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Can You Snort Gabapentin?

Gabapentin is increasingly being used as an intoxicating agent, and gabapentin abuse is on the rise. Read more about the risks of snorting Gabapentin, & treatment options for you or your loved ones struggling with Gabapentin addiction.

Can You Snort Gabapentin (Neurontin)?

Can you sniff gabapentin? Gabapentin can have serious adverse effects, especially if someone takes too much, snorts it, or mixes it with other drugs. Unfortunately, recent reports have shown a rise in gabapentin abuse. Drugs can be harmful to your health if you snort them. The cumulative irritation of the external nares (nostrils), nasal passageways, and sinus structures in drug users who often snort substances like gabapentin can result in many negative effects, such as:

  • Perforation of the nasal septum
  • Irritation of the nasal mucosa
  • Sinusitis
  • Nose bleeds
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Problems swallowing
  • Hoarseness

Why Do People Snort Gabapentin?

If you take a medicine such as gabapentin in a way that is different from what the doctor prescribed, it is called prescription drug abuse. It could be:

  • Taking a medicine that was prescribed for someone else
  • Taking a larger dose than you are supposed to
  • Taking medicine in a different way than you are supposed to. This might be crushing tablets and then snorting gabapentin or injecting them
  • Using the medicine for another purpose, such as getting high

Misusing prescription drugs, such as snorting gabapentin, can lead to addiction. These include opioid addiction, sedatives, tranquilizers, and stimulants. [3] Every medicine has some risk of side effects. Doctors take this into account when prescribing drugs. People who misuse these drugs may not understand the risks, especially those who smoke prescription drugs or when people snort them, such as when some users snort gabapentin.

What Is Gabapentin Used For?

Drugs, including ecstasy, cocaine, heroin, and amphetamines, are snorted by certain people. Drugs enter the circulation through the nose’s stomach and mucous membranes. Within 15 minutes of snorting their pills, users will start to feel the effects of the narcotics. But did you know that people with drug use disorders snort gabapentin and other prescription drugs? If you think you or someone you know has a problem, seek help immediately. It is also better to understand the purpose of the drug they abuse and get the proper treatment to meet their specific needs.

Gabapentin capsules, tablets, and oral solutions are used along with other medications to help control certain types of seizures in people with epilepsy. The following are the main uses of the drug:

  • Gabapentin capsules, tablets, and oral solutions are also used to relieve the pain of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) (the burning, stabbing pain or aches that may last for months or years after an attack of shingles)
  • Gabapentin extended-release tablets (Horizant) are used to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS) (a condition that causes discomfort in the legs and a strong urge to move the legs, especially at night and when sitting or lying down)
  • Gabapentin is an anti-epileptic agent that has shown preliminary evidence of efficacy for improving symptoms of cocaine addiction and alcohol withdrawal in pilot studies. Since the neurobiology of alcohol, cocaine, and nicotine withdrawal is similar, the efficacy of gabapentin for symptoms of alcohol and cocaine withdrawal suggests that gabapentin might likely help nicotine withdrawal symptoms and thus tobacco abstinence [1]
Can you snort Gabapentin? Though gabapentin might be a prescription drug, it is often abused and used recreationally.
Can you snort Gabapentin? Though gabapentin might be a prescription drug, it is often abused and used recreationally.

Gabapentin is available as both a brand name product and a generic product (chemically the same, usually lower cost than the brand name product). Brand names of gabapentin include Horizant®, Gralise®, and Neurontin®

Gabapentin is in a class of medications called anticonvulsants. [2] Gabapentin treats seizures by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain. Gabapentin relieves PHN’s pain by changing how the body senses pain. It is not known exactly how gabapentin works to treat restless legs syndrome. Can gabapentin be snorted? or can you sniff gabapentin? Yes, but beware of this type of consumption as it is a significant sign of developing an addiction to the drug. Another important symptom of abuse is when people snort gabapentin.

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Gabapentin (Neurontin) Drug Facts

What is Gabapentine?

Gabapentin is an anticonvulsive medication which first discovered in the 1970s. It received FDA approval in 1993 and has been available generically in the USA since 2004. Its original use was as a muscle relaxer and anti-spasmodic medication, but later its potential as anticonvulsive medication and as an adjunct to more potent anticonvulsants came to light. Currently, gabapentin has FDA approval for:

  • Postherpetic neuralgia
  • Adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial seizures with or without secondary generalization in patients over the age of 12 years old with epilepsy, and the pediatric population, 3 to 12-year-olds with a partial seizure
  • Moderate to severe restless leg syndrome (RLS) moderate to severe

It also has an off-label use for neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, bipolar disorder, postmenopausal hot flashes, essential tremors, anxiety, resistant depressant and mood disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), alcohol withdrawal, postoperative analgesia, nausea and vomiting, migraine prophylaxis, headache, interstitial cystitis, painful diabetic neuropathy, social phobia, generalized tonic-clonic seizures, pruritus (itching), insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and refractory chronic cough.

