as you advance in your treatment program.
Aurora Recovery Centre supports medication assisted detox and medication management for recovery. Our treatment center for men and women provides holistic healing for alcoholism, focusing on the therapeutic redevelopment of mind, body, and spirit. For more information on our various treatment programs including residential inpatient, call 1-844-515-STOP.