Recognizing GHB Addiction (Signs and symptoms to look out for)
GHB (or γ-Hydroxybutyric acid) is mostly known as a date rape drug. It is a dangerous substance especially popular with teenagers due to its relaxation and calmness inducing properties. GHB is available in various forms; a tablet, powder, and liquid.
Similarly to many other central nervous system depressants, GHB causes both physical and psychological signs of addiction.
Some of the most common physical symptoms of GHB addiction are:
- Weight loss
- Breathing depression
- Vision issues
Psychological symptoms of GHB addiction:
- Tolerance to the drug can be developed quickly, which means the person has to continually increase his/her dose to achieve the same high.
- Another important sign of GHB addiction is withdrawal symptoms. They occur when the addict omits a dose. These symptoms can be quite severe, even life-threatening, and require immediate medical assistance.
Some of the most frequent GHB withdrawal symptoms are:
- Muscle pain
Dangers of GHB Addiction
Just as any other central nervous system depressant, GHB has severe adverse effects on one’s health. When overdose occurs, respiratory depression is one of the most dangerous complications that may arise, and which can lead to a fatal outcome.
If taken excessively, GHB may cause seizures, liver failure, cognitive problems, coma, and death. What makes matters worse is the fact that many who consume this drug, do so in combination with alcohol, which further increases the chances of an overdose.
How to Tell if Your Loved One is Addicted to GHB and Needs Help? (Addiction signs you should not miss)
Most of the GHB users are aware that their behavior is harmful and wrong, but they are unable to quit their addiction without professional intervention. Therefore, the central question is how to tell if someone you love is addicted to GHB?
Here are some of the most noticeable signs of GHB addiction:
- Inability to control muscle movements
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Drug craving
- Drug seeking behavior
- Cognitive problems
- Memory loss
If you notice some of these signs listed above, do not be ashamed to ask for professional help. The important thing to remember is not to try detox at home because some of the withdrawal symptoms can be quite severe and even fatal.
GHB rehabilitation therapy consists of detoxification and counseling. Detox is conducted under strict medical supervision because it requires constant vital sign monitoring.
In some cases, the patient needs medication—mostly benzodiazepines—to ease the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. After the detox period is over, the next step is a complicated counseling process. It is based on cognitive behavioral therapy done in an individual or group setting. Also, family therapy is crucial to building a strong support system for the recovering addict.