Gabapentinoid abuse in order to potentiate the effect of methadone: a survey among substance misusers

Eur Addict Res. 2014;20(3):115-8. doi: 10.1159/000355268. Epub 2013 Oct 31.


Background/aims: There is emerging evidence of gabapentin and pregabalin (gabapentinoid) abuse, particularly in the substance misuse population, and some suggestion of gabapentinoids being abused alongside methadone.

Methods: A questionnaire-based survey was carried out in six substance misuse clinics, looking for evidence of gabapentinoid abuse.

Results: 22% (29/129) of respondents admitted to abusing gabapentinoids, and of these, 38% (11/29) abused gabapentinoids in order to potentiate the 'high' they obtained from methadone.

Conclusions: Gabapentinoid abuse along with methadone has not previously been described. These findings are of relevance to clinicians working within both substance misuse services and chronic pain services.

MeSH terms

  • Amines / adverse effects*
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids / adverse effects*
  • Data Collection
  • Drug Synergism
  • Gabapentin
  • Humans
  • Methadone / adverse effects*
  • Methadone / therapeutic use
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Pregabalin
  • Scotland / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / adverse effects
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / analogs & derivatives*


  • Amines
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids
  • Pregabalin
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Gabapentin
  • Methadone