One of the newest drugs that people turn to is GHB, or gamma-hydroxybutyric acid. If you face addiction and want to find your sobriety, one of the most important steps you can take is to go through a detox program. At We Level Up, we offer GHB detox to help you begin your journey to healing.
Understanding GHB Addiction
Among Americans aged 12 and older, 37.3 million people have an addiction, according to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics. GHB is an illicit substance that targets the central nervous system. People use it to receive sedative, euphoric, or amnesic effects.
The Drug Enforcement Administration categorizes GHB as a Class I drug because it does not have any therapeutic use and has a very high potential for misuse.
GHB has the street name “Liquid E” because it has similar effects to Ecstasy, but it is chemically very different from the party drug. GHB affects various neurotransmitters, including gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA inhibits certain kinds of brain activity, leading to feelings of relaxation and drowsiness.
The powerful effects GHB has on the brain cause tolerance to develop quickly. When your body becomes used to the drug and no longer knows how to function without it, you have an addiction and can experience withdrawal symptoms.
People who have parents or close relatives who have an addiction to GHB are more likely to develop this condition themselves. Your environment can also play a role in addiction, as can trauma and other mental health concerns.
GHB has such powerful relaxing and intoxicating effects that people with anxiety disorders and other co-occurring conditions may use it to self-medicate their symptoms.
Some of the signs of a GHB addiction include:
- Using GHB despite its negative effects
- Spending time acquiring, taking, or recovering from GHB
- Slurred speech
- Depressed breathing
- Lowered body temperature
- Lowered heart rate
- Excessive sweating
- Loss of muscle control
- Increased sensitivity to light and sound
- Memory loss
- Decreased anxiety
- Lowered inhibitions
GHB is dangerous on its own, but it can be fatal if you mix it with other depressants, including alcohol. This is because central nervous system depressants affect breathing and heart rate, slowing them down to dangerous levels.
Overdosing is another real concern for people who use GHB. Some of the signs of an overdose include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Slowed heartbeat
- Respiratory depression
- Extreme confusion
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety attacks
- Uncontrollable shaking
If you have a GHB addiction, you need to get help to avoid putting your life at risk. At We Level Up, we offer inpatient programs to help with substance use disorders.
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Treatment will begin by removing the drug from your system while minimizing withdrawal symptoms. GHB detox is a crucial part of the recovery process, and it is one you do not want to go through on your own. At We Level Up, we offer detox programs to help you avoid severe withdrawal symptoms.
When you have an addiction to GHB, your body no longer remembers how to function without the drug, so if you stop using it, you can begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
GHB has a short duration and your body clears it quickly. Because of this, you may experience a relatively rapid onset of withdrawal—typically within a few hours after the last use of the drug.
You can experience mild GHB withdrawal symptoms or more severe ones that require prompt medical attention, which is why turning to a medical detox facility is the right thing to do. This is especially important if you develop GHB withdrawal syndrome, which causes extreme withdrawal symptoms.
Symptoms of GHB withdrawal can include:
- Intense cravings
- Increased heart rate
- Excessive sweating
- Increased blood pressure
- Muscle cramps
- Overactive reflexes
At We Level Up, we offer safe medical detox programs that can help with GHB withdrawal symptoms.
We begin by performing a thorough assessment of your physical and mental health. This will allow us to find the right medications to treat the addiction as well as any co-occurring mental health conditions you may have. With this information, we can put together the right treatment program for your individual needs.
If your GHB withdrawal is mild to moderate, you may experience anxiety, tremors, and insomnia but remain lucid. You are also at a lesser immediate risk for severe complications. Inpatient detoxification is a recommended treatment at this stage.
To treat GHB withdrawal with acute symptoms, we may turn to sedative-hypnotic agents, such as diazepam, or barbiturates, like phenobarbital and pentobarbital. We may also turn to anticonvulsant medications to help you if you develop physical tremors.
We will monitor your pulse, mental status, and vital signs 24/7 and adjust medications as needed to control psychological and physical distress.
The expected length of time required for GHB detoxification is about 10 to 14 days.
After the detoxification process and once you no longer have GHB withdrawal symptoms, you can begin your addiction treatment, including participating in the various therapies we offer at We Level Up.
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Inpatient Treatment for GHB Addiction
Medical supervision is a key part of the process, as GHB’s physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms can be quite disturbing for you. The important thing to remember with GHB addiction treatment is that you are not alone.
At We Level Up, we offer inpatient treatment for GHB addiction. Once we stabilize you and you are through the GHB detox process, you can begin addiction treatment therapy sessions, where you can explore the reasons why you started GHB. This will help you avoid a relapse in the future. Therapies may include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), group therapy, motivational interviewing, and family therapy.
Support groups are an important tool for those dealing with any addiction, and we offer them at our center. They can help you feel less alone with substance abuse. There are also holistic therapy options that can help you understand your GHB use.
At our center, you will have supervision and a safe and supportive environment where you can really delve into the cause of the addiction and what may be stopping you from recovering.
If you have a dual diagnosis, meaning you have a co-occurring mental health condition, we will put together a personalized treatment program that can help you with both conditions.
Treating one condition without the other can cause treatment to fail, so our intake process will focus on understanding whether you have mental health conditions that may impact your chances of recovering.
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If you have an addiction to GHB, the most important step you can take is to reach out to an addiction treatment center from We Level Up. GHB use is very dangerous, and the withdrawal process requires close medical supervision to ensure you are safe.At We Level Up, we can offer some of the leading therapies to help you overcome your addiction while also making it possible for you to remain comfortable and free of severe cravings as you engage in treatment. Call We Level Up today to get started with GHB detox.
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