Is Lyrica Addictive? Learn the Signs of Lyrica Abuse

Lyrica typically treats convulsions and seizures. It causes people to feel calm, relaxed, and euphoric. But is Lyrica addictive? Unfortunately, Lyrica abuse often turns into an addiction requiring medical detox and treatment. 

What is Lyrica?

Lyrica is the brand name of the generic pregabalin. While the drug was first used in the 1990s, it didn’t receive FDA approval until 2004. Over the years, it has been used to treat disorders such as epilepsy, fibromyalgia, and anxiety. 

In addition, Lyrica can help with nerve pain from diabetes and spinal cord injuries. It may also help treat hot flashes from menopause. 

How Does Lyrica Work?

Lyrica is a treatment and not a cure. It works by binding to receptors in the central nervous system (CNS). It causes the impulses in the brain to slow down, which calms the nerves and stops seizures. Lyrica also stops pain signals sent by damaged nerves. 

While Lyrica is helpful for many people, the side effects can lead to Lyrica abuse and addiction. Even when taken as directed, people can become physically dependent on Lyrica. This leads to withdrawal symptoms when they stop their medication. 

What are the Side Effects of Lyrica?

Lyrica is known to cause euphoria similar to benzodiazepines. This is what generally leads to Lyrica abuse. However, It also has some unpleasant side effects.

Side effects of Lyrica include:

  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Weight gain

Severe side effects of Lyrica include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Confusion
  • Unsteadiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • Loss of motor control
  • Swelling in hands, legs, feet
  • Suicidal thoughts

Some people who take Lyrica may struggle with depression, suicidal thoughts, or attempts. Notify your doctor if you notice changes in your mood, behavior, or have thoughts of self-harm.

Besides the side effects of Lyrica, there are risks involved when taking the drug. These include:

  • Burth defects
  • Decrease in male fertility
  • Mania
  • Manic attacks
  • Aggression 

Taking Lyrica, even as prescribed, for an extended length of time can lead to dependence and addiction. If you struggle with addiction or mental health disorders, discuss the risks of taking Lyrica with your doctor. 

Can You Get High From Lyrica? Is Lyrica Addictive?

In comparison to other drugs that produce a high, is Lyrica addictive? Yes, it is. Even though it has a low risk of addiction, taken in high doses can cause euphoria. 

Unlike the high from drugs like opioids, Lyrica produces mild relaxation easing pain and anxiety. This feeling can lead to Lyrica abuse and addiction. Other people may develop a psychological or chemical dependence.

In addition, people often build a tolerance to this drug. For example, a person may start their dose of Lyrica at 600 mg. However, over time this dose no longer works. As a result, their dose increases to 900 mg. 

Using Lyrica to get high comes with serious side effects, including:

  • Pain and numbness in arms, legs, and feet
  • Swelling in the face, arms, hands, and lower legs
  • Confusion, memory loss, and delusions
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Difficulties with urinating and having bowel movements
  • Increase in appetite and weight gain
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

People typically abuse Lyrica by mixing it with alcohol or opioids. Mixing Lyrica with central nervous system depressants intensifies euphoria. However, it also increases the risk of overdose. 

Signs and Symptoms of Lyrica Abuse and Addiction

The effects of Lyrica abuse are often compared to Valium. Like Valium, Lyrica is addictive, meaning you can’t function properly without the drug. 

The signs and symptoms you have a Lyrica addiction include:

  • Taking Lyrica, although it isn’t working 
  • Taking more than prescribed
  • Cravings
  • Abusing Lyrica in combination with other drugs or alcohol
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms without the drug
  • Inability to stop taking the drug

Lyrica has a low risk of abuse and addiction. But, if you have a history of drug or alcohol addiction, your risk of Lyrica abuse increases. 

Lyrica Overdose Signs and Symptoms

People who abuse Lyrica risk overdosing especially when combining Lyrica with other drugs. Knowing the signs of Lyrica overdose is crucial to saving a life. Even if you don’t abuse Lyrica, it is possible to forget you took a dose and retake it leading to a possible overdose. 

Signs and symptoms of Lyrica overdose include:

  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Seizures

If you or someone you are with is experiencing an overdose, call 911 or immediately go to the closest emergency room. 

Lyrica Withdrawal

While experts have answered the question, is Lyrica addictive, they are still learning about its effects on withdrawal and detox. Besides going through withdrawal when you stop the drug, it can cause seizures to return and increase in frequency. 