Gabapentine Toxicity

medication, and is considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a substitute for opiates for chronic pain. However, there are growing concerns about its potential for misuse. Several US states have moved gabapentin to the Schedule V controlled substance category.

Gabapentin does not have a high risk of an overdose but can increase the euphoria caused by opioids and reduce drug withdrawals. An Australian study examined fatal gabapentinoid-related poisoning and discovered that concomitant other drug use to be almost universal in such cases. Furthermore, gabapentin can bypass the blocking effects of addiction treatment medications, and unfortunately, does not show up in urine drug tests.

Gabapentin Drug Fact Sheet Made Publicly Available by the DEA

Gabapentin Abuse Statistics

Prevalence of gabapentin misuse in the general population was reported to be 1%, 40– 65% among individuals with prescriptions, and between 15–22% within populations of people who abuse opioids. An array of subjective experiences reminiscent of opioids, benzodiazepines, and psychedelics were reported over a range of doses, including those within clinical recommendations. Gabapentin was primarily misused for recreational purposes, self-medication, or intentional self-harm and was misused alone or in combination with other substances, especially opioids, benzodiazepines, and/or alcohol. Individuals with histories of drug abuse were most often involved in its misuse.


Neuropathic pain affects up to 8% of the population, causing significant distress and morbidity. Gabapentin is one of the recommended mainstays of evidence-based treatment.

Source: NCBI


The prevalence of gabapentin abuse in the general population was reported to be 1%,

Source: SAMHSA


65% among individuals with prescriptions, and between 15–22% within populations of people
who abuses opioids also abuses gabapentin

Source: SAMHSA

What Happens If You Snort Gabapentin?

As with any prescribed medication, it is possible to develop an addiction to gabapentin. Unfortunately, if the medication is snorted (gabapentin snorted) or used in greater dosages than recommended, it may cause major adverse effects. Due to a quicker onset of effects and a stronger high, snorting drugs often increases the risk of addiction.

Drug addiction or substance use disorder is a progressive disease. People with addiction need treatment to stop taking drugs. Drug addiction treatment is not a quick and easy process. The longer and more intense the drug use, the longer and more intense the treatment you’ll need. And in all cases, long-term follow-up care is crucial to recovery. Fortunately, there are many places to turn to for help.

What happens when you snort gabapentin? Some of the most severe dangers of snorting gabapentin include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Perforation of the nasal septum
  • Withdrawal seizures
  • Respiratory depression
  • Risk of overdose

What happens if you snort gabapentin? Snorting gabapentin also generally leads to an increased risk of addiction due to a faster onset of effects and a more intense high. In addition to the dangers listed, gabapentin can lead to additional moderate to severe side effects, even when taken as prescribed or after it’s only taken once.

Side effects associated with gabapentin may include:

  • Suicidal behavior and ideation
  • Respiratory depression
  • Withdrawal symptoms, including seizures
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the lips, throat, and tongue
  • Central nervous system depression (sedation)
  • Dizziness
  • Tumorigenic potential (may form tumors)
  • Sudden death in patients with epilepsy

Abusing gabapentin, including snorting it, can increase the risk of these adverse reactions. This is also true if a person mixes gabapentin with other drugs like alcohol or opioids.

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Snorting Gabapentin Effects

One case study described individuals’ gabapentin snorting from capsules and experiencing a high similar to that felt after snorting cocaine. Another commonly reported sensation from gabapentin misuse was sedation/relaxation/calmness. Snorting gabapentin is one example of misusing recreational and prescription drugs. The drug is typically ground into powder by chopping it finely with a razor blade on a hard surface. It may then be divided into “lines,” and a straw or rolled paper may be used to inhale the drug into the nasal passages. 

Searched for “Can I snort gabapentin?” For some drugs, snorting gabapentin is the preferred method for misuse. But the short- and long-term effects can lead to significant damage. The physical harm of snorting gabapentin manifests in several ways. Signs to look for include:

  • Runny nose
  • Frequent cold/allergy signs
  • Chronic sinus/nasal problems
  • Nosebleeds
  • Sores on mouth or nose
  • Problems swallowing and breathing

Moreover, someone snorting gabapentin may possess paraphernalia, such as razor blades, tiny spoons, straws, and small mirrors.

