GHB, or Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate, is a powerful drug that is illegal in many countries, including the UK, because of its high potential for abuse and addiction. GHB has also become synonymous with the awful crime of date rape because it is sometimes used to spike drinks. GHB abuse can be very dangerous, particularly when combined with alcohol or other drugs, and it can lead to a physical and emotional dependency if overused. A reliance on this drug requires professional GHB addiction treatment as soon as possible because, if left untreated, it can lead to serious consequences. Luckily, support is available for you whenever you are ready to open up and fight your GBH addiction for good.
GHB is a central nervous system depressant that was first developed in the 1960s as a general anaesthetic. It was then trialled as a treatment for narcolepsy and other sleep disorders but was never approved for these uses. In the 1980s, bodybuilders began using GHB as a steroid alternative because it was thought to release growth hormone which would help them bulk up, but there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. In the 1980s and 90s, GHB became a popular party drug because it produces feelings of euphoria, relaxation and increased sex drive. It is sometimes known as “liquid ecstasy”, “G” or “fantasy”.
GHB is a clear, odourless liquid that tastes slightly salty. It is usually sold in small bottles or capsules and is often mixed with alcohol. GHB can also be found in powder form but this is less common. The effects of GHB depend on the dose taken but can range from mild intoxication to coma and death. GHB is particularly dangerous when combined with alcohol or other drugs because it can cause unconsciousness and respiratory failure. It is sometimes used as a date rape drug by spiking the drink of the unknowing victim so that they become incapacitated and can be sexually assaulted.
In the UK, GHB is classified as a Class C drug, which means that it is illegal to possess, supply, produce, import or export GHB with a maximum sentence of fourteen years in prison and an unlimited fine. It is also illegal to administer GHB to anyone and that carries a sentence of ten years in prison.
GHB abuse can very quickly lead to tolerance when the body becomes used to the presence of GHB and requires more and more of the drug to achieve the desired effects. As tolerance builds, users may start to experience GHB withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to stop taking the drug, which can include anxiety, insomnia, tremors and seizures. These GHB withdrawal symptoms can be so severe that users may feel that they need to keep taking GHB just to make the symptoms go away.
After tolerance builds, dependence may develop and at this stage, and users will feel that they need GHB just to function normally. They may start to suffer from cravings and may find that they cannot control their use of GHB even if they want to. As dependence builds, users may start to experience more severe GHB withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit including delirium, hallucinations and severe anxiety. At this point, GHB abuse can be incredibly damaging to your health and every aspect of your life and it is when you continue to use GHB despite these negative consequences that you have a GHB addiction.
Anybody who engages in GHB abuse has the potential to become addicted but there are certain factors that can make somebody more likely to develop a GHB addiction. These risk factors include:
GHB abuse and addiction can cause a range of physical and psychological health problems including:
GHB overdose is also a serious danger with GHB abuse because it is so easy to accidentally take too much of the drug. GHB overdose can cause unconsciousness, seizures, slowed heart rate and respiratory failure which can all lead to death.
GHB abuse and addiction are so dangerous that it is vital to identify GHB addiction as early as possible so you can get the help you need before it’s too late. Take our GHB addiction quiz to see if you could benefit from GHB addiction treatment:
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is likely that you are struggling with a GHB addiction and need professional help to overcome it. Liberty House can offer you that help. We are a leading GHB addiction treatment centre with a proven track record in helping people to overcome their addictions and go on to lead happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.
GHB addiction can do all the same damage as other types of drug addiction and affect every area of your life including:
GHB addiction is a complex condition which requires a comprehensive treatment programme to overcome. Effective programmes are made up of three stages: detox, rehab treatment and aftercare.
The first stage of treatment is detoxification which involves removing GHB from your body and helps you break free from physical dependence. This can be a difficult and uncomfortable process as it can cause GHB withdrawal symptoms which can include:
The severity and duration of GHB withdrawal vary from person to person depending on factors such as the extent of your GHB abuse and how long you have been using GHB but it will usually peak after two to three days and start to improve after a week or two. At Liberty House, you will be monitored by our team of experienced medical professionals who will make sure you are as comfortable as possible and provide you with any medication you may need to ease your symptoms.
The next stage of treatment is GHB rehab which helps you to understand your GHB addiction and develop the skills you need to stay sober in the long term. At Liberty House, both detox and GHB rehab take place in our inpatient treatment centre where you will have 24-hour access to support and care and will be shielded from the temptations and triggers of everyday life.
Our GHB rehab programmes include a number of holistic, evidence-based therapies including:
As you progress through our GHB rehab programme, you will start to gain more insight into your addiction and how to manage it.
When you have completed GHB rehab, you will be discharged from our centre but our support does not end there. We offer a comprehensive aftercare service which includes weekly group therapy sessions for a year to provide ongoing peer support and ensure that you are never left alone again to struggle with GHB addiction.
If you or someone you know is struggling with GHB addiction, we can help. Get in touch with Liberty House today to find out more about our GHB recovery programmes and how we can help you get your life back on track.