Deaths Linked to Pregabalin: Black Market Concerns Rise

London, UK – The prescription drug pregabalin has raised concerns in the UK and globally due to its connection to numerous deaths. Reports suggest that many individuals obtain the drug illegally from unregulated sources, posing serious health risks.

Pregabalin, known by various brand names such as Alzain, Axalid, or Lyrica, is available in tablet, capsule, or liquid form. Despite leveling off prescription rates in the UK, medical professionals emphasize its therapeutic benefits when used correctly. However, misuse of pregabalin can lead to adverse effects, especially when combined with other substances with sedative properties.

The calming effects of pregabalin, likened to Valium or alcohol, can deceive users into underestimating its addictive potential. Individuals with a history of substance abuse are particularly vulnerable to dependency on pregabalin.

Concerns about pregabalin extend to withdrawal issues, with users experiencing mood swings, physical discomfort, and psychological symptoms when attempting to discontinue its use. Health professionals warn against abruptly stopping the medication and advise gradual tapering under medical supervision.

In an effort to curb unauthorized use, pregabalin was classified as a Class C drug in 2019 under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 in the UK, making it illegal to possess or distribute without a valid prescription. Seizures of pregabalin have increased significantly, making it the fourth most confiscated substance by law enforcement in Northern Ireland.

Globally, the abuse of pregabalin has risen substantially, with reports of illicit trade and misuse in countries like the UAE and Kuwait. The surge in pregabalin-related incidents has prompted international concerns over its availability and regulation.

Individuals struggling with addiction are encouraged to seek support through resources like the BBC Action Line or local helplines, underscoring the importance of addressing substance abuse issues. The growing prevalence of pregabalin misuse highlights the need for increased awareness and preventative measures to combat its harmful effects on individuals and communities worldwide.