How Much Gabapentin Do You Snort To Get High?

What happens if you snort gabapentin? As with euphoria from snorted gabapentin, sedation/relaxation/calmness can also be experienced in combination with other substances (e.g., quetiapine, alcohol, cannabis, buprenorphine/naloxone) or by taking gabapentin alone, and over a range of dosages (e.g., 600–4800 mg). Other effects experienced included: improved sociability, marijuana-like “high,” cocaine-like “high,” “amphetamine rush,” disassociation, MDMA-like “high,” increased energy and focus, improved quality of sleep, and becoming more talkative. [4]

Signs Of Gabapentin Abuse & Addiction

In 2004, gabapentin was prescribed over 18 million times. As of 2019, the number of prescriptions for this drug has increased to over 45 million. Gabapentin is primarily used to treat epilepsy, neuropathic pain, hot flashes, and restless legs syndrome. [5]

A gabapentin overdose is possible. However, this possibility is shocking because, since its creation in the 1980s, gabapentin has been widely believed to be relatively harmless with no danger of misuse. This anti-seizure medication has begun to draw national attention as alarming trends show rising abuse and directly-related fatalities.

Most gabapentin fatalities are caused by its use in conjunction with another drug. However, that’s not to say this drug doesn’t have the potential to be dangerous. In cases where gabapentin was the direct cause of death, blood concentrations of this medication ranged from 1.1 to 134 mg/L. The FDA has reported gabapentin overdoses of individuals who ingested 49 grams of the medication. Unfortunately, there have only been a handful of studies surrounding gabapentin toxicity, so the amount of gabapentin it takes to overdose or causes a fatality has yet to be determined. [6]

Can you snort gabapentin? Although it's different from drugs of abuse, like benzos and opioids, gabapentin is known to produce withdrawal symptoms and is psychoactive.
Can you snort gabapentin? Although it’s different from drugs of abuse, like benzos and opioids, gabapentin is known to produce withdrawal symptoms and is psychoactive.

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There is no known medication to reverse the effects of a gabapentin overdose. Can you snort gabapentin? Yes, however, while some of the side effects can be mild, oxygen deprivation and seizures can be deadly and cause irreversible damage. However, the best way to prevent an overdose is to curb abuse – of either this medication or another drug – in the first place.

In case of emergency/overdose:

If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include the following:

  • Double vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhea

Is Gabapentin Addictive? Snorting Gabapentin Effects

Can you snort gabapentin? Yes, when you’re addicted to it. Unfortunately, numerous documented cases of gabapentin abuse, dependence, and withdrawal have been recorded. Even though gabapentin is sometimes considered an option for alcohol treatment and substance abuse, it is important to monitor drug-seeking behaviors. A history of alcohol or substance abuse appears to be an important part of a patient’s medical history when evaluating their risk for addiction and dependence. Healthcare providers need to be aware of this risk in their patients and monitor them for signs of abuse and dependence along with withdrawal symptoms. [7]

Can You Get Addicted To Gabapentin?

Gabapentin, a gamma-aminobutyric acid analog drug, appears safe and efficacious for treating alcohol dependence. Gabapentin is not a controlled drug, but there are anecdotal reports of its misuse and abuse and reports of withdrawal symptoms associated with abrupt discontinuation. The risk of gabapentin misuse is inconsistent, the magnitude is small, and the risk is not comparable to the much higher risks associated with alcohol use, benzodiazepine addiction, opioid addiction, stimulant drug use, or illicit drug use. Reports of gabapentin misuse are not unique to this drug, as misuse of prescription medications not typically considered “drugs of abuse” can also occur. [8]

Can you snort gabapentin? who does this? Prevalence of gabapentin misuse in the general population was reported to be 1%, 40-65% among individuals with prescriptions, and between 15 and 22% within populations of people who abuse opioids. An array of subjective experiences reminiscent of opioids, benzodiazepines, and psychedelics were reported over various doses, including those within clinical recommendations. Gabapentin was misused primarily for recreational purposes, self-medication, or intentional self-harm and was misused alone or in combination with other substances, especially opioids, benzodiazepines, and alcohol. Individuals with histories of drug abuse were most often involved in its misuse.

