A drug that has been touted as a safe alternative to opioid painkillers was found in nearly one-fourth of all overdose deaths in a Kentucky county last year.
The Courier-Journal of Louisville reports Gabapentin was found in 93 of Jefferson County's 407 fatal overdoses. The prescription drug is used to treat nerve pain. According to the Kentucky office of drug control policy, Gabapentin was found in roughly one-third of all drug deaths across the state in 2016 . Kentucky lawmakers responded by classifying it as a controlled substance last year.
Gabapentin is also sold under the name Neurontin and other brand names.