Can You Get Addicted to GHB?

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Nothing can destroy the life of a young person more quickly than becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol. Some people experiment with drugs in the “X” or ecstasy family, not asking themselves, “Is GHB addictive?”. Can you get addicted to GHB? Indeed, you can. By the time a person shows signs of being addicted to GHB, they will require professional help. Addiction treatment programs help them stop using the drug and put their lives back together. 

What Is GHB?

If you haven’t heard of GHB, you are not alone. Also known by its full name of gamma-hydroxybutyric, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initially banned GHB in 1990. Years later, the FDA allowed it to be used as a general anesthetic and an aid in the treatment of sleep disorders. It can also be used to treat clinical depression and as part of a treatment for alcohol addiction. 

GHB relaxes the body, often creating an inability to move or even making a person blackout. Sadly, this effect makes it a popular choice for a “date rape” drug. Recreational use of the drug remains illegal. GHB does not have a color or odor in its pure form. People often consume it after transforming it into a salt-like substance or white powder.

Who Uses GHB?

GHB became popular with young adults and teenagers who experiment with psychoactive drugs. GHB is sometimes referred to as “G”, “liquid G”, and “liquid X”. It produces effects similar to drugs like MDMA (ecstasy). This type of party drug proves popular with people who use it in small doses. These doses provide them with energy, similar to stimulant drugs. They report feeling more active, levels of euphoria, and enjoying social events more, such as parties and dancing. While people of any age may use GHB, it remains popular among younger people who often try different drugs. Within that age group, not many people ask themselves if they may become addicted to GHB.  

Dangers of GHB

Using GHB can be quite dangerous for several reasons. Consuming too much of the drug on its own can cause an overdose or death. Mixing it with other central nervous system depressants, such as alcohol, can also cause dangerous and even deadly results. Because the use of GHB may result in a person passing out, they may vomit while unconscious, and end up choking to death. Convulsions and difficulty breathing can also occur while unconscious, which can cause great medical harm. 

GHB can be put into a drink without someone knowing and utilized as a date rape drug. A person who consumes it can become the victim of a sexual assault. They may not be physically able to stop it or may be unconscious when it takes place. Additionally, some people consume GHB and then engage in dangerous activities like driving or unsafe sex. They do so not realizing the possible negative outcomes.

Like with any illegal narcotic, people do not know exactly what ingredients make up the drug they consume. The strength of each dose often varies. Many dealers mix in unknown drugs and toxic ingredients that can cause medical problems and fatalities. GHB addictive possibilities also create danger for those who use the drug repeatedly.

Is GHB Addictive?

If you ask yourself, “Is GHB addictive?”, a problem may have already developed. Regular use of the drug can result in the development of physical and psychological dependence. Studies continue to be done on GHB addiction to determine how addictive it is. Furthermore, many heavy users experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the drug. Some people even experience withdrawal symptoms after just one night of binging on the drug. 

Withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium

Even when typical signs of addiction that occur with drugs like cocaine and heroin don’t appear, addiction may still have taken place. Emotional symptoms that indicate withdrawal is taking place can last for up to three weeks. In fact, this often causes a person to consume GHB to alleviate them. A medical and psychological evaluation by addiction experts can help determine if a person who abuses GHB needs professional treatment.

Signs and Symptoms of Being Addicted to GHB

Parents and other loved ones may not know how to recognize if someone they care about abuses GHB. The use of GHB, even in small doses, can cause the following signs and symptoms to occur:

  • Loss of motor control
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Memory loss
  • Dizziness
  • Behaving impulsively
  • Extended physical activity, like dancing
  • Increased libido
  • Feeling agitated
  • Excessive energy
  • Seizures
  • Losing consciousness
  • Becoming addicted to GHB
  • Overdose

Treatment for People Addicted to GHB

Anytime someone develops a substance use disorder, professional help constitutes the best option for becoming sober. The first step for GHB addiction involves entering a detoxification program. This helps rid the body of all remaining built-up toxins. In addition, some people enter residential treatment, which requires them to live in a facility while receiving treatment. 

