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GHB Abuse Treatment Options And Rehabilitation Programs

GHB addiction treatment

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Repeated use of central nervous system depressants like GHB often leads to physical dependence, bringing about the need for rehabilitation. GHB abuse treatment is necessary to kick the habit of dependence on this substance. GHB addiction treatment is followed by behavioral and physical changes in an addicted person, and it is recommended to recover under medical supervision. Health professionals provide the most effective methods of rehabilitation.

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Table of Contents

GHB Treatment Therapy and Rehabilitation Options

As mentioned earlier, trying to complete GHB addiction treatment alone may be challenging. Apart from the fact that it is difficult to achieve, it seems doubtful that the user will follow all the guidelines during withdrawal properly. If not followed, it could lead to severe GHB side effects. This makes GHB treatment centers and other suitable rehabilitation facilities the best bet, as one has a better chance of receiving professional care in these places. The process of recovery should be started as soon as possible, as there is a high chance of GHB fatal overdose.

doctor writing on medical health care record


As with any other similar situation, the initial stage of the rehabilitation process is diagnosis and assessment. Medical experts that will be treating the patient conduct a full assessment to get complete knowledge of the severity of the situation and decide what the best approach is. Information such as quantity and frequency of use will be required to determine the next course of action. While some patients may systematically take Xyrem dosage that exceeds the recommended ones, the others abuse the medication intentionally for recreational purposes.
Then, there will be a thorough evaluation of the user’s overall health condition in case the patient is dealing with any health issues that need to be taken into account before specific medication or regimens are recommended.

GHB Detoxification

In situations where the patient has a health condition that may interfere with GHB addiction treatment, a personalized regimen will be established. When all of the necessary information needed to start GHB addiction treatment is gathered, the process of detoxification can begin. This is another point where receiving help at a medical facility is crucial because the medical staff can keep watch over the patient throughout the process of getting clean.

Inpatient And Outpatient Ways To Recover From GHB Abuse

Various therapies are the most common of available GHB treatment options. When treating a patient for GHB addiction, behavioral therapy proves to be very useful. It helps the patient with changing the lifestyle that led to the addiction; it helps to focus on promoting healthier life skills, and habits and it also helps with persistence with the other types of treatment that are being employed (medication, for instance).
Medication helps with the process, but GHB drug treatment success percentages are higher when therapy is included in the program.

Patient couple consulting with doctor about rehab program

Outpatient Options For GHB Addiction Treatment

If an outpatient facility were chosen, the patient is placed on a visiting schedule with a behavioral health counselor, and available group or individual counseling programs are introduced to them.  Commonly outpatient therapies during GHB addiction treatment are as following:

  • Motivational incentives – this therapy encourages the patient to abstain from drugs using positive reinforcement.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – This therapy is centered around helping the patient to recognize the situations that are most likely to cause them to start using again. Recognizing these situations will help the patient to learn to avoid or cope better in them.
  • Motivational interviewing – This works best with conviction and readiness to make a change on the part of the patient.
  • Multidimensional family therapy – as the name suggests, this is usually adopted for families. Adolescents that are struggling with GHB addiction following a history of similar drug abuse from family members are placed under this therapy approach. The approach seeks to address the factors that influence drug abuse patterns within the group and improve general family functioning.

These approaches can be proposed to the patient during inpatient rehabilitation as well.

Inpatient Options GHB Addiction Treatment

If a patient is thinking about inpatient GHB treatment, there are licensed facilities where the patient can get round-the-clock care, housing, and medical attention.
Except for the therapies mentioned above, GHB treatment options that took place during the inpatient course have the following benefits:

  • Short-term residential treatment – used mostly during GHB detoxification stage. It is also useful for the initial phase of counseling while the patient is being prepared for treatment in a community-based setting.
  • Therapeutic communities – This is a longer-term alternative, where patients can remain for up to 12 months. The patient lives within a residence during this period among medical staff and other people in the addiction recovery process. Everyone in this setting is heavily involved in the effectiveness of the regimen because they directly influence each other’s behaviors, attitudes, and understanding of the factors leading to drug use.
  • Recovery housing – this is also a shorter-term situation than therapeutic communities, and it is focused on helping recovered patients to transition back into independent lives after suffering from long term addiction or undergoing long term treatment. Here, they re-learn essential life skills such as seeking for jobs and managing their money better.

