Lyrica is not the easiest drug to abuse, but it is a controlled substance, meaning that it can be abused and can be addictive to the right people. It is a class V controlled substance though which means that it has the definite potential to be abused and addictive. This is based on studies done around the maximum dosages which showed that some people had feelings of being high or euphoria from the drug. The main uses of Lyrica are to treat the pain from nerve damage and fibromyalgia as well as to prevent seizures. However, it can also help to treat anxiety, an unanticipated side effect, and people can become addicted to it. Large doses also give users a 'feel good' feeling, much like valium, though the reason for this is unknown as the drug does not play on the feel good chemicals in the brain. Lyrica abuse is not incredibly common, simply because your doctor will not prescribe too much at a time, but it can happen and should be watched for.
Lyrica abuse is most common in those who have been taking the drug for a long time. Like all drugs, eventually the body can grow used to the effects of Lyrica and so larger does are required to get the same effects. The larger doses means that the body has a harder time getting rid of the drug when it's time to come off of Lyrica and so many people try not to quit Lyrica out of fear of the symptoms or because they have tried, found the withdrawal symptoms to be too much, and went back on the drug. In this way, people can become addicted to Lyrica and abuse it. Lyrica can also be abused if you take more than the prescribed dosage given to you by your doctor. This can cause problems in itself and can lead to damage in your body. Lyrica abuse can also occur simply for people with an addicting personality; that is, someone who gets easily hooked on something and finds it difficult to quit.
Lyrica is still a new enough drug that it is unknown whether it will become abused in the traditional sense of the word; however, the potential is there. Where higher dosages were administered to patients, the patients reported feelings of being high or any other 'good drug effect' which can easily become addictive for many people. Lyrica is still not widely available, but when it is, the potential for street based abuse could become greater.
Lyrica is a controlled substance for a reason; it can cause dependence in users, especially those who have been on the drugs for a long time or those who have an addicting personality. It is unknown as yet why the drug produces a 'feel good' effect on the brain; there is actually nothing in the chemical makeup of the drug that would allow this, but perhaps it is simply from the sudden lack of pain or stress about seizures. Regardless, it is dangerous to take without your doctor's supervision and you should never increase or change your dosage without your doctor's permission. If you feel as though you are developing a dependence on this drug, then you should also consult your doctor and see what steps to take in order to prevent an addiction.
Signs of physical dependence on this drug include insomnia, nausea, headache, or diarrhea when you are taken off the drug too abruptly. It's very easy to have these symptoms; the important thing is to not slide back into using this drug in order to get rid of the withdrawal symptoms, but instead to weather them out.