Another popular alternative for addiction treatment comes in the form of outpatient treatment programs. Regular outpatient programs (OP), intensive outpatient programs (IOP), and intensive outpatient programs (IOP) provide multiples options for help. Outpatient programs allow a person to receive treatment during the day while returning home at night. Post-detox treatment allows the individual to drill down on how to become and stay sober. In addition, people examine the roots of their addiction, receive counseling, and engage in other proven treatments. These options may include holistic therapy, such as yoga, meditation, and experiential therapy. Many programs also treat mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.  

GHB Addiction Treatment in Los Angeles

Young adults tend to experiment and that includes using drugs that can be quite dangerous. If you know someone who is addicted to GHB, we can help them overcome their addiction. We treat substance use disorders and additionally, we treat accompanying mental health conditions. This allows people to enjoy overall better physical and mental health. Visit our admissions page now and get the help the person you love deserves.

About Our Founder

Jose Hernandez, for over a decade, has been involved in alcohol and addiction recovery helping people succeed in overcoming substance abuse and regaining control of their lives. He has experience in all aspects of the recovery world, from facilitating entry into treatment as an intervention specialist to counseling and case management at rehabilitation facilities. Jose has worked one-on-one with individuals as a sober companion and with groups as a resident counselor at addiction treatment centers and is certified by the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) to practice as a substance abuse counselor.

Through his professional experiences in crisis intervention, drug and alcohol detoxification, substance abuse counseling, and relapse prevention, Jose has developed a unique plan for case management that bridges the gap between a person’s painful past of substance abuse and a future of sobriety.

At Riviera Recovery, a sober living facility with multiple locations, clients continue their transition from the supportive environment of a treatment center to living well and happily in the “real” world. The program he designed at Riviera Recovery personalizes treatment plans that enable clients, including those with a single or dual-diagnosed mental health disorder, to embrace a satisfying life.

His greatest endeavor has been establishing LAUNCH, a Los Angeles-based life skills intensive outpatient program for young adults. LAUNCH works with recovering men and women to establish personal vocational and educational goals and develop the tools to successfully meet them. His mission is to ensure that no one stands alone in his or her recovery.

Meet Our Clinical Team

staff member drug alcohol treatment los angeles

Jess Beck, LCSW

Clinical Director

treatment team los angeles ca

Eric Chaghouri, MD


chloe kruskol los angeles rehab team

Chloe Kruskol, LCSW

Family Program Manager

Our Testimonials

Clients and Professionals Share Their Experience

  • HO

    Launch provided care on multiple levels. The highly skilled therapist coupled with the focus on purpose and long-term goals refocused my recovery from what previous treatment centers pushed onto me. I went from believing that I needed years of treatment to believing I needed years happiness and success. I began to focus on what I wanted to accomplish with my life. I came to realize all the things my addiction and mental illness had taken from me, and I used my future goals as a reason to never pick up again. Due to the passion that Launch instilled in me, I have pursued my future with excitement and dedication.

  • Nicole

    This place changed my life! I’ve had good laughs, good cries, shared a lot of heart to heart moments and grew a loving bond with everyone at Launch Centers. I will always be grateful!!! I really do miss it time to time. I highly recommend Launch Centers!

  • Joey

    The staff and clinicians are amazing and make you feel right at home from the second you walk in the door. I would absolutely recommend this place for a family member or close friend.

  • Ben

    This treatment facility has changed my life. I have always struggled with my mental health and this young adult program provided me with the necessary skills to launch to adulthood. I commend anyone who struggles with mental health or substance use (which was not me) to try this program out. It will change your life.

  • Conner

    Launch Centers Treatment was a major help to me. The therapists and staff genuinely cared about me and truly helped me to make a plan for my future. My personal therapists helped me to discover where some of my deeper issues came from. All of the staff worked tirelessly with me to talk through my issues, or just about life, and offered realistic solutions to my current problems and situation. All of the staff went above and beyond and advocated relentlessly for me. I am very grateful that I was able to have such a wonderful experience with Launch.

  • Adam

    In no uncertain terms Launch Centers changed my life. The staff at Launch are professional, knowledgable and relatable. They keep the format diverse and interesting which kept me engaged in the process. The greatest thing we can do in life is seek to improve ourselves. Launch gave me a skill set I consider to be invaluable in the journey of becoming the best version of myself. I would implore anybody considering Launch to step outside their comfort zone and go, you will not regret it.


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