GHB Addiction Recovery For Teens

teenage girl suffering with GHB abuse

GHB is generally seen as a club drug. It is commonly sold there under the Liquid G name and is mostly popular among teens and young adults. The social effects of GHB are somewhat similar to that of alcohol – they cause some similar reactions. Apart from its prevalent use in parties involving young adults, the fact that the drug is relatively inexpensive makes it an attractive proposition for teens looking for a cheap high.
GHB addiction treatment programs suitable for teens include:

  • Psychotherapy – One on one behavioral therapy to help the teen identify and consequently isolate any thoughts or emotions that worsen the addiction. Problems such as low self-esteem and depression, which are becoming more common among young adults nowadays can exacerbate drug abuse as they try to find an “escape.” Therefore, psychotherapy is a great way to help them find alternative ways to deal with those problems.
  • Residential treatment – Teens is more challenging to monitor, so outpatient therapies generally have greater risks of relapse during recovery. If that happens, it may become hard to get the teen to seek GHB treatment again. Residential programs take care of this potential problem to a large extent.
  • Group support – When young people receive GHB addiction treatment in an environment containing people that they can relate to (fellow recovering teen addicts), it promotes the feeling of empathy which directly affects how they view their own situation.

How Long GHB Addiction Treatment Process Lasts

For outpatient programs, there is a reasonably reduced time investment on the part of the patient. The schedules are often flexible. In the beginning, GHB treatment will be more intensive and would require the patient to come in for several hours a week. This number of hours steadily reduces over the course of a few months until rehabilitation is deemed complete.
On the flip side, inpatient GHB treatment could last for anywhere between 6 to 12 months as they usually involve severe cases of addiction.

people are sitting in circle during GHB addicts meeting

Choosing The Right Treatment Facility For GHB Addiction

There are a number of factors to consider when selecting the most suitable treatment facility. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Cost – Treatment for GHB can be costly, running costs up at about $1000 per month for affordable outpatient services. A luxury GHB treatment center can cost up to $30000 per month. If insurance does not cover the payments, the patient will have to factor in the cost when choosing a facility.
  • Payment Options – Insurance payments, credit cards, long-term payments – every rehab facility have rules about which methods of payment are allowed, so this is an essential piece of information to find out before making a choice,
  • Living arrangement – In-patient or Outpatient? Usually, the appropriate treatment plan for GHB addiction depends on the severity of the situation. If the assessment of the medical personnel reveals that the patient needs long-term treatment, inpatient service is advised, and vice-versa.
  • Location and Confidentiality – Some people are wary of being seen by people they know when visiting GHB treatment centers, so this may be an important consideration when choosing a facility. The location should be convenient.

If someone is suffering from GHB addiction and needs help, reach out to a qualified rehabilitation center and get them on the right path to recovery. Don’t hesitate to do it now.

Help Line Woman

Hope Without Commitment

Find the best treatment options. Call our free and confidential helpline

Most private insurances accepted

Marketing fee may apply

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse, Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction, January 2019,
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse, Club Drugs, GHB, Ketamine, and Rohypnol, December, 2014,
  3. Kathleen M. Carroll, Lisa S. Onken, Behavioral Therapies for Drug Abuse, August 2005,
Olivier George

About Author

Olivier George, Ph.D.

Olivier George is a medical writer and head manager of the rehab center in California. He spends a lot of time in collecting and analyzing the traditional approaches for substance abuse treatment and assessing their efficiency.


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