Today’s Prescription Street Drug—Johnnys?

Doctor prescribing drug

With incidents of both Opiates and Methamphetamines use skyrocketing across America over the last several years, a new drug has entered the black market. Going by the street name Johnnys, the drug is prescribed for everything from pain relief to insomnia. This may be why the drug has become popular on the streets.

The drug, officially named Gabapentin, has seen a 60% increase in prescriptions since 2012 and was prescribed 64 million times in 2016. This probably part of what is fueling its sale on the streets and is a result of doctors reeling to find a solution for pain patients since there are stricter regulations imposed on pain medication prescriptions.

A recent New England Journal of Medicine letter also warns that “clinicians who are desperate for alternatives to opioids” are “increasingly prescribing gabapentin.” And “evidence suggests that some patients misuse, abuse or divert gabapentin.”—WTOL 11

This is so new, there is little research on the abuse and sales of the drug. The DEA has stated they have just begun receiving calls about Gabapentin misuse. The drug has been touted as a non-addictive alternative substance in the past but recent events have obscured this viewpoint a bit.

It is true that Gabapentin does not carry the same risk of overdose as opiates. The problem is however that the drug can be used to intensify an opiate high and stave off withdrawals. One terrifying thing is it can be used to bypass the blocking effects of medications used for addiction treatment like Suboxone or Vivitrol.

If you love an addict or are concerned your loved one might be experimenting with drugs, call us today for professional help.




Aaron has been writing drug education articles and documenting the success of the Narconon program for over two years.