Baclofen: Effects, Withdrawal, and Treatment
Baclofen is a prescription muscle relaxant that,
when taken recreationally,
has a high risk of addiction.
Baclofen is a prescription muscle relaxant that, when taken recreationally, has a high risk of addiction. Also known by its brand names Gablofen and Lioresal, it is most commonly used to treat neurological conditions like cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis.
Recently, this substance has also been prescribed to aid in the treatment of substance use disorders, although this is considered an “off-label” use for the drug.
Despite its medical uses, Baclofen’s pain-relieving properties also make it prone to abuse. When this medication is given to someone who is already susceptible to developing an addiction, the chance for misuse and abuse increases dramatically. The person may develop dependence as they struggle with substance use disorder. If they attempt to quit, they may experience Baclofen withdrawal.
Baclofen Addiction Effects
Abusing any medication can lead to serious health problems, and Baclofen is no exception. Some people take it in excess or in combination with alcohol or other drugs in order to experience an intense high that is similar to that of marijuana.
Baclofen is interesting because it has not been found to be particularly addictive when taken as prescribed. But when taken with other substances to induce a high, it can become addictive. Over time the user will need to take more and more of the drug to experience the same sensation they used to enjoy. At this point, the body has already developed a tolerance for the drug.
Common side effects of Baclofen abuse include drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, headache, insomnia, and nausea. More severe side effects are also possible and may include breathing difficulties, hallucinations, confusion, and seizures. Severe side effects of Baclofen addiction are potentially life-threatening.
Baclofen also has a high risk of causing an overdose. Signs of an overdose include nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, drowsiness, dilated or pinpoint pupils, and shallow breathing. Left untreated, an overdose can result in seizures, coma, slow heart rate, hypothermia, and even death.
Combining Baclofen with other substances increases the risk of overdose.
Baclofen Withdrawal Symptoms
People who have previously misused Baclofen report that tolerance can be developed easily. Withdrawal symptoms caused by this drug have been described as severely uncomfortable and potentially dangerous, especially if not treated by a medical professional.
These symptoms occur if a person who has developed dependence suddenly decides to stop taking Baclofen. Withdrawal symptoms may range from moderate to severe. Baclofen withdrawal may cause low blood pressure, lightheadedness, itching, and tingling sensations. Left untreated, these early symptoms of withdrawal can progress into more severe and unpleasant symptoms like fever, muscle stiffness, behavioral changes, and loss of function of many vital organs.
If someone you love suffers from withdrawal due to Baclofen addiction, make sure to seek the care of medical professionals at a detox facility or addiction treatment center.
Baclofen Addiction Treatment
Baclofen is commonly given to those who are receiving treatment for an already-existing addiction. It has been shown to be somewhat effective in treating alcohol withdrawal. It is also effective for people who are struggling with opioid dependence. If the person starts abusing their Baclofen prescription, it may cause some problems.
Inpatient rehab can provide 24-hour medical supervision and medication. The patient will be given access to group meetings. Some programs allow family members to participate, for the recovering individual’s well-being.
Outpatient treatment may also work. In fact, it is ideal for patients who want treatment but have daily commitments they can’t leave behind.
If someone in the family is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it is important to seek help. A combination of medical detox and behavioral therapy can go a long way in the fight against substance abuse. But because every individual is affected by addiction differently, a comprehensive program tailored to their specific needs is necessary. Look for a nearby addiction treatment facility today and find out how drug treatment programs work.
Rehab is Your Best Chance
Treatment is an addicted individualʼs best option if they want to recover. Beating an addiction not only requires eliminating the physical dependence, but also addressing the behavioral factors that prevent them from wanting to get better. Simply quitting may not change the psychological aspect of addiction. Some people quit for a while, and then take drugs again, only to overdose because they did not detox properly. Recovery involves changing the way the patient feels, thinks, and behaves.