Health officials sounding alarm on drug gabapentin

It’s fast becoming the go-to drug for addicts in search of a stronger high — and it is not even an opioid.

Gabapentin, a purportedly nonaddictive painkiller primarily used to treat shingles and control seizures, has landed on the radar of beleaguered health officials and law enforcement already battling the deadly opioid epidemic that has ripped through the Rust Belt and claimed thousands of lives across the country.

Kentucky last year became the first state to classify gabapentin as a controlled substance after the drug showed up in a third of the state’s fatal overdoses in 2016, as The Louisville Courier Journal first reported.

And police in Ohio have reported a dramatic rise in the abuse of gabapentin, better known by brand names like Neurontin, Gralise or Horizant. There have already been reports of 300 milligram pills being sold on the street for as little as 75 cents apiece in the college town of Athens, Ohio.

Read more at NBC News