Epidemiological and case report evidence suggests that the anti-epileptic and analgesic medication gabapentin is being misused internationally, with substance abuse populations at special risk for misuse/abuse.

How can you determine someone has already developed substance abuse to a certain drug? Can gabapentin be smoked to abuse the drug?

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Substance use disorders are defined as a pattern of use that results in marked distress and impairment, with two or more of the following symptoms throughout 12 months:

  1. Using the substance in larger amounts or over a longer period than intended
  2. Unsuccessful attempts or a persistent desire to reduce the use
  3. Too much time is spent on obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects of the substance
  4. A strong craving for the substance
  5. Significant interference with roles at work, school, or home
  6. Continued use despite recurrent social or interpersonal consequences
  7. Reducing or giving up important social, occupational, or recreational activities because of the substance use
  8. Substance use in situations in which it may be physically hazardous
  9. Substance use despite recurrent or persistent physical or psychological consequences
  10. Tolerance of the substance
  11. Withdrawal from the substance [9]

Treatment For Gabapentin Abuse & Addiction

Someone with an addiction to gabapentin and mental health disorders must treat both conditions. For the treatment to be effective, you need to stop using alcohol or drugs. Treatments may include behavioral therapies and medications. Also, support groups can give you emotional and social support. They are also a place where people can share tips about how to deal with day-to-day challenges.

Although these problems often occur together, this does not mean that one caused the other, even if one appeared first. It can be hard to figure out which came first. Researchers think that there are three possibilities as to why they occur together:

  • Common risk factors may contribute to both mental disorders and substance use disorders. These factors include genetics, stress, and trauma.
  • Mental disorders can contribute to drug use and substance use disorders. For example, people with mental disorders may temporarily use drugs or alcohol to feel better. This is known as self-medication. Also, mental disorders may change the brain to make it more likely you will become addicted.
  • Substance use and addiction can contribute to the development of a mental disorder. Substance use may change the brain in ways that make you more likely to develop a mental illness.

A good dual diagnosis treatment program and drug addiction therapy facility need to be able to treat both conditions without treating one as the sole cause of the other. Addiction is a complicated disease, and no one thing is to blame for it. There are various options available to handle drug addiction therapy.

Self destructive behavior is a way for us to “deal” with hardships in our life by making things worse. You've done nothing if you got rid of one bad habit to replace it with another one.
Self destructive behavior is a way for us to “deal” with hardships in our life by making things worse. You’ve done nothing if you got rid of one bad habit to replace it with another one.

Receive treatment for co-occurring disorders today.

As the addiction treatment community realizes that addiction is a mental disorder, the relationship between mental health and addiction disorders becomes more complicated. The greater treatment community largely lacks a proper understanding of dually diagnosed conditions, so these conditions are still treated separately or worse–not treated or diagnosed. Dual diagnosis treatment centers in We Level Up, Florida, California, Texas, Washington, and New Jersey are some facilities that have professionals trained to help treat co-occurring disorders concurrently. This type of tandem treatment provides some of the best success rates.

Get dual diagnosis treatment for individuals suffering from gabapentin drug addiction and mental health issues. Call us today! Searched for “Can you snort gabapentin?” or are you looking for help to aid a loved one struggling with this drug abuse? Contact our addiction specialist to discuss further details and treatment options for you. Each call is private and confidential.

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Search We Level Up “Can You Snort Gabapentin?Topics & Resources

[1] Gabapentin for Smoking Cessation –
[2] Gabapentin – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health
[3] Prescription Drug MisuseU.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health
[4] Gabapentin misuse, abuse, and diversion: A systematic review – National Center for Biotechnology Information
[5] The number of gabapentin prescriptions in the U.S. from 2004 to 2019 –,increased%20to%20over%2045%20million
[6] Is A Gabapentin Overdose Possible? by Level Up Lake Worth
[7] Gabapentin: Abuse, Dependence, and Withdrawal – National Center for Biotechnology Information
[8] Gabapentin: can it be misused? – National Center for Biotechnology Information
[9] Adapted from American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5®). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2013.
[10] Vickers Smith R, Boland EM, Young AM, Lofwall MR, Quiroz A, Staton M, Havens JR. A qualitative analysis of gabapentin misuse and diversion among people who use drugs in Appalachian Kentucky. Psychol Addict Behav. 2018 Feb;32(1):115-121. doi: 10.1037/adb0000337. Epub 2017 Dec 14. PMID: 29239621; A Qualitative Analysis of Gabapentin Misuse and Diversion among People who Use Drugs in Appalachian Kentucky – PMC (

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