Gabapentin High – Why Gabapentin Recreational Use is Exploding

In an urban environment with modern responsibilities there is much to be anxious about. Although billions of dollars are spent on alcohol, marijuana, and other recreational anxiety relieving substances, there are nootropics and smart drugs with similar effects.

The gabapentin high is a sensation many people experience when taking the prescription drug, gabapentin. This alternative to alcohol and marijuana is used off-label to treat symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, and even bipolar disorder [1].

Even though gabapentin recreational use is exploding, there are significant risks. The drug is not fully understood and some of the side effects are dangerous. Read until the end and we’ll show you why to avoid gabapentin and a few alternatives.


What is Gabapentin?

Gabapentin is a synthetic drug approved for use in the United States as early as 1993 for restless leg syndrome, hot flashes, epilepsy, and neuropathic pain [2]. Many of these patients experienced positive results with the drug (around 14%), but the recreational use has gained more popularity [3].

The gabapentin high refers to a sensation of happiness, reduced anxiety, and pain management. This is all being done off-label (not what the prescription drug was meant for), but hundreds of thousands of people are searching for and using gabapentin in this way.

Gabapentin is still a prescription drug in the United States, which means recreational use of gabapentin is considered illegal.

Neurontin High

For many people entering the world of nootropics and understanding these drugs, the various names can get confusing. Neurontin is the brand name for gabapentin within the United States. If you see information regarding the neurontin high or you become interested in the benefits, it is the same drug as gabapentin, but a different name.

Gabapentin Recreational Use

The off-label illegal use of the drug isn’t stopping many people. According to the National Institute of Health, recreational use of gabapentin is on the rise.

There are nearly 420,000 people searching for gabapentin high or seeking the recreational uses for this drug every month [4]. The number one use case in the nootropic and smart drug community is to treat anxiety or mood disorders. The gabapentin high includes:

  • Euphoria (characterized by extreme bliss)
  • Enhanced social skills
  • Sedative / opiate like buzz without a comedown
  • State of relaxation

The drug is also used as a sleep enhancer for some community members. One person claimed:

“I've always felt pretty drained on a day-to-day basis, but recently I tried taking gabapentin about 4-5 hours before I went to sleep and woke up feeling amazing, and the feeling persisted throughout the day. I've repeated the experience too…” [5]

The Reddit experimenter cited a 2010 study in Clinical Neuropharmacology, which showed gabapentin could increase sleep efficiency, slow-wave sleep, and decreased wake after sleep onset [6], which are all symptoms of insomnia.

Despite some theoretical use for improving sleep quality, the risks seem to too high.

gabapentin drug

Gabapentin Side Effects: Horror Stories

Briefly perusing Reddit or other nootropic communities paints a scary picture for the gabapentin high or recreational use of the drug. According to most users, the side effects of gabapentin are withdrawals, headaches, illness, and long term neurological damage. One writer shared:

The worst of the symptoms includes massive headaches, random breath-holding spells (I never realize I've stopped breathing until I start to feel faint), spine feeling totally mangled (like it's anything but a straight line), and the absolute inability to sleep without taking gabapentin (I just enter a twilight-like state of dulled consciousness, never fully engaging past alpha wave sleep)...” [6]

Most of the speculation amongst members of the Reddit community don’t consider gabapentin a nootropic at all. In fact, one user says gabapentin causes impairment of short term memory while others suggest it prevents formation of new synapses [7]. A final community member confirmed that gabapentin decreases neuron firing and cognition over time.

There are some with positive effects from the gabapentin high, but most people within a community of experimenters suggest avoiding at all costs.

Phenibut vs. Gabapentin

There is a correlation between the phenibut high and gabapentin high. Both of these drugs are GABAergic, which means they interact with the GABA system, which modulates mood and anxiety.

Some people found gabapentin was useful for avoiding phenibut withdrawal symptoms while other users found the reverse was true (phenibut during gabapentin withdrawals). In most cases, the effects of prolonged phenibut or gabapentin recreational use seems to be disastrous.

As we have said in the past, we neither recommend nor encourage readers to use either of these two drugs for anxiety, insomnia, or other purposes. Phenibut may seem mainstream, but it is still not safe.

Our Recommendation

The unfortunate truth is that the gabapentin high is not a safe experience free from side effects. As helpful in the short term as this drug might seem, the long term effects are overwhelming unhealthy and dangerous.

Even though phenibut is more widespread than gabapentin, we do not recommend using phenibut either. Instead, we recommend finding a more natural solution for reducing anxiety and enhancing sleep quality.

We recommend either ashwagandha, which is a natural Ayurvedic herb used for treatment of anxiety and improving sleep, or kava kava that has similar effects.

References (Click to Expand)
  1. Stephen V. Sobel. Successful Psychopharmacology: Evidence-Based Treatment Solutions for Achieving Remission. W. W. Norton. p. 124
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  4. Via the number of monthly searches in Google.
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