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GHB Addiction- Gamma Hydroxybutyrate

Read everything you need to know about GHB addiction and how to deal with it.

GHB AddictionMore people in the U.S. have died from overdosing on GHB (Gamma Hydroxybutyrate) than MDMA (Ecstasy) and this has led to concerns over GHB addiction. GHB was synthesized in the 1960s as an anesthetic but this use was eventually rejected by the medical community as the drug lacked a pain killing effect.

In the 1970s, GHB was used in the treatment of narcolepsy but discontinued due to the euphoria produced. In the 1980s, GHB was considered an alternative to steroids by athletes for its' muscle building and weight loss properties, but by the 1990s, the drug was banned in the U.S. because of its dangers and lack of valid medical use. Today, it's known for its use as a predatory and date rape drug. Because standard drug tests, including most pre- and post employment drug screenings, don't test for GHB, it's undetectable by the usual drug screens. GHB was classified as a Schedule I Controlled Substance as of March 2000 as having no currently accepted medical uses.

What is GHB?

GHB (Gamma Hydroxybutyrate) is known by street names such as Liquid X, Juice, Heaven, Fantasy, Liquid Ecstasy and Liquid G, among others. Popular among some teens and college students, GHB is known as a club drug and is often used at rave parties. Despite GHB's nicknames Liquid Ecstasy and Liquid X, GHB is not the same as Ecstasy, which is another different but also dangerous drug. GHB is a clear liquid and can be taken in water, but because of the salty taste, it's usually mixed in fruity or very sweet mixtures. GHB addiction has been reported by people who use it frequently.

The Effects of GHB

GHB affects the brain and the entire central nervous system. Its effects are not unlike those of Ecstasy and can last up to three hours.When taken excessively, users may experience drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, breathing problems, decreased heart rate, memory loss, agitation, irritability, loss of consciousness, hallucinations, seizures, coma, and even death. Taking GHB with alcohol is especially dangerous. A GHB overdose can occur within fifteen minutes of taking the drug.

GHB Addiction

GHB has the potential to create dependence when taken in high doses over an extended period of time. Indicators that a person may have a dependency on GHB are the strong desire for more of the drug, especially in larger doses and more often. Tolerance can develop when the drug is taken frequently which means that more of the drug is needed to achieve the same effects. Those who report having a GHB addiction say they suffer from insomnia, depression, headaches, extreme irritability, and obsession with getting more of the drug.

GHB Withdrawal

GHB withdrawal can begin as early as one hour after the last dose was taken. GHB withdrawal symptoms can last up to fifteen days depending on how much of the drug was taken, how often it was used, and how long it's been used. Withdrawal symptoms may include some or all of the following: increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, nausea, sweating, hallucinations, agitation, irritability, and psychotic episodes.

GHB Detoxification

Medical detoxification may be necessary for withdrawal from GHB. A qualified doctor can make recommendations about whether or not a medical detox is needed.

Help is Available for You

Cognitive Behavioral Education (CBE), available only at Saint Jude Retreats, has proven to be highly effective in helping people overcome problems with GHB and other drugs. Periodic studies by outside research organizations demonstrate that the long-term success of former guests in achieving and maintaining fulfilling lives free of GHB and other drugs is at least 62%. St. Jude Retreats is a Cognitive Behavioral Education (CBE) program that helps people use self assessment and self change to make productive choices and positive habits and behaviors for a more purposeful life. CBE provides substance users with the skills and information they can use to move past their substance use permanently as well as give them a means to self-evaluate their success with goal setting and moving along their path to happiness and productivity. If you would like to learn more, please call Saint Jude Retreats today at 888.424.2626.

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