Symptoms of Lyrica withdrawal include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Tachycardia
  • Hypertension
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Excessive sweating
  • Tremors
  • Paranoia
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

Many of Lyrica’s withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening. If you take Lyrica and develop a dependence on the drug, you should establish a taper-down schedule with your doctor. But, if you have an addiction to Lyrica, then a medical detox program is the safest way to withdraw. 

Why is Lyrica Detox Important?

Medical detox programs provide around-the-clock supervision and monitoring of withdrawal symptoms. Because withdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable and even severe, medication is often used to ease the effects. 

During detox, individuals start working with a therapist to develop the next step in treatment. Many people believe once they complete detox, they can remain sober. However, addiction generally has underlying causes such as trauma or mental health disorders. So, inpatient or outpatient rehab is highly recommended. 

Lyrica Detox: Medications to Ease Withdrawal Symptoms

A variety of medications are used to ease Lyrica withdrawal symptoms. The medicines used are based on the person’s history of addiction, tolerance to drugs, and medical issues. 


Benzodiazepines or benzos are commonly used in medical detox programs. Because Lyrica detox can increase anxiety, benzos help calm the nerves and ease other symptoms. 

Pain Relievers

Withdrawing from Lyrica can be very uncomfortable. Medical detox programs typically use over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen to ease the discomfort. 


Clonidine is a blood pressure medication. It is also helpful when withdrawing from alcohol and other drugs. Clonidine is a sedative that can combat insomnia and other Lyrica withdrawal symptoms. 

Anti-Seizure Drugs

Lyrica is generally prescribed to treat seizures. A different anti-seizure medication must be prescribed when a person starts the detox process. Furthermore, Lyrica withdrawal can cause seizures. So an anti-seizure drug may be used. 

While medications help ease the withdrawal symptoms of Lyrica, it is only one method in treating addiction. Addiction is rarely just a problem with drugs or alcohol. 

Many times there are co-occurring mental health disorders and past traumas that influence the addiction. For this reason, the most important aspect of addiction treatment is therapy. 

Lyrica is Addictive, and Therapy Can Help

Comprehensive addiction treatment addresses addictive behaviors, root causes of addiction, and any co-occurring mental health disorders. In order to do so, treatment may involve a variety of therapies. 


Psychotherapy or individual therapy is essential in treating Lyrica addiction. During psychotherapy, you work one-on-one with a therapist. The confidential and private setting allows you to take an honest hard look at yourself and what led to Lyrica abuse and addiction. 

With help from your therapist, you will discover your triggers. From there, you learn healthy coping skills to prevent relapse. Although psychotherapy allows you to address deep-rooted traumas in private sessions, it is important to include other therapies. 

Group Therapy

Talking about your issues in front of other people can be scary. But, group therapy is crucial in recovery. You will learn so much from others who have experienced the same struggles as you. 

People struggling with addiction often feel lonely, isolated, depressed, and ashamed. For instance, addiction may stem from childhood physical or sexual abuse that has been hidden. Others may feel extreme shame for what they have done because of their addiction. 

Group therapy helps you feel less alone. Additionally, it enables you to feel loved and supported. Group therapy is excellent for practicing healthy coping skills and improving communication skills.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT focuses on people’s thoughts, beliefs, and views and how it affects their behaviors. By recognizing these unhealthy thoughts and behaviors, patients can take steps to change their behavior. 

Is Lyrica Addictive and What Treatments are Available?

Lyrica addiction treatment programs are customized to the patient’s needs. While inpatient treatment is considered the most effective treatment, not everyone can step away from their life for 30 plus days. 

However, successful recovery depends on the patient. If a person is determined to get sober, they will do so even in outpatient treatment. Most treatment centers offer the same therapies, whether it is inpatient or outpatient. 

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient or residential treatment offers various lengths of stay. The average stay is 30 days but, people can stay 90 days or longer. Patients maintain a strict schedule and have around-the-clock care and support. 

Inpatient treatment is highly beneficial for those with chronic addiction and those with co-occurring mental and behavioral disorders.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment programs allow people to work, go to school, and care for their families while attending Lyrica addiction treatment. People attend treatment during the day while living at home. 

While outpatient treatments are effective in treating addiction, it doesn’t remove the triggers that can lead to relapse. Outpatient programs are also the next “step-down” after inpatient treatment.

Get Help for Lyrica Abuse at Coastal Detox

If you or someone you love is struggling with Lyrica abuse, it is time to get help. Are you questioning, is Lyrica addictive, then you may already be addicted. 

Don’t go through detox alone. Our Lyrica detox program will ease the discomfort of withdrawal and provide the support to encourage lasting recovery. Give us a cal today to start your recovery journey. 

Jodi Silverman Goldberg
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Melissa Lorina
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