GHB Addiction

­GHB Addiction Treatment at Axis West

Gama-hydroxybutyrate, more commonly known as “GHB”, falls into a class of illicit substances known as club drugs, which means they are predominately used by a younger crowd at places like raves, dance clubs and bars.  While it is used in the medical field to treat narcolepsy and in some extreme cases alcoholism, GHB is used primarily as a party drug, due to the euphoric effects it causes that have been described by some as comparable to ecstasy.  It has also turned up in the sports world for its capacity to enhance the body’s natural production of HGH (human growth hormone).  But no matter what the intended uses may be, there is a serious risk of developing a GHB addiction.

 

Health Concerns of GHB Addiction

There are both immediate and long-term effects that accompany the use of GHB, effects only enhanced with the onset of a GHB addiction.  GHB causes an elevated production in GABA, a neurotransmitter whose purpose is to stop the use of other neurotransmitters, but when there is an excess of GABA mood swings, a shortened attention span as well as drowsiness may occur.  Due to the extreme danger that goes along with central nervous system depressants, narcolepsy is the only thing that the FDA has approved the use of GHB for.  Whether prescribed or not, abuse of any CNS depressant result in addiction and can induce seizures, a coma, or even death if a high dose is taken.  The real danger with a drug like GHB is due to the fact that the euphoric effects are not felt immediately so another dose may be taken to reach desired state, but there is no way to tell if that next dose may be fatal or not.  These risks increase greatly when CNS depressants like GHB are mixed with alcohol, and sadly, there is a preponderance of evidence that suggests people often DO mix the two recreationally.

Unfortunately, since GHB is a relatively new substance, the long-term effects are not evidently comprehended, which has led some to believe that it’s relatively safer than other CNS depressants.  This thought process is risky since the long-term effects of a GHB addiction may not be known for a number of years until more studies are conducted.  Since GHB is made from various industrial chemicals and may not have been created correctly on the streets, burns in the mouth, throat, and stomach may occur that can cause permanent scarring, which in turn only brings more long-term health issues to the table.

 

Withdrawal Signs and Symptoms of GHB Addiction

As with other CNS depressants, such as alcohol, GHB withdrawals are extremely intense and may lead to hospitalization.  A person undergoing withdrawal from a GHB addiction may experience a range of symptoms, including: tremors, hallucinations, Tachycardia (an extremely elevated heartbeat), insomnia, seizures, and even in some extreme cases rhabdomyolysis, which is brought about by the repeated damage of muscle tissue (source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18226321).

There is solid evidence that with extended use, a GHB addiction can easily develop.  The dependence can be both psychological and physical, as the addiction sets in and many other aspects of the user’s life become less important than the substance itself.  Responsibilities such as work or school may fall by the wayside; problems may arise in personal relationships with family, friends, or significant other.  Behavioral signs may include an unexplained need for money or sudden financial issues, an increase in secretive behaviors, slurred speech, and impaired coordination.  A sudden change in personality may be brought about, along with mood swings and a general apathy towards things in life that were once important.

If you or a loved one have experienced any of the above symptoms, we urge you to call us today at 866-737-4962 to find out if Axis West’s California drug rehab can provide the GHB addiction treatment necessary to help put your life back on the right track.

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