GHB Addiction Treatment

Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a central nervous system depressant. Commonly referred to as the date rape drug, GHB is most commonly used recreationally on the dance and club scene.

Understanding GHB addiction

  • Often added to drinks, when GHB is consumed in small doses, the user may feel a sense of euphoria or tranquillity and an increased sex drive.
  • Used as a party drug to lower inhibitions, GHB elicits a psychoactive high.
  • Commonly referred to as G or liquid G, it is also known as liquid X due to its similarity in effect to ecstasy
  • Taking GHB can be a pleasurable experience; prompting users to consume the drug repeatedly and frequently.
  • GHB causes a flood of dopamine across various parts of the brain. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain associated with pleasure and reward
  • This comedown following use can cause extremely low moods, prompting users to take the drug again to mitigate these negative feelings.
  • The absence of GHB from the system produces lower than usual levels of dopamine, creating negative feelings
  • If consumed in excessive amounts or mixed with other depressants, such as alcohol, GHB use can lead to overdose

The effects of GHB

Despite the risk of overdose associated with its use and its potential to be habit-forming, GHB is a popular recreational substance due to its intoxicating euphoric and aphrodisiac effects.

From sweating and nausea to hallucinations or even amnesia, the less enjoyable effects of GHB are often an unknown variant as the drug is frequently adulterated with contaminants.

If consumed in excessive amounts or mixed with other depressants, such as alcohol, GHB use can lead to overdose.

Heavier doses of GHB elicit a sedative effect; sometimes to the point of unconsciousness. Often added to an unsuspecting victim’s drink prior to sexual assault, it has become known as a date rape drug.

A victim becomes incapacitated, unable to resist their attacker and may also experience blackout memory loss as a consequence.

Alcohol and Drug Addiction withdrawal effects

The warning signs of abuse

At a party, it’s not difficult to spot someone who’s using GHB.From uncoordinated movements and incoherence to lowered inhibitions and overexcitement, the behavioural signs of GHB use can be obvious very quickly. Physically, an individual may sweat excessively, have poor muscular control and experience a reduced heartrate. Vomiting and nausea may also develop following consumption.

Repeated use of the drug can lead to dependence, as the body’s system adjusts to the presence of GHB and becomes reliant upon it to function normally. Prolonged use poses serious health threats. The risk of cardiac arrhythmia is high amongst GHB users. Psychological dependence will almost certainly affect the user’s mental health.

Spotting the early warning signs of abuse may help to prevent addiction in the future. While abuse certainly involves indiscriminate behaviour, addiction is the development of a physical or psychological dependence that prohibits sudden discontinuation of use.

Alcohol and Drug Addiction treatment

Treating Ketamine addiction

If users stop taking GHB, their systems need to readjust to the absence of the drug. This withdrawal can prompt a variety of unpleasant and potentially dangerous symptoms. The urge to dispel these symptoms can drive an individual to start using again. As such, quitting the drug will often require inpatient treatment to reduce the risk of relapse.

Detox should be medically monitored to give the individual the greatest chance of success. Professional medical support and care will alleviate unpleasant withdrawal symptoms as much as possible. From vomiting to delirium and insomnia, withdrawal can be severe. While non-dependent users may be able to cease use with education and outpatient therapy, addicts will benefit from an inpatient treatment programme.

Following detox, engaging in a long-term treatment plan can help individuals overcome GHB addiction. Behavioural and holistic therapies can help addicts to understand the underlying issues that led them to abusive drug use and provide tools and coping strategies to help prevent relapse.

Alcohol and Drug Addiction Warning Signs

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