Phenibut Treatment & Rehab in Colorado

Phenibut is not a prescription drug or controlled substance in the United States. Instead, it’s marketed as a supplement, or a nootropic, which are so-called “smart drugs.” Marketing for phenibut will often describe it as a way to improve thinking and cognition, reduce anxiety and help alleviate insomnia.

Since the 1960s, phenibut was used as a prescription drug in Soviet countries. In Russia and other countries where phenibut is available only by prescription, conditions it treats include anxiety and panic disorders, as well as stress-related disorders.

When someone takes phenibut, it may alter the levels of activity of certain brain neurotransmitters. In particular, phenibut affects gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) which has an inhibitory role in the brain. This means GABA is largely responsible for calming neural activity, allowing someone to relax. If someone has a GABA deficiency, they may experience symptoms such as anxiety or insomnia.

As someone continues using phenibut, it can lead to physical and chemical changes in the brain. It is a psychoactive substance, and tolerance can develop as well as physical dependence. If someone becomes dependent on phenibut, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. Phenibut withdrawal treatment in a medical detox program may be necessary.

Phenibut withdrawal treatment may address symptoms including:

  • Anxiety
  • Loss of appetite
  • Agitation or irritability
  • Tremors
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Cognitive problems
  • Fatigue
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Factors that may affect how long phenibut withdrawal symptoms lasts include:

  • How long someone uses phenibut — typically, the longer someone uses it, the longer withdrawal will last
  • Dosage used
  • Whether someone stops suddenly (cold turkey) or gradually tapers their dosage
  • Individual health and other specific factors

Understanding Phenibut Abuse

Phenibut abuse can occur because someone likes the relaxing or even sedative-live effects of taking it. Dependence occurs with ongoing phenibut abuse as well. Phenibut abuse can lead to symptoms and side effects, some of which can be severe. Potential side effects of phenibut abuse are:

  • A hangover-like effect
  • Problems with coordination and balance
  • Fatigue
  • A feeling of electric shocks in the body
  • Large doses can cause problems breathing and loss of consciousness
  • Withdrawal symptoms

Since phenibut isn’t a controlled substance in the United States and is marketed as a supplement, people may have the misconception that it’s safe. Unregulated substances can be as dangerous as prescription drugs and controlled substances. They can also have serious side effects. Due to the lack of standardized guidance as far as phenibut dosages go, people may be more at risk when they use substances marketed as supplements.

Phenibut Addiction Treatment Options

The first step in phenibut addiction treatment is often a medical detox program. Phenibut dependence can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, some of which can last for several weeks or more. Many of the potential side effects of phenibut withdrawal are psychological, so a medical detox program should be able to address those side effects.

A phenibut medical detox will also have to address the physical side effects such as increased heart rate, nausea and vomiting.

Once someone safely detoxes from phenibut, they can begin phenibut addiction treatment.

The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake offers phenibut rehab and addiction treatment programs. Contact The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake today to learn more about phenibut detox and addiction treatment, and find a program to suit your needs.

Campbell, Abby. “Phenibut is Neither Proven Nor Safe As a Prosocial Wonder Drug.” Science-Based Medicine, November 25, 2016. Accessed April 22, 2019.

Mental Health Daily. “Phenibut Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities.” Accessed April 22, 2019.

RxList. “Phenibut.” Accessed April 22, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.