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Getting Treatment for a GHB Addiction

GHB, also known as gamma hydroxybutyrate, is a common illegal intoxicant. It either comes in small bottles as a liquid or as a white crystalline powder. GHB addiction treatment is crucial if you find yourself or a loved one taking GHB on a regular basis.

What is GHB?

GHB is a central nervous system depressant, and it acts in a similar way to alcohol. It makes users feel euphoric and confident. At higher doses, nausea, drowsiness, amnesia, and unconsciousness may occur, similar to alcohol. In some cases, use of GHB may prove fatal. The effects of GHB may last for 90 minutes or three hours on its own, and the effects tend to last longer if it is mixed with alcohol.

Dangers Associated with Using

GHB has some nasty side effects, including drowsiness, vomiting, unconsciousness, and death. It is often taken with alcohol, which amplifies the effects, as both drugs are central nervous system depressants. Consequently, users are risking their lives. In addition, the vast majority of GHB is manufactured in back-street labs, which have few, if any, quality controls. You really do not know what you are getting. Finally, GHB is a Schedule I drug, which means possession of it incurs a fine of up to $100,000 and a potential prison sentence of up to five years. You may also be required to undergo a GHB addiction treatment program.

If you or a loved one is taking GHB on a regular basis, please seek help by calling toll free or fill out the contact form. GHB addition treatment is available to anyone, so please pick up the phone to speak to one of our advisors.

Did You Know…?

GHB has two precursors that are metabolized to form GHB in the body: gamma butyrolactone (GBL) and 1,4 butanediol (BD). Both of these are used as powerful solvents in the manufacture of paint strippers, insecticides, and polyurethanes.

Developing an Addiction

There is a large body of evidence to suggest GHB can be both physically and psychologically addictive. Addiction is usually defined as when you persist in the use of GHB despite suffering problems from it. When use is repetitive leading to tolerance and withdrawal symptoms on discontinuing or reducing drug use, often known as a comedown, an addiction may be diagnosed. You might find you need more to achieve the same high or you are taking it every day or two to three times a week. However, a simple rule of thumb is if you cannot give up the drug without help, you are addicted.

Did You Know…?

GHB used to be used as a muscle building supplement, but this was taken off the market in 1990. It is now only used for the treatment of narcolepsy and, in rare cases, severe alcoholism, as it mimics many of the effects of alcohol at much lower doses.

Am I Eligible to Receive Treatment?

Yes, there is a lot of help out there for those addicted to GHB. Many of these are clinics that are designed to help you through the withdrawal process and rehabilitate you back into sober society.

Seeking Help for Substance Abuse

“The first step to getting clean from GHB is to seek help.”
The first step to getting clean from GHB is to seek help. GHB rehab programs are designed to help you succeed in your or your loved one’s quest to become sober. Once you or your loved one has admitted there is a problem, it is time to seek help from a professional treatment center. Choosing the right treatment center may seem difficult. You can contact a treatment advisor at who can answer your questions confidentially at any time of day or night with no obligation, or use the contact form to contact us by email.

The Detoxification Process

The first stage of a treatment program is to remove the drug from your system while minimizing the withdrawal symptoms. This is must be done in a treatment facility as the general side effects of GHB withdrawal vary widely and can include acute delirium, which can be treated with large doses of benzodiazepines. Withdrawal symptoms typically last between three and twelve days. During this time, the treatment center will also start to treat any other issues you may have such as malnutrition, depression, insomnia, and anxiety. If alcohol addiction is also an issue, the center will carefully treat that as well, ensuring you are as comfortable as possible during that time.

Did You Know?

Drug addiction is considered a disease, not a sign of weakness or immorality. GHB causes changes in the brain that need professional help to be treated. Patients should seek help just as they would with a severe cough, cold, or other medical symptoms.

Understanding the Causes

The next stage is to work out why you became addicted to GHB in the first place. You will undergo a GHB addiction treatment therapy regime that will explore the reasons you took GHB, and this will help you to prevent a relapse when you leave the program. In many cases, GHB addiction begins with casual recreational use, moving gradually into something more sinister. The important thing to remember is you are not alone; there will be others in the same position as you recovering from addictions.

If you want to know more about GHB addiction, please call toll free or fill out the contact form. Our advisors are here 24 hours a day, seven days a week to discuss the best options for you or for your loved one.

