Is Baclofen A Narcotic?
People frequently wonder, “is baclofen a narcotic?” Narcotics are a class of drugs that share common effects including psychoactive effects on mood or behavior. Narcotics also cause drowsiness, and they are central nervous system depressants. Narcotics can include prescription drugs, as well as illegal drugs like heroin, and the term narcotic can be used interchangeably with opioids.
This class of drugs has been in the national and worldwide spotlight in recent years because of the addiction and dependence they cause. Even in people who are prescribed opioids for pain relief, it’s possible to become addicted. When a physician is discussing prescribing a patient baclofen, it’s natural they might want to know if it’s a narcotic. This is because of the side effects of narcotics and their habit-forming potential.
When someone takes baclofen, it relaxes muscles, thereby alleviate cramping and tightness. It also stops muscle spasms. It’s not a cure for certain conditions like MS, but it does provide a way for people to get other forms of treatment like physical therapy. One of the reasons people might question if baclofen is a narcotic is because it acts on the central nervous system. Narcotics affect the central nervous system, but in different ways.
While baclofen isn’t a narcotic and doesn’t have a significant potential for addiction, it can cause physical dependence. Physical dependence to baclofen occurs when it’s taken regularly for a period of time. The body becomes dependent on its presence, so suddenly stopping the use of baclofen can cause withdrawal symptoms. It can be dangerous to stop baclofen suddenly because withdrawal from this drug can be deadly. Patients are advised to speak with their doctor and get their recommendation about stopping baclofen. The treatment shouldn’t be stopped without first speaking to a healthcare professional.
Unfortunately, there is the possibility that someone could abuse baclofen recreationally either by taking it in very high doses or combining it with other substances to amplify the effects. It is dangerous to mix baclofen with other drugs that affect the central nervous system including opioids, sleep aids, alcohol, muscle relaxers or certain vitamins. At a minimum, mixing baclofen with something like alcohol can amplify side effects like dizziness or drowsiness. At worst, combining baclofen with another CNS depressant can cause an overdose.
If you are or a loved are struggling with substance use disorder, contact The Recovery Village. We can do everything from helping you learn more about the disease of addiction to providing you with information about insurance coverage for treatment.
Have more questions about Baclofen abuse?Read the most frequently asked questions
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