GHB Addiction Treatment
Gamma hydroxybutyrate, commonly known as GHB, is a central nervous system depressant that is often used by teens and adults at parties, clubs, and raves. GHB is also known to be a date rape drug, and growing concerns over its uses for this purpose have risen over the last ten years.
Victims of date rape who are given GHB become incapacitated and unable to defend themselves, and they may also experience amnesia, being unable to recall the events that transpired. When used recreationally, it is known to produce sedative effects. This may be why many people in a party atmosphere may abuse GHB in small quantities. GHB use has also been linked to bodybuilders, who use the drug for its anabolic effects to build muscle and reduce fat.
Many users seek GHB over the internet, where it’s sold as a white powdered material for street use. Unfortunately, there may be other dangerous chemicals mixed in which could increase its toxicity level and harm the user. Taking GHB is truly a risk because of the potency, effects, and long-term damage that it can do to the mind and body.
Buying GHB from the internet is unsafe. Individualized treatment can not only help an individual stop taking the drug, but it can help them get on and stay on the path to recovery. If GHB has become a problem for an individual, he or she should seek out treatment immediately. In fact, treatment is always recommended due to the severity of withdrawal that can accompany cessation of GHB.
What is GHB?
GHB stands for gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, which is another name of the generic substance sodium oxybate. Substances often substituted for GHB include GBL and 1,4-butanediol. These substances are used to produce industrial solvents, pesticides, elastic fibers, pharmaceuticals, metal or plastic coating, and other products. They are also used to illegally produce supplements for fat loss, improved eyesight, reversal of baldness, drug addiction, anti-aging, depression, bodybuilding, and insomnia.
What is GHB’s origin?
GHB is produced in secret laboratories, and is found in every region of the United States. It is often sold as a liquid by the capful.
What are GHB’s common street names?
G, Some common street names include Grievous Bodily Harm, Liquid Ecstasy, Scoop, Easy Lay, Liquid X, Georgia Home Boy, and Goop.
How is GHB abused?
GHB is used for many different reasons. Some people believe it helps build muscle, aids in weight loss, increases libido, causes amnesia, increases suggestibility and passivity, and that it causes euphoric and calming effects. GHB is commonly known as a date rape drug, because it makes users more vulnerable to assault.
What is GHB’s effects on the mind?
GHB affects the CNS, and can cause decreased anxiety, visual hallucinations, drowsiness, confusion, euphoria, excited or aggressive behavior, and memory impairment.
What is GHB’s effects on the body?
GHB’s effects on the body generally last three to six hours, and include nausea, vomiting, slowed breathing, unconsciousness, slowed heart rate, coma, seizures, lowered body temperature, and death.
What are GHB’s overdose effects?
People who are undergoing an overdose from GHB can experience nausea, slowed breathing, faint heartbeat, dizziness, losing consciousness or lack of awareness, convulsions, and in the worst cases — death
Which drugs cause similar effects as GHB?
GHB share similar characteristics as barbiturates, methaqualone, and other CNS depressants.
What are the withdrawal effects of GHB?
When the user stops taking GHB, he/she could experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, increased heart rate, insomnia, tremors, increased blood pressure, and psychotic thoughts.
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What is Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB)?
GHB is naturally occurring and psychoactive. GHB is a precursor to GABA, glutamate, and glycine. In the United States, it’s listed as a Schedule I and Schedule III drug depending on its form, if made illicitly in a lab if diverted through prescription.
GHB has some medical uses including as a general anesthetic and in the treatment of narcolepsy, cataplexy, and alcoholism. GHB was first synthesized in 1874, but Alexander Zaytsev and the first major research on GHB was done in the 1960s by Dr. Henri Laborit, which quickly found several medical uses for the drug.
GHB is almost always consumed orally and usually comes in a liquid or powdered form. GHB can be addictive as it produces effects of euphoria and helps lower inhibitions which can be tempting for teens and adults to use the drug during parties to have a better time and feel like they are having more fun.
Signs & Symptoms
Common signs of GHB use are problems with speech, nausea, vomiting, loss of consciousness, confusion, clumsiness, lack of coordination, breathing problems, excessive sweating, eyes rolling into the back of the head, loss of motor control skills and dizziness. Users have also been reported to display aggressive behavior in larger doses, as well as experience blackouts. Amnesia is a common occurrence and is a common sign of GHB use, as well as an indicator of an individual taking a large dose of the drug. Long-term use of GHB can cause memory impairment, hallucinations, cardiac arrest, liver failure, speech problems, anxiety and more.
If an individual becomes dependent on GHB, they will most certainly experience some withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms of GHB are insomnia, anxiety, tremors and sweating. More serious withdrawal symptoms for which an individual will need to be monitored closely are hallucinations, delirium, seizures and rhabdomyolysis (muscle tissue breakdown). The more often the individual uses GHB, especially if on a daily basis, the physical dependence becomes stronger. GHB withdrawal can lead to fatality, therefore it is recommended that an individual detox in a safe, clinician supervised, medical environment, where they can be assisted with medications such as anticonvulsants and antihypertensive medications if needed.
