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
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
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
- Behaving impulsively
- Extended physical activity, like dancing
- Increased libido
- Feeling agitated
- Excessive energy
- Losing consciousness
- Becoming addicted to GHB
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.