Therapies may consist of the following:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Group therapy
  • Multidimensional family therapy
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Motivational incentives

Cognitive behavioral therapy involves a therapist helping a user recognize when he or she is most likely to take a recreational drug. In the case of GHB, this is likely to be in a club, rave, or party scene. The therapist’s aim is to help the user to consider why he or she takes the drug during these times and focuses on avoiding the temptations that lead to the drug use. This might involve reducing certain relationships with friends who are into taking drugs, choosing a new way of socializing, or spending more time with other friends who are not drug takers.

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Group therapy is intended to reinforce the idea that the patient is not alone. It often explores many of the issues behind drug taking, and the personal stories can help to motivate the patient to focus on giving up the drug. It also acts as an informal support network, which is crucial to finding new friends who understand the choices and needs of an ex-addict.

Multidimensional family therapy helps patients to focus on their families. This is a particularly useful tool for adolescent patients who may need family support to overcome their addiction. It also addresses the impact of the family on the patient and the patient’s impact on the family, which helps to provide motivation for the user to get clean and sober. This form of GHB addiction treatment is primarily about ensuring the patient has the right support from his or her loved ones.

Motivational interviewing helps the patient to see there is a problem and to envisage a future without GHB. By creating a vision of a future that is free from drugs, the patient is motivated to succeed in giving up GHB. While the approach is designed to challenge the user, it is non-adversarial and non-confrontational. The patient will not be told to simply change; instead, he or she will be gently challenged on his or her beliefs. This helps to establish the disparity between the patient’s current situation and the ideal situation envisaged by the patient.

Motivational incentives reward the patient for making progress. Rewards can include the use of certain facilities, extra privileges, a day out, or some other reward that helps the patient reinforce the idea that he or she is making progress in overcoming the addiction.

If you would like to know more about seeking GHB addiction treatment at a private facility, please call us on for a no-obligation chat.

Did You Know…?

A number of insurers classify addiction as a mental illness, which means you can receive treatment from a rehabilitation clinic paid for by insurance. Ask your provider for details of your policy and what the insurance will pay for when you attend a private clinic.

How Rehabilitation Helps People Adjust

Ultimately, the idea of GHB addiction treatment is to allow the patient to return to his or her original life without the drug addiction. Once the patient is ready to start entering the real world again, he or she will take trips outside the rehabilitation center. The first might be short trips out to local restaurants or cafes, or the patient may be taken on local walks to get used to life after addiction. The patient may then be encouraged to spend time with his or her family on a day out to help bond with them again; alternatively, he or she might spend some time with friends who are not associated with the drug scene.

This rehabilitation will be followed up with therapy to ensure any issues or problems that may arise are dealt with in a kind and sympathetic way. This might involve talking through difficulties you had with your family or any embarrassment you feel at your previous behavior. It is normal to feel like this after becoming clean from drugs, so do not worry. Your family will understand.

The Importance of Aftercare

Aftercare covers the period where you leave the treatment center but continue to attend therapy sessions and support groups as an outpatient. These aftercare programs are designed to support you as you encounter everyday life and the temptations within. You will continue to build up your support networks and enjoy living a clean and sober life.

If you or a loved one needs GHB addiction treatment and wants to start living a clean and sober life, please call us on to discuss treatment options. The call is free, and you can find the right center that will take care of your needs.

Handling a Relapse

There may be a time when you end up in a situation where you take GHB again. This is called a relapse. While GHB addiction treatment can be very effective, occasionally a relapse may occur. There are three main types of relapse:


This is a single occasion of relapsing, also known as a slip. This might be an isolated moment of weakness, or it may be the patient testing whether he or she is still addicted to GHB. Often, mild relapses can be overcome with therapy focusing on why it happened and the circumstances surrounding the relapse.


A moderate relapse may involve multiple occasions of drug taking within a few weeks. This kind of relapse often occurs due to stress or other external issues that lead the patient to reliving parts of his or her former life. Again, therapy is available to help realign the patient to his or her original goals. This will mean a little hard work is needed to reduce the risk of another relapse, but it will be worth it.


A severe relapse generally means the patient has become addicted again to GHB. This involves multiple uses over a long period of time and reversion to his or her old ways. While this may seem the treatment has failed, the patient still has the knowledge gained during the treatment sessions, so it is possible to recover from the relapse even if it goes on for several months or even longer. The patient may need a little longer in an inpatient treatment center so that his or her GHB addiction treatment can start again.


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