The clear majority of GHB overdoses occur when GHB is combined with other drugs; however, over 30% of fatal GHB overdoses were attributed to GHB alone. High doses of GHB, even if not in combination with other drugs can be deadly, leading to loss of consciousness, seizures, coma, respiratory depression, and death. When a person first begins to experience symptoms of an overdose they may vomit, shake and have uncontrollable body movements. The risks of GHB overdose are severe respiratory depression, aspiration of vomit, choking on vomit, coma, and death. If you suspect your loved one is overdosing on GHB, call emergency help immediately.
Effective medical detox experts focus on taking the discomfort out of the detox and withdrawal process. We understand that each patient has different needs. Patients can usually choose to either undergo medical detox or social detox. You deserve an effective and realistic addiction treatment plan. Learn More
Different outpatient programs, such as intensive outpatient and evening intensive outpatient programs, can help patients receive treatment while living at home. Connecting you to a safe and therapeutic program is our top priority. Learn More
Residential facilities are the perfect place to start your journey to recovery. At high-quality residential treatment centers, expert clinicians and medical providers assess your needs and provide an individualized plans tailored to your needs. Learn More
Drug & Alcohol Interventions for GHB
When an individual is abusing GHB, their entire demeanor and personality may change. These changes can significantly impact the people around the individual and cause major strain in relationships. Just knowing that a loved one is abusing a drug as powerful, potent, and dangerous as GHB, can cause a lot of internal pain and conflict among family members and loved ones.
Because the effects of GHB are noticeable and most certainly life-threatening, hosting an intervention or reaching out for guidance for your intervention may be the wake up call your loved one needs. No matter how bad things may be, a substance abuse intervention is always the right solution when confronting your loved one about the problem with love and concern.
Interventions are crafted from a place of love and not judgment. You are drawing your loved one to a behavior that could negatively impact their future and safety.
Common Behaviors Associated With GHB Addiction
When it comes to behaviors while under the influence of GHB, there are differences that depend on the amount taken. For example, someone that takes a small amount of GHB may seem as if they are under the influence of alcohol (having lowered inhibitions) because the effects of GHB mimic those of alcohol in its users when taken in small doses.
If an individual has taken a significant amount of GHB, they may become aggressive, black out and have extended periods of amnesia where they cannot remember anything that has happened or any of their own actions. Overall, individuals abusing GHB will seem out of it, clumsy and spaced out. Blacking out, loss of motor control, and dizziness can put the person’s safety in jeopardy.
Finding Quality Treatment for GHB Addictions
If you or someone you know finds themselves addicted to GHB, you need individualized substance abuse treatment to help you get back on the road to recovery. At ABTRS, we understand how easy it can be for someone to get wrapped up in addiction that they never saw coming.
To get on the road to recovery, the best thing to do is get the help that is going to drastically change and improve every aspect of life. Many times, we find that the men and women who walk through our doors have underlying issues that have caused them to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.
Individualized treatment is all about treating the individual person and getting to the root of the addiction—whether it be a co-occurring disorder, a history of trauma and abuse, or just a tendency to make unhealthy choices.
We know that when you know better, you do better. At ABTRS we are here to help you find individual, family, group, equine, art and many other expressive therapies that are proven effective treatments for substance abuse.
The treatment we connect you with will pay close attention to every phase of your stay, from detox to aftercare. You can learn how to obtain sobriety as a way of life that leads you to a better today and a better tomorrow.
Our network of treatment facilities wants to show you how life can be so much better without drugs and alcohol.
If you or someone you love finds themselves addicted to GHB and needs help, please do not hesitate to contact us today. We can help you find the treatment you need.
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Explore the Real Dangers of GHB from Reliable Sources
Deciding to seek substance abuse treatment can be stressful. The stigma associated with active addiction makes it difficult to find a reputable source of information to support your life change decisions to get sober. Not many people feel comfortable going to a doctor to discuss their GHB addiction without feeling shame or blame for their struggles. That is why it is important for ABTRS to provide information that you can count on, free from shame, and worth your trust.
We want to empower you with the knowledge to make good decisions that better your life. We take pride in offering reputable sources that are impartial, not funded by organizations that could benefit from certain outcomes, and proven or tested to be effective. Know that the sources below are there to help you by educating you about rehab and the substance you are indulging in.
Stein, L. A., Lebeau, R., Clair, M., Martin, R., Bryant, M., Storti, S., & Monti, P. (2010). A web-based study of gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB): patterns, experiences, and functions of use. The American journal on addictions, 20(1), 30-9.