Emma Phillips, 39, says she was given the nerve-pain drug Lyrica to help with her viral meningitis. Viral meningitis is a painful inflammation of the spinal cord caused by an infection. Lyrica is not indicated for its management. But Ms Phillips, like many other Australians, was given it anyway. She suffered from depression, but no […]
What many people don’t realize is, pregabalin, or Lyrica, is actually a controlled drug (schedule 5). More often than not, what limits its availability is its sky-high costs. At the treatment center where I work, we are currently seeing a staggering number of patients abuse Lyrica’s cheaper, weaker, but still sedating predecessor gabapentin (Neurontin). In fact, the abuse & diversion seen with gabapentin has gotten so severe (check this article out) that some states are moving to control the drug on their own, as no restrictions exist on the federal level (other than it being a typical Rx drug).
The quick-fix, cut-and-dry, black-and-white solution on Big Brother’s part, per usual, would be to sanction tougher control, just like with the opioid drugs. Granted, in the case of gabapentin, we haven’t seen proposed restrictions on the national scale as of yet, but we have at the state level; there are more than a handful of states that do want to schedule all forms of the drug, including Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Virginia. Kentucky already has. I think it’s this way because this is an easier and basically more efficient way to attempt to deal with such an issue. Nevertheless, instead of more government control (at any level, no less), like we see being debated in the cases of opioids, marijuana, tobacco, and guns, I think it’s high-time we get to the crux of the problem: ourselves. Even though it’s gabapentin we’re talking about, it really doesn’t matter at the end of the day; it’s all addiction. A therapeutic approach always proves more effective in the long-term.