- PrintArticle Summary
- GHB Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs, and Detoxification
- Withdrawing from GHB: Treatment Methods and Options for Help
- Detoxing, Addiction Treatment Rehab and Recovery
GHB withdrawal is the beginning of any treatment program for GHB addiction. This nervous system depressant is a popular drug among young club-goers and is also used in the treatment of narcolepsy. Repeated use can lead to addiction, and many people who are addicted to GHB also have addictions to other drugs or alcohol.
Because GHB can be extremely dangerous, especially when used in conjunction with alcohol or other drugs, individuals with an addiction to GHB should seek out treatment as soon as possible.
GHB Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs, and Detoxification
Detoxification, the process of halting drug use and letting the body readapt to living without the drug, is often the first step in treatment for a physical addiction to GHB. When someone who has been using GHB stops taking the drug, he or she may experience GHB withdrawal symptoms. However, some users are psychologically addicted, not physically addicted to GHB, so these people do not experience withdrawal symptoms.
For physically addicted people, the most common withdrawal symptoms are tremors, insomnia, sweating and anxiety. In some people, delirium may occur. GHB withdrawal may also be deadly. In general, the more frequently a person uses GHB, the stronger the physical addiction and the more severe the withdrawal symptoms will be.
Withdrawing from GHB: Treatment Methods and Options for Help
Because withdrawing from GHB can cause such severe withdrawal symptoms for people with a physical addiction, medical supervision is typically advised during detoxification. Hospitalization during withdrawal from GHB is common, and most patients stay in the hospital for seven to 14 days. Part of GHB withdrawal treatment may involve the use of other drugs that help curb the symptoms of withdrawal. Benzodiazepines are sometimes used, but because these drugs are also highly addictive, they should only be used under medical supervision.
Anticonvulsants and antihypertensive medications are also sometimes used during GHB withdrawal treatment. Since these drugs are not addictive, they are typically preferred over benzodiazepines. However, even thought they are not addictive, these drugs should also only be used under the advisement and supervision of a trained medical professional.
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Detoxing, Addiction Treatment Rehab and Recovery
To successfully recover from an addiction to GHB, a long-term treatment plan must be established. Treatment typically involves detoxification followed by a program that combines individual counseling, group counseling and cognitive-behavioral therapy. These therapies combine to teach the person how to resist relapsing into drug use again once detoxification is complete. A residential inpatient rehab program can be highly effective for helping the recovering addict stay clean and sober. In this type of program, the person stays in the rehab facility for a period of time, often a few weeks or months, after detoxification is complete.
Outpatient programs are another option that may be able to help some individuals recovering from GHB addiction. Some people choose to complete the detoxification process in a hospital or clinic and then switch to outpatient services for the follow-up treatment. One particular difficulty with GHB addiction recovery is that some patients who have stopped taking the drug experience a form of amnesia that causes them to forget the dangers of the drug and relapse into using it. An inpatient rehab clinic may be a good option for people with this problem since the staff at the rehab center will prevent the recovering addict from using the drug.
People who are addicted to other drugs or alcohol in addition to their GHB addiction should also receive treatment for those other addictions at the same time. If you or someone you know needs more information about GHB withdrawal and treatment for GHB addiction, contact us at 1-888-935-1318 to learn more.