Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a Schedule I controlled substance. Many people mistakenly believe that GHB is relatively harmless and not addictive, but there is actually a high potential for abuse with GHB. Requiring Detox treatment where you have become addicted. Frequent use of GHB can result in physical dependence. With full-blown addiction thereafter resulting in the need for GHB Detox.

When you abuse GHB, you can develop a physical tolerance to the drug quickly. Tolerance is a phenomenon whereby your brain and body adapt to a drug’s presence in the body and need it to function normally. People who have developed a tolerance to GHB require increasingly larger amounts of the substance to achieve a high. If they take less of the drug or stop taking it, they will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal from GHB is potentially fatal.

Detoxing Safely

Detoxing at an inpatient rehab facility is the safest way to overcome GHB withdrawal and start the path to recovery. GHB, or gamma-hydroxybutyrate, is a naturally occurring chemical produced by the human body. However, consumed reqGHB can be synthesized, and consumed in large amounts, it can cause intense intoxication and lead to addiction. When the brain produces GHB naturally, it is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that interacts with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor cells.

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GHB ABuse

GHB’s popularity as a substance of abuse has decreased. It is most often abused as a date rape drug, so the person who consumes it will likely not know they have taken it.

However, people who abuse GHB for recreational reasons may be:

  • Bodybuilders or athletes trying to lose weight.
  • People who suffer from insomnia or irregular sleep patterns.
  • Older adults who took GHB as an anti-aging compound.
  • Adolescents or young adults who encounter the drugs at a night club, party, or rave.
  • People who struggle with depression.
  • People who previously abused alcohol or benzodiazepines.
  • Those suffering from chronic pain who did not experience a benefit from other substances.

People who suddenly quit GHB after abusing the drug for months or years are at risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms. They are most likely to be uncomfortable during detox treatment. Intense cravings increase the risk of relapse back into drug abuse. Typical withdrawal symptoms from GHB include Anxiety, Insomnia, Increased heart rate, High blood pressure, Physical tremors, Hallucinations, Extreme confusion, Delirium, Psychotic thoughts & Changes in mood, and aggression

GHB Detox Treatment 

Treatment will begin by removing the drug from your system while minimizing withdrawal symptoms. GHB withdrawal and detox must be carried out in a treatment facility because of acute delirium. One of the many side effects of withdrawing from GHB. Which needs to be treated with large doses of benzodiazepines. Your withdrawal symptoms can be expected to last between three and twelve days. During this period, your treatment center will also look at any other issues you may have, from depression to insomnia, malnutrition, and anxiety. If you also have a problem with alcohol addiction, treatment will also be provided during this time. 

GHB Withdrawal Signs

GHB detox withdrawal may begin soon after your last dose, within one to six hours. During withdrawal, your brain which has become used to having some depressed functions is suddenly freed from the drug. Resulting in a severe rebound effect. All previously held-back functions now start to flood your system. And some dangerous psychological and even physical side effects may overload it. This is the main reason why you should never try to quit GHB suddenly or go ‘cold turkey. It is essential to have your vital signs monitored during GHB withdrawal to ensure your safety. The severity of your GHB withdrawal symptoms will depend on the level of usage before quitting.

If you were a heavy user, taking a dose of GHB every two hours for several years could place you at risk of more serious side effects. GHB withdrawal can be similar to the process of withdrawal from other illicit drugs. Like benzodiazepines, and may lead to life-threatening seizures. If you have become dependent on GHB, abruptly quitting, or seriously reducing your use of the drug may lead to several unpleasant symptoms. Such as psychosis, delirium, increased heart rate, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, insomnia, hallucinations, and so on.

