Baclofen Addiction, Abuse, and Treatment

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Addiction can happen to anyone. There are many types of drugs, legal and illegal, that have addictive qualities – and Baclofen is one of them.

What Is Baclofen Used For?

Baclofen is a generic muscle relaxer that is commonly used to treat issues involving the muscles, such as stiffness or spasms. It’s known as “skeletal muscle relaxants”. Because Baclofen has pain-relieving properties, it became targeted for abuse. By and large, those who abuse it already have a tendency for abuse. Patients who have a history of addiction or are sensitive to prescription pain medication are more likely to abuse Baclofen.

Is Baclofen Addictive?

Unfortunately, there are many people who have become addicted to the drug. Their dependency on Baclofen can prove particularly challenging to overcome, often requiring the assistance of a treatment program.

Let’s explore Baclofen addiction in greater detail and what you need to do to get help.

Baclofen Addiction and Abuse

Baclofen delivers euphoric effects that are similar to being drunk or smoking marijuana. Because of this, users often mix it with other drugs, such as amphetamines or opioids. It’s interesting to note that when taken as directed, Baclofen isn’t particularly addictive.

Addiction occurs when the medication is abused, taking more than what is actually needed. The body gradually develops a dependency on Baclofen, resulting in the user needing more to achieve the same euphoric feelings.

Other sensations are likely to occur when taking Baclofen, including:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

You should not mix Baclofen with benzodiazepines, as this can make you extra drowsy. Also, whenever your body gets more Baclofen than it can handle, you may experience trouble breathing or confusion. In severe cases, you may even have hallucinations or seizures. Furthermore, a Baclofen overdose is potentially life-threatening. If you believe you have overdosed, it is imperative that you seek medical attention right away.

Some signs of overdose include:

  • Weak/shallow breathing
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting

It’s also possible for your heart rate to drop too low, leading to a coma. An untreated overdose can also result in hypothermia or a fatal seizure. You are more likely to experience these overdose symptoms if you combine Baclofen with other drugs or alcohol.

Seeking Help for Baclofen Addiction

Interestingly, it has been discovered that Baclofen can help patients overcome addictions to opioids. More and more substance abuse professionals are using baclofen for opiate withdrawals. It also seems particularly useful in curbing alcohol withdrawal syndrome. The problem arises when patients start taking more Baclofen than prescribed, thus becoming addicted to it.

If you or someone you know is struggling with Baclofen abuse, there is help available that can give you the guidance and direction you need to break free of your addiction. Note that you should never stop taking Baclofen abruptly or cold turkey, as it could cause serious withdrawal effects.  Your doctor will set a taper schedule, and gradually reduce your dosage to get off the drug.

Inpatient Treatment

If you have developed a dependency on Baclofen, you may require an inpatient or residential rehabilitation program. Typically, you agree to live at the facility for a short length of time to begin building a strong foundation for recovery.

There, you will have medical supervision around the clock to ensure your comfort and safety. You will also be able to meet with a counselor to work on any other issues you may be contending with. You may need medication to reduce your withdrawal symptoms, which is available in an inpatient program. Onsite group meetings may also be included to ensure that you always have a support system.

Outpatient Treatment

If you have daily responsibilities that you need to attend throughout the week, such as a job or childcare, an outpatient program can still provide medication and meetings. In this type of treatment, you live at home, but attend treatment sessions during the week.  The number of hours you commit to may depend on how severe the addiction is.

Baclofen withdrawal can be very uncomfortable and is often the catalyst that keeps users returning to it, unable to escape its grip. With a reliable treatment program, you can find the relief you need to get past these acute withdrawal symptoms.

If you believe that you or someone you know suffers from addiction to Baclofen, please contact one of our addiction specialists and call (866) 578-7471.

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