GHB addiction is actually more common than people may think, even though it is not as well-known as cocaine or heroin. Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a depressant used for the central nervous system, and is most commonly known as a club drug. It usually comes in a form of a white powder, much like table salt, or a colourless, odourless liquid that is either taken on its own or mixed with alcohol. It has a very mild taste, which also makes it a popular ‘date rape’ drug choice, since it can be added to someone’s drink without them knowing. Read on to find out why GHB addiction treatment should be a priority before the drug ruins a person’s life.
GHB is prominently discussed as a date rape drug, instead of an addictive substance. However, its addictive properties can cause severe and extended withdrawals. An addiction to GHB occurs when a person has regular doses every 1-3 hours throughout the day, and increases their dosing in the evening. This drug can turn a user into an addict in a short duration of only a few weeks.
People who are at risk of turning into GHB addicts usually abuse the drug in the form of a workout aid, a sleep aid, a weight loss product, an anti-aging substance or an antidepressant. The consistent pattern of taking GHB is what eventually turns it into an addiction. It is common for people to come across advertisements on the internet that encourage the use of GHB for numerous purposes, accompanied by claims that the drug is non-addictive and safe to consume. GHB users often believe that they have found a great supplement and frequently boast about the benefits that they experience.
However, family, friends and loved ones may start to notice strange and drastic changes in their behaviour, along with a reaction known as ‘head snaps’. Head snaps usually take place around 15 minutes after a person takes GHB, and causes unusual behaviour, blackouts or twitching that can last for several minutes. Episodes may happen following each GHB dose, or after heavier doses, and usually the user cannot even remember these episodes.
GHB stays in the body for about 90 minutes to 3 hours, though this depends on the frequency of use and quantity. GHB consumption causes a reduced heart rate and slowed breathing. Short term effects of GHB addiction include anxiety, euphoria, insomnia, sweating, vomiting, weight loss, mood swings, drowsiness, agitation and loss of muscle control, while long term effects include hallucinations, amnesia, difficulty thinking and headaches. Over time GHB addiction can cause serious, if not fatal, health issues such as liver failure, seizures, tremor, respiratory problems and comas.
In the long term, GHB addiction may cause permanent damages to the quality of one’s life. A person’s life is at risk every time they touch the drug. The results of GHB dosages are very unpredictable, even if they appear to be calculated. Additionally, the risks of using GHB are intensified by the use of alcohol or drugs that affect the central nervous system, and can cause side effects ranging from fatigue to death.
Even if GHB usage has not yet turned into addiction, simply using the drug puts a person at severe risk of ruining their lives. Any person who tries even one dose of GHB may not be able to metabolise the drug in the way that others can, which can cause life-changing problems or even death. Addiction treatment programmes and facilities that offer inpatient GHB rehabilitation programmes are required for those who are looking for long-term results. Inpatient treatment programmes usually start with medically supervised detoxification from the drug, which is the safest way for addicts to treat their physical addiction to the drug.
By using tried-and-true techniques to alleviate withdrawal symptoms, clients are given the help that they need to overcome the most difficult symptoms that occur within a few hours following their last dose. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), along with other forms of psychological therapies, is used to help clients overcome their reasoning behind drug abuse. Since GHB is psychologically addictive, a proper treatment plan will also include the renowned 12 Step programme and individual and group counselling.
The Dawn’s licensed team of addiction professionals have extensive experience in handling GHB addiction treatment. Our highly personalised and intensive treatment is customised to cater to each individual’s exact needs, and includes MBCT (an updated take on CBT), secular 12 Step and mindfulness therapy. We have a detoxification centre onsite to provide our clients with 24-hour medical support and an impressive 1:1 staff to client ratio. Our private accommodation in Lanna-style, riverside-setting facilities is an ideal location that allows our clients to focus entirely on themselves. We also provide a variety of complimentary therapies, such as massage and acupuncture, and online aftercare support free of charge.
If you or someone you know is abusing GHB, it is important to get GHB addiction treatment right away. Contact us today to receive a no obligation assessment and to find out how we can help you. You can also call us on one of our toll-free numbers listed on our Contact Us page.