GHB Detox and Rehabilitation Programs in the United States

Created On Wednesday, 25, November 2009
Modified On Wednesday, 08, September 2021

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A habitual user of GHB is at great risk both while using and withdrawing from the drug. So where the decision has been made by a person (or for a person in extreme resistive to treatment cases) a monitored detox for GHB is vital. This is because the controlled setting itself can be the only way to have a person stop using but stay safe and out of harm's way. In cases of severe withdrawals that include violent lashing out, restraints may have to be used for a period of time. All GHB detoxes should be in a relatively locked down setting so as to avoid running out into traffic, or other potential disasters which the user will not be in control of nor perceiving properly. The first few days of detox can be relatively uneventful. However, from day 3, 4, and on, the with drawls become unpredictable, and great care must be taken. Psychosis is common at this point, hallucinatory episodes, violent behavior, etc. is what can happen from day 3 and on and up to 14 days after stopping GHB. For these reasons alone, controlled detox cannot be recommended highly enough. Once detoxification is done, the addict should continue treatment at a drug rehabilitation center, whether it is an outpatient and inpatient facility.

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WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS DURING GHB DETOX

  • Users describe the "hole in your soul" feeling, deep suicidal depression.
  • Can't sleep
  • Hallucinations, psychotic thinking, and behavior
  • Agitation, violence
  • Panic attacks
  • Profuse sweating
  • Soaring blood pressure and pulse rate

Since so many GHB users die from an accidental overdose, the sooner a GHB user can be brought to understand the nature and reality of their addiction, the likelier the person will be able to survive their addiction and fully recover. Because of the fast burn up in the body, often GHB use is undetected but was the reason why a sudden cardiac arrest at age 30 for instance. So for GHB detox yes it is extremely vital, and the sooner the better in all cases.

What is GHB and What is it Used For?

GHB is Gamma Hydroxybutyric, which is made from gamma-butyrolactone knew as GBL, Sodium Hydroxide or Potassium Hydroxide. These chemicals are mainly the base of solvent to degrease or floor stripper with drain cleaner. So when someone ingests GBL, it will produce GHB in the body. GHB was used as a general anesthetic to treat sleeping problems, alcohol addiction, narcolepsy and so athletes can improve performance. Illegally, GHB was used as an intoxicant or date rape substance. It is a natural substance produced by our bodies. GHB is produced in beer and wine in a small number of results of fermentation.

HISTORY

GHB was initially reported as a synthetic drug in 1874 by a chemist by the name of Alexander Zaytsev. The first major research relating to the human body was performed in the early 60s. The Danger was discovered of using GHB with alcohol and other depressants. For several years, GHB was used in Europe as a sleeping agent and an anesthetic in childbirth but the use of this drug was found to cause strong rebound insomnia and psychosis so it was banned from use. There were also some other drugs discovered, which did not have the same addiction level.

OTHER NAMES FOR GHB

  • "G" (most common)
  • Gamma-OH
  • Liquid E
  • Fantasy
  • Georgia Home Boy
  • Grievous Bodily Harm
  • Liquid X
  • Liquid Ecstasy
  • Scoop
  • Water
  • Everclear
  • Great Hormones at Bedtime
  • GBH Soap
  • Easy Lay
  • Salty Water
  • G-Riffick
  • Cherry Meth
  • Organic Quaalude
  • Jib

EFFECTS OF GHB

Desire to socialize Loss of coordination
Difficulty concentrating Loss of gag reflex
Enhanced sexual experience Muscle relaxation
Feeling affectionate Possible nausea
Happiness Sensuality
Increased energy Talking
Intoxication  

Other bad effects occur while using GHB, and these effects are amplified using alcohol and depressant.

Amnesia Loss of consciousness
Being conscious but unable to move Loss of muscle control
Death Nausea
Dizziness Respiratory problems
Drowsiness Vomiting
Headaches  

Can an accidental overdose occur while taking GHB?

As with other drugs, an accidental overdose can most definitely occur while using this drug. Many users are unaware of the potency and amounts, they may be consuming and this is where the danger of an overdose comes into play. Many users have also stated to having some very scary and dangerous withdrawal symptoms while detoxing off of this drug.

SIGNS OF OVERDOSE

The effects of an overdose of GHB would be deep sedation or sleep which the individual cannot be awakened from. Someone passed out on GHB is in a coma state that will probably result in death - they do not often wake up again so do not delay seeking medical attention immediately if you are addicted to GHB.

Is GHB addictive and How Long Does it Stay in Your System?

Misleading information regarding GHB suggests that it is non-addictive when it is quite addicting. It does have severe symptoms, and prolonged use makes it very hard for the user to withdraw from it entirely. It is highly dangerous and has been known to cause fatalities. Having the ability to be metabolized rather fast, GHB can be detected in urine for only up to 12 hours after being ingested into the system. This could go as far as 24 hours depending on the amount of GHB taken. As for a blood test, it can be detected for up to 6 or 8 hours after use.

Abuse of GHB in the United States

In the United States, there is definitely a problem with the misuse and abuse of GHB. In 2015, several people overdosed on GHB throughout the nation. In March, two people overdosed on GHB at a club in San Francisco. And, in July, 2 people were in critical condition and another one died after taking GHB at a house party in Venice Beach. GHB is very hard for police to detect, and it leaves the system more quickly than other drugs, so, unfortunately, some find it an ideal drug to use. To help inform people on the truth of GHB, a non-profit called Project GHB was formed. They offer information on GHB addiction, while also providing statistics on the abuse of this drug and the devastating effects it has caused.

CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ARTICLE

Marcel Gemme, DATS - Author

More Information

Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people. He is a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Treatment Specialist graduate with Honours of Stratford Career Institute. Marcel has also received a certificate from Harvard for completing a course entitled The Opioid Crisis in America and a certificate from The University of Adelaide for completing a course entitled AddictionX: Managing Addiction: A Framework for Succesful Treatment.