Types of GHB Withdrawal

  • Mild to moderate withdrawal without delirium effects. If your GHB withdrawal is mild to moderate, you will experience anxiety, tremors, and insomnia, but remain normally interactive and lucid. Without signs of hallucinations or delirium. You are also at a lesser immediate risk for severe complications. But, may continue to a state of agitated delirium. Inpatient detoxification is a recommended treatment at this stage.
  • To prevent acute decompensation, your doctor might treat your symptoms. Like diaphoresis, insomnia, anxiety, and tremors aggressively with sedative-hypnotic agents, such as Diazepam. Also, barbiturates such as phenobarbital and pentobarbital may be used. Your caregivers will monitor your pulse, mental status, and vital signs. With vitals reviewed approximately every two hours. Even though it’s possible to treat mild GHB withdrawal at outpatient centers, it is safer for you to be treated at an inpatient detox rehabilitation center.
  • Severe withdrawal with delirium effects. In severe withdrawal, you are at risk of self-harm and complications. Such as seizures, rhabdomyolysis, or hyperthermia, and will require treatment with large doses of sedatives. You will require close surveillance in an intensive care unit. Or rehab clinic to monitor your cardiac and pulse conditions. Respiratory depression because of high doses of sedatives used to control your withdrawals may require closer attention. As soon as your agitated state is under control and intravenous sedatives are no longer required, you may no longer need inpatient treatment.

Causes of GHB Withdrawal

Withdrawal is your body’s natural reaction to being deprived of a chemical substance you have become addicted to. You will experience symptoms of GHB detoxification withdrawals when attempting to quit or stop using the substance. GHB chemically alters your brain, making both your body and brain adjust to functioning in the presence of GHB. This means your brain believes it needs the substance to function. Therefore, when you attempt to quit using the drug, it can result in both physical and psychological cravings, as well as other physical reactions. Such physical reactions are a result of GHB withdrawal.

Signs and Symptoms of Withdrawal

GHB has a short duration of effects and is cleared from the body 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. The acute GHB withdrawal syndrome may include signs and symptoms such as Insomnia, Anxiety, Agitation, Sweating, Increased heart rate (tachycardia), Increased blood pressure (hypertension), Tremors, Confusion, Psychosis, Delirium & Seizures.

GHB is a dangerous substance, and its chronic use can negatively impact your health and wellbeing. When it comes to compulsive use, simply quitting can be difficult and, due to the presence of potentially dangerous acute withdrawal symptoms, may not be advisable.

Detoxification Evaluation and Assessment

In order to figure out if you need a medical detox program to keep you safe and comfortable during the withdrawal portion of early recovery, you should ideally be evaluated by a medical doctor or other substance abuse treatment professional. By evaluating the details of your substance abuse history, they can better gauge factors such as addiction severity, the magnitude of physical dependence, and the likelihood of a severe and/or complicated withdrawal to guide their recommendations for the appropriate level of treatment. They will be able to ascertain if your path to recovery needs to involve a period of medical detox that will put you in a situation where your withdrawal progress is monitored—and your safety ensured.

GHB Withdrawal Medications

GHB Detox is best carried out via in-house or residential treatment. This way, you can be carefully monitored so that your comfort and safety can be carefully monitored, as your normal dosage of GHB is gradually tapered to control the severity of the withdrawal symptoms that might occur. There have been a number of fatalities occurring amongst patients who abruptly stopped medication, so sudden abstinence from GHB is not recommended – especially if you are a heavy user. The expected length of time required for GHB detoxification is about 10 – 14 days.

Standardized protocols for GHB addiction treatment have not yet been developed. However, some treatment centers are known to make use of anti-seizure medications, including benzodiazepine, as well as antipsychotic medications during the detoxification process. As a result of the sharp spike in blood pressure that could occur with GHB withdrawal, treatment centers also administer some types of medications to lower the increase in blood pressure.

GHB Detox Therapy

In practical terms, you may find your addiction easier or more difficult to break than someone else. Medical supervision is a key part of the process, as the physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms of GHB can be quite disturbing for you. The important thing to remember with GHB addiction treatment is that you are not alone. The right rehab will let you spend time in GHB addiction treatment therapy sessions, where you can explore the reasons why you started GHB. This will help you avoid a relapse in the future after your treatment is over. Therapies may include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), group therapy, motivational interviewing, motivational incentives, and multidimensional family therapy.

Treatment at We Level Up

Here at WeLevelUp Treatment Facility, we provide proper care with our round-the-clock physicians available to help you cope and be successful with your recovery. Reclaim your life, call us to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions. 

Your call is private and confidential and there is never any obligation.