January 3rd, 2024
GHB, known for its dual role as a date rape drug and recreational substance, possesses a significant but often underestimated addictive potential. Successful recovery entails addressing physical, psychological, and emotional aspects, as neglecting any element increases the risk of relapse in GHB addiction treatment.
UKAT’s GHB detox and GHB rehab programmes are expertly designed to heal and guide our clients, mind, body and soul. Through this holistic approach, we empower them to retake control of their life and start to build a more hopeful future.
GHB detox: Laying the foundations for recovery
GHB detox is a critical and intricate process, marking the first step towards liberation. To understand why detox is so important, it is first necessary to understand how GHB works.
GHB (Gamma-hydroxybutyrate) exerts its effects primarily on the central nervous system. It mimics the action of neurotransmitters like GABA, inducing feelings of calmness and euphoria. However, prolonged use of GHB leads to the brain becoming dependent on the substance to maintain these altered states, disrupting the natural neurotransmitter balance. This dependence manifests as a compulsion to consume the drug to avoid uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
GHB detox involves metabolising and excreting the substance, which enables the gradual recalibration of the body and brain. This phase is more than just removing GHB from the body. It begins a healing journey where the body and mind repair and regain their natural rhythm and balance.
GHB withdrawal: Healing and readjustment
Withdrawal from GHB is a deeply personal and variable experience, with symptoms that can range from mild to severe. These symptoms reflect the body’s struggle to heal and adapt to the absence of GHB. Symptoms may include:
Anxiety and agitation: This occurs as the body reacts to the absence of GHB’s calming effects, leading to heightened states of nervousness and restlessness.
Insomnia: Disruptions in sleep patterns are common, as GHB significantly affects sleep regulation.
Sweating and tremors: These symptoms represent the body’s physical response to withdrawal, indicative of the nervous system’s readjustment.
Increased heart rate: Often observed during withdrawal, an increased heart rate usually reflects the body’s stress response without GHB.
Psychotic symptoms and hallucinations: In more severe cases of withdrawal, individuals may experience hallucinations or delusions, a sign of the brain’s struggle to rebalance its chemistry without GHB.
The intensity and duration of these symptoms can vary greatly, influenced by factors such as the duration and intensity of GHB use, individual health conditions and personal physiology. However, a typical GHB withdrawal timeline will usually look something like this:
Day one: The initial phase usually involves the onset of withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, insomnia and sweating. This can be distressing, but it is a good sign that the body is starting the readjustment process.
Days two to five: During this time, withdrawal symptoms may intensify, reach their peak and begin to subside. This phase can include severe physical symptoms like tremors and increased heart rate and in some cases, psychological symptoms like psychosis. It is during this peak withdrawal phase that medical support is most critical.
Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS): While for most people, GHB withdrawal should only last a few days, some individuals may experience prolonged withdrawal symptoms known as PAWS. In these cases, ongoing medical support is required to prevent relapse and keep the individual safe.
GHB detox at UKAT: A safe and supported process
UKAT’s drug detox services play an essential role in helping our clients safely navigate through GHB withdrawal. We take every step to mitigate the risks of GHB detox by providing:
- Thorough medical assessment on arrival: Every client undergoes a comprehensive evaluation, allowing for the creation of a detox plan. This adjustable plan takes into account the specifics of each client’s drug addiction and recovery requirements.
- 24/7 medical support: Our medical team is available around the clock and is equipped to handle all the complexities of GHB detox.
- Medical detox options: Medication can be used when necessary to alleviate or stabilise withdrawal symptoms.
- Progression to UKAT’s GHB rehab programme: This seamless progression enables clients to build on the progress made in detox and begin to address the other aspects of the condition.
Tips for a successful GHB detox
GHB detox is a critical process but it isn’t always an easy one. These tips are designed to make this stage as effective and comfortable as possible:
Focus on hydration and nutrition
Proper hydration is crucial during GHB detox because dehydration can exacerbate withdrawal symptoms. A balanced diet rich in nutrients is crucial because it supports the body’s healing process.
Getting enough rest is one of the best ways to accelerate withdrawal. However, GHB withdrawal often disrupts sleep patterns, making this easier said than done. You’ll need a comfortable, restful environment and practise good sleep hygiene during GHB detox. This can aid in recovery and leave you refreshed for the next stage.
