What Happens in GHB Addiction Treatment?


What Happens in GHB Addiction Treatment?

An addiction to GHB can be a debilitating experience considering the toll this drug takes on the body and mind.

GHB acts as a central nervous system depressant and hallucinogen delivering near immediate effects once ingested.

GHB's classification as one of the two most commonly used "date rape" drugs speaks to this drug's overall effects on a person's mind and body.


Likewise, the GHB addiction treatment process works with addicts to address the damaging effects of this drug in their lives.

For most people, GHB addiction treatment entails one or more of the following treatment stages:

  • Detoxification
  • Residential Care
  • Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • Support Group Work

As addiction in any form develops in stages, someone who enter treatment can expect recovery to take place in stages rather than all at one. GHB addiction programs specialize in helping addicts overcome both the physical and psychological aspects of a GHB addiction.

GHB Photo

GHB Effects on the Body

Both depressant and hallucinogen-type drugs cause radical changes to take place within the brain's chemical make-up, according to Kansas State University.

GHB alters a number of neurotransmitter chemical processes, which greatly affects a person's overall perceptions and bodily functions.


Someone under the influence of GHB may experience:

  • Hallucinations
  • Loss of Control Over Movement
  • Paranoia
  • Erratic Behavior Displays
  • Warped Sensory Perception

By the time a person enters an addiction treatment center, he or she has likely lost the ability to think clearly, let alone follow through on abstaining from further drug use without professional help.

Individualized Treatment Planning

Determining a person's individual treatment needs marks the first step in the addiction recovery process. Addiction severity, for the most part determines what level of care will best meet a person's treatment needs. Someone coming off a long-term addiction will likely require detox, residential and outpatient care whereas someone at the beginning stages of addiction may benefit from ongoing outpatient care alone.

GHB recovery programs develop a treatment plan at the outset. This plan forms the framework for the types of interventions used during the course of a person's treatment.

GHB Abuse Photo

GHB Abuse Detox Experience

Detoxing from GHB can be a harrowing experience considering the damaging effects from ongoing drug use.

For this reason, addiction programs closely monitor a person's physical condition as spikes in heart rate and blood pressure can easily occur when drug use is stopped.


In cases of long-term addiction, GHB abuse treatment facilities will likely administer medication therapies to help alleviate some of the discomfort a person experiences. Benzodiazepine medications, such as chlordiazepoxide, diazepam and lorazepam are commonly used for this purpose.

Psychosocial Addiction Treatment

Psychosocial treatment interventions form the backbone of the GHB addiction treatment process. While breaking the body's dependence on GHB is essential to recovery, helping addicts work through the underlying issues driving addiction behaviors lies at the heart of the recovery process.

Psychosocial Treatment Interventions

  • Ongoing, Long-Term 12-Step Support Group Work
  • Individual Psychotherapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Drug Education Training

Psychosocial treatment enables recovering addicts to develop healthy coping behaviors for dealing with everyday life pressures. Ongoing work in this area also helps a person remain engaged in his or her recovery process.

Topic Discussion

  1. Addict

    Thanks for this very informative post.

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