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GHB addiction

SolutionS Belgium / Addictions  / Drug addiction / GHB addiction

Addiction to GHB

GHB stands for gamma hydroxybutyric acid. This substance was developed about five years ago as an anaesthetic (narco-anaesthetic) and sedative. However, because of its many side effects it has never really been widely used. Over time the substance became initially and especially known as a party drug. Particularly the first few times it is used it is associated with a very pleasant intoxication.

But because it is strongly addictive you can quickly end up in a situation where the use is primarily and particularly to counter the often very unpleasant (and not harmless) withdrawal symptoms. Because its effect is only brief, very frequent intake is necessary, approximately once every two hours.

Another big danger of GHB use is the dosage: the quantity used to create the required effect is almost as much as the one that can lead to a coma. Because the concentration varies quite a lot, this is a serious problem: certainly when the substance is bought via a dealer and you therefore don’t know what is in it.

Rape drug

GHB has a dubious reputation as the ‘date rape drug’: by adding it to a drink for instance in a discotheque someone can be drugged and then sexually abused. Afterwards the victim often does not know exactly what happened. This situation also runs the risk of someone losing consciousness.

GHB is cheap and you can produce it yourself. In sparsely populated areas in the United States where drug dealers cannot be found, GHB is becoming a kind of plague according to insiders. People are regularly found dead in their home as a result of a GHB overdose.

The price and the possibility of making the drug yourself are also major explanations of its rapidly increasing popularity in the Netherlands. Alarmingly the use of this drug is increasing particularly amongst minors.

Kicking the GHB habit

Kicking the GHB habit is really only possible to do safely in a clinic where the prescription of medicinal GHB is best done. This is then gradually reduced to zero. This might take two weeks. This quick reduction to zero often leads to serious confusion in users, quite often resulting in their forced admission to a psychiatric hospital due to their dangerous behaviour. A big additional problem is then that the substances which usually work well against confusion, antipsychotics and benzodiazepines, hardly have any effect on GHB users. The most effective treatment in the event of confusion as a result of abstinence from GHB is therefore to increase the dosage again.

It may be clear that the ‘new’ addictions such as those to GHB can cause big problems. As always information provision and other forms of prevention are most effective. Unfortunately this hardly ever takes place.

Action plan

SolutionS helps you to kick your GHB habit. With the aid of an addiction physician a kick-off schedule is made and then you follow the treatment programme in the clinic.

It takes courage to admit that you are addicted but even more strength and perseverance to conquer your GHB addiction. Just take all the help you can get with both hands.

SolutionS is ready to offer this help. The SolutionS treatment team consists of psychiatrists, physicians, psychologists, physiotherapists and counsellors who are all authorities in the field of addiction. At SolutionS both your physical as well as psychological problems will be dealt with. This takes place during admission to one of our rehabilitation clinics. The admission period is experienced as extremely intensive but at the same time also as a period of reflection. Reflection on who you really are, making the causes of your drugs addiction a subject of discussion and looking for possibilities and opportunities for the future provides relief and thereby improves the quality of your life.


When you leave the clinic SolutionS will immediately begin the after-care programme. An addiction you built up over many years, is not tackled in four weeks. Despite the fact that you will receive all possible tools to build up your life without drugs, support and actual help during the first period outside the clinic is absolutely necessary. The aim of our after-care with regard to the treatment of your drugs addiction is for you to be able to lead an independent and balanced life without drugs.

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