GHB detox can be mentally and emotionally taxing, so try to engage in activities that promote positive well-being. These include mindfulness practices, light physical exercises, therapeutic art or journaling.
Identifying and avoiding situations or environments that trigger cravings for GHB is crucial during detox. This is easiest done in an inpatient detox centre like UKAT where you will be shielded from the normal stressors and triggers which could spark a relapse.
GHB rehab: Digging deep into dependency
GHB rehab is a comprehensive treatment process designed to address the complexities of GHB dependency. It involves multiple components which address not just the addiction but also focus on physical, mental and emotional health.
Drug rehab can be undertaken in both an outpatient and inpatient setting. UKAT offers inpatient GHB rehab, where you stay at our centre as a resident until your treatment is complete. You will undergo a comprehensive therapy programme, relapse prevention training, and lifestyle skill development during this time. This includes:
Group therapy – Fostering connection
Group therapy creates a supportive community where individuals can connect and share their experiences, offering valuable peer support.
One-to-one therapy – Personalised exploration
One-to-one therapy provides a personalised and confidential environment for clients to delve deeply into their issues, ensuring tailored attention and care.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – Holistic transformation
is geared towards reshaping negative thought patterns and behaviours associated with GHB use and fostering positive change.
Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) – Enhancing emotional resilience
focuses on strengthening emotional regulation, building resilience and equipping individuals with essential coping skills for when they leave the sanctuary of GHB rehab.
Art therapy – Creative expression and healing
serves as a creative outlet for emotional expression and processing that taps into the therapeutic power of creativity.
Family therapy – Healing family bonds
addresses family dynamics and enhances communication, which is pivotal in the overall GHB recovery journey.
Sound therapy – Harmonising mind and spirit
Sound therapy harnesses the soothing effects of music and sounds to promote relaxation and mental well-being.
Motivational interviewing – Commiting to change
Motivational interviewing encourages individuals to discover their inner motivation and commit to lifelong positive change.
Meditation – Cultivating mindfulness and serenity
Meditation practises aid in developing mindfulness and effective stress management skills, promoting inner peace.
Preventing GHB relapse: strategies for sustained recovery
Preventing relapse is a critical aspect of the GHB recovery journey. It involves understanding the triggers and implementing effective strategies to maintain long-term sobriety. These strategies include:
Aftercare engagement: Continuous support post-rehab is vital, and UKAT offers all clients one year of free weekly group therapy, providing a platform for sustained support and guidance. These sessions reinforce the coping strategies and lessons learned during GHB rehab, offering a safety net during vulnerable times.
Developing healthy routines: Establishing a stable daily routine, including regular exercise, healthy eating and adequate sleep, can significantly enhance mental and physical well-being, reducing the urge to relapse.
Building a strong support network: Maintaining connections with supportive individuals, whether friends, family or rehab peers, is crucial for emotional strength and encouragement.
Trigger management: Identifying personal triggers for GHB use and developing strategies to manage them is essential. This may involve therapy, mindfulness practices or avoiding certain environments and social situations.
Joining a support group: Local groups like Narcotics Anonymous can provide empathetic peer support during difficult moments when triggers or cravings arise, and you need extra reassurance or motivation.
How to start GHB rehab
If you or a loved one is struggling with GHB addiction, we encourage you to take the first and more important step today. UKAT is committed to providing a comprehensive, compassionate approach to GHB addiction treatment. Contact UKAT for more information and begin your journey to recovery.
What are the benefits of inpatient GHB rehab?
Inpatient GHB rehab provides numerous advantages compared to outpatient rehab, offering an immersive recovery environment with no access to GHB or other substances. It serves as a haven from triggers, ensuring round-the-clock care and support, and provides an opportunity to build relationships with clients and staff. Additionally, inpatient facilities often offer more diverse and effective therapy options.
How much does it cost for GHB detox and rehab?
The cost of GHB addiction treatment at UKAT depends on how long you stay in rehab. We recommend that you commit as long as you can to treatment, but we recognise an extended stay is not possible for everyone. To suit as many people’s requirements as possible, we provide various lengths of GHB rehab programmes to choose from. Get in touch with us to learn more about each programme’s costs.