Gabapentin is a drug that’s commonly prescribed as a treatment for seizures and anxiety. Other times, it is prescribed to patients with alcohol withdrawal, restless legs syndrome, insomnia, and nerve pain from a shingles infection (postherpetic neuralgia).
Despite being a prescription drug, gabapentin is increasingly being used recreationally. Addiction to the drug is thus becoming more common as well. Users especially like the calming feelings they get from the drug, which can turn into a euphoric high with misuse.
If you happen to have an addiction to this drug, you will need to go through detox as the first stage of treatment. It does have a hefty price tag, though, which is enough to dissuade many users from getting this crucial treatment.
Read on to find out how much gabapentin detox costs and how you can pay for it.
Why is gabapentin addictive?
Gabapentin actually has a low potential for abuse. Even then, more and more people are using this drug for the wrong reasons. Because of the drug’s relaxing effects, some users take gabapentin to get a “high” out of the calming feelings. In most people with gabapentin addiction, they take it alongside opioids to enhance the euphoria they get out of the drugs.
Gabapentin molecules have a similar chemical structure to GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid. GABA is a naturally-occurring molecule in the brain. It is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which slows down activity in the brain and nervous system. As a result, you feel more calm and relaxed after taking gabapentin.
But this calming feeling is what can make the drug addictive. Let’s say you have a prescription for gabapentin, and you take a higher dose thinking it will improve the effect. While you may feel a stronger effect, this is the easiest way to make yourself physically dependent on the drug. As you get used to the relaxing feelings, your brain will crave the drug more and more.
Eventually, your cravings will be so strong that you cannot live normally without gabapentin anymore. If you have reached this point, you have developed an addiction to the drug.
Can I just quit using gabapentin?
Quitting gabapentin is not easy once you are addicted to it. The moment you stop taking it, you will experience a range of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, such as:
- Sensitivity to light
- Irregular heartbeat
At some point, these symptoms will get so unbearable that you would rather just take gabapentin again to make them go away. Even if you have a high pain tolerance, the discomfort may prove too much for you to handle. For this reason, attempts of users to quit the drug on their own usually do not succeed.
Why do I need gabapentin detox?
Gabapentin detox is the best way to quit using the drug. Medical doctors will assist you throughout this procedure. In case you encounter dangerous emergencies or extreme discomfort, doctors can rush to your aid right away.
The method of quitting the drug is carefully controlled in detox. Normally, the cold turkey method is not recommended because it will lead to severe withdrawal. Your body cannot immediately adjust well to the complete absence of the drug.
Instead, doctors will plan a tapering schedule for you. Your intake of gabapentin will be reduced over the course of several days. This way, your body can have time to adjust to the decreasing amounts of the drug. If you do get withdrawal symptoms, they will be easier to endure.
In the event that you do get highly uncomfortable due to withdrawal, doctors can prescribe medications. This way, you can better manage withdrawal as you continue detoxing.
What factors influence the cost of gabapentin detox?
The detox process involves facilities, medical personnel, accomodation, and medications if necessary. These all contribute to the cost of the procedure. Most estimates peg the total cost of detox at anywhere between 1,000 to 1,500 dollars. This is for the price of detox alone; it does not include the other aspects of a complete rehab program.
How can I have detox if I can’t afford it?
Paying for the full cost of detox upfront can be a tall order. You may not have that much money to spare at a moment’s notice. The good news is there are things you can do to help you pay for the cost.
If you have a private health insurance policy, it will cover part of the cost of detox, as well as the therapies that will come afterwards. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 has mandated insurance providers to cover mental health treatments, including detox, drug rehab, and related therapies.
Different insurers have different levels of coverage. Ask your insurance provider so you can have an idea how much of the price of detox they will cover. Though most insurers will not cover the full cost, at least you only have to pay a smaller price.
Not all rehab centers may accept your insurance provider. For that reason, it’s also best to check with your rehab provider first if they are in-network with your insurer. Recovery professionals who are in-network with your insurer will have the best extent of coverage.
Medicare or Medicaid
If you are qualified for either Medicare or Medicaid, you will get financial assistance from the federal government to help pay for drug detox. Ask your rehab center if they accept Medicare or Medicaid.
Different states may also have varying rules regarding Medicare coverage for drug detox. Ask your local state office or visit their website to find out the specific regulations in your home state.
There are a number of charities that raise funds to help financially struggling drug abusers to get the treatment they need. Organizations like Shatterproof, To Write Love On Her Arms, and the Amy Winehouse Foundation can grant sponsorships to deserving individuals like you. Get in touch with these charities to find out if they can give financial aid for your detox and rehab program.