A substance doesn’t have to be prescription medication or an illicit drug to cause addiction concerns. There are plenty of substances out on the market that can become addictive if the user uses them to excess or in ways other than the manufacturer intended. Phenibut is one such substance.
You may be asking yourself what is Phenibut? Before we get to answering that question, we first want to state that substance abuse is never a good thing. In nations throughout the world, there are always people out there doing something they know they ought not to do. Without meaningful knowledge about the ramifications of doing so, abusing any substance is on par with an unintended form of suicide.
The following discussion about Phenibut is relevant because Americans are starting to abuse this substance in numbers too big to ignore. It’s time for Americans to learn the truth about Phenibut addiction.
The substance Phenibut has made its way to the streets of America by means of a manufacturer with factories in St. Petersburg, Russia. The manufacturer first introduced this dietary supplement/quasi medication to the masses in 1963. It is sold over the counter in Russia under the brand names Anvifen, Fenibut, and Noofen.
Doctors and psychiatrists in Russia will typically suggest this product for young patients undergoing psychiatric treatment for conditions like anxiety, PTSD, insomnia, and hyperactivity conditions. As you may have guessed, the substance is known for its tranquilizing effects.
From a scientific standpoint, Phenibut has often been classified as a nootropic for improving cognitive thinking. Its chemical structure is similar to gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), and it is characterized as a GABA analog. As a point of reference, GABA acts as a calming neurotransmitter in the brain. It’s worth noting that the Russian medical profession recommends using this substance in small doses.
Is There Such a Thing as Phenibut Addiction?
Since Phenibut is available for purchase online, it gives users a false sense of safety. They will typically start using the substance to increase their cognitive abilities only later to learn the substance offers a sort of euphoria similar to that found with prescription anxiety medications. It’s that euphoria that serves as a hook that causes users to start abusing the substance.
Like so many substances that came before it, Phenibut has earned a bit of a reputation among recreational drug users. This particular group of people has come to realize they can openly order this supplement online and avoid the legalities of buying similar substances on the streets of America. The problem with people who target substances in such a manner is they start learning about the dark side of these substances after it’s too late. That’s when Phenibut addiction becomes a problem.
To be clear, Phenibut addiction is a relatively rare occurrence. However, it is starting to gain enough momentum that now is the time to begin addressing the issue before it becomes an epidemic. What is clear about recreational drug users is they will eventually expose unique substances for the harm they can do.
The Signs of Phenibut Addiction
As is the case with other addictive substances, the signs of Phenibut addiction will appear over time. The user will begin to show both physical and behavioral symptoms that something is not right. As a point of reference, here are a few common signs of Phenibut addiction:
- Often using the substance in secrecy
- Loss of interest in doing normal activities
- Onset of coordination issues
- Increasing difficulty in handling typical responsibilities
- Pulling away from family and friends
- A constant need to keep increasing doses to get desired effects
- Financial challenges due to supporting the Phenibut addiction
- Signs of fatigue
- Signs of withdrawal after periods of non-use
It’s worth noting that it is difficult for outsiders to identify Phenibut as the source of their loved one’s addiction. The fact the substance is readily available online serves to distract from its ability to become a harmful substance.
Phenibut Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms
We want to draw your attention to the last item on the list of Phenibut addiction signs. As is the case with so many other addictive drugs, the abuse of Phenibut does create the potential for some rather dangerous withdrawal symptoms. To help you better understand just how dangerous Phenibut abuse can be, here are but a few of the most common withdrawal symptoms one might encounter after a period of non-use:
- Decreased pain threshold
- Loss of ability to concentrate and think rationally
- Body tremors
- Hallucinations and nightmares that increase insomnia
- Increases in Anxiety, Depression, and Paranoia
- Muscle tension throughout the body
These withdrawal symptoms are quite similar to the symptoms one could experience when they suddenly stop abusing prescription anxiety medications. This simple fact gives credence to the notion that maybe Phenibut should not be so readily available.
Treating Phenibut Addiction
Once Phenibut addiction rears its ugly, the user will find that the only way back to normalcy is through addiction treatment.
The treatment process is familiar. The client will start the process by entering reputable and professional drug rehab. After an assessment period, the client will get their marching orders as far as which treatment options the administrators think are necessary.
Because of the potential for harmful withdrawal symptoms, a stint in a detox facility might be necessary. This is the only way the rehab facility’s medical staff can ensure a client is safe and comfortable while they detox. If prescription medications become necessary during detox, the medical staff will be there to prescribe such medications.
After going through the detox process, clients will move on to the therapy portion of treatment. It’s here they will work on the personal issues that might be driving their need to abuse any substance. If they can get to the root causes of their addiction, they can develop a good set of coping skills. These coping skills often become the difference between the client successfully navigating abstinence or falling victim to a series of relapses.
After finishing treatment, the client will have to abstain from using Phenibut ever again. It’s even possible they will have to tread lightly with usual anxiety type prescription medications. Why? Addiction is a disease that never goes away. At best, one can only hope to arrest the addiction. At that point, it’s incumbent on them to remain diligent about fighting back against their addiction illness, which means avoiding substances that can trigger the addiction.
If you or someone you love has been using Phenibut, caution is warranted. While rare, you or your loved one can form a severe addiction to this substance. Should that happen, you or they must seek treatment as soon as possible.