The internet has caused a surge in the popularity of “legal highs”, particularly amongst young people. These legal highs are typically research chemicals, designer drugs, and other substances that were not meant or tested for human consumption.
Here we take a look at the dangers and risks of one of the more popular legal highs: phenibut.
What is phenibut?
Phenibut was first synthesized in Russia in the 1960s, where it is currently used as a medication. Phenibut is prescribed in Russia for anxiety, tension relief, sleep, and various psychiatric disorders. (1)
In the United States, however, phenibut is currently unregulated and frequently being purchased for use as a recreational high.
Phenibut is often cited as producing euphoria, anxiety relief, and improved cognitive functions. (2)
What are the effects of phenibut?
Phenibut is typically taken in tablet, powder, or capsule form. Phenibut has been shown to cause the following effects in users (3):
- Anxiety relief
- Poor balance
- Irregular heart beat
Is phenibut addictive?
Phenibut, despite being legal, has been shown to cause both physical and physiological dependence and addiction in chronic users. Phenibut users develop tolerance to the drugs effects, meaning they will need to take more of the medication to achieve the same effect. (4)
The physical dependence that phenibut causes in users has been shown to produce a withdrawal syndrome if they suddenly stop taking the drug.
Phenibut withdrawal syndrome typically produces the following effects (5):
- Sleeping difficulty
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle aches
Case studies have been published that show that phenibut overdose has occurred, further adding to how dangerous phenibut use is. To make matters worse, there is currently no known antidote for phenibut overdose.
The following symptoms of phenibut overdose were reported in the case study (6):
- Dilated pupils
- Shallow breathing
- Erratic behavior
- Possible seizures
- Limp with a decreased consciousness
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.