Rehab for GHB Addiction

Understanding the dangers of this popular party depressant

GHB has a storied and infamous history as a depressing substance. It is extremely addictive, but can be overcome with the help of specialist, clinical GHB rehab treatments from The Hader Clinic.

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How we treat GHB addiction

GHB — or gamma-hydroxybutyrate — is a central nervous system depressant that naturally occurs within the body. It has a range of medical applications, but most recently, has been co-opted by party scenes as a powerful gateway to euphoria and increased libido. The substance can be easily abused, and is highly addictive.The Hader Clinic addresses GHB addiction by following a holistic model of GHB addiction treatment.

We begin by addressing the physical symptoms of withdrawal, and move on to treating the psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual consequences of addiction. As a specialist private hospital, we are experts at helping patients through all stages of recovery, from detox and withdrawal, to inpatient rehabilitation, to outpatient services. Each program features specific therapies and costs, giving patients the greatest shot at long term recovery.

The Hader Clinic’s Jackson Oppy explains how addicts are not able to predict how much they are going to use once they start using or control their use.

The signs of GHB addiction

The signs of GHB abuse, both under the influence and post-use, are quite noticable compared to other substances.

As GHB is a controlled substance used to treat conditions like narcolepsy, any use of it outside of the correct dosage in a medical setting is considered abuse.

GHB is also anomalous because of how widely its effects vary, and how it effects every user differently.

Users will exhibit some or many of the following effects, but often not all.

  • Impulsiveness and loss of inhibitions
  • Affected motor control
  • Loss of coordination
  • Drastic increase in sex drive
  • Slurred or incoherent speech
  • Lapses in memory
  • Agitation and paranoia
  • Seizures

The effects of GHB addiction

The true effects of GHB addiction can infiltrate through all facets of life. They are serious, and rarely remain relegated to weekend partying. However, with specialised GHB addiction treatment from The Hader Clinic, they can be addressed.


  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Incoordination
  • Respiratory distress
  • Agitation, dizziness and confusion
  • Changes in the structure and function of the brain
  • Disturbed sleep and eating habits
  • Cravings and unmanageable tolerance


  • Psychosis and hallucinations
  • Decreased cognitive function
  • Detachment from reality


  • Depression and anxiety
  • Memory loss and mood swings
  • Apathy and reclusiveness
  • Confusion, irritation and agitation


  • Increase in risky behaviour
  • Financial and sexual issues
  • Lack of interest in activities, work, and friends
  • Damaged relationships with family members


  • Damaged self-esteem and self-worth
  • Damaged relationship with self
  • Inability to function without GHB
  • Continued use despite negative consequences

We work with private health funds to support our patients.
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GHB addiction and withdrawal

GHB withdrawals can be difficult for patients who use the substances daily as a sleeping aid, workout supplement, and anti-depressant. GHB withdrawal begins with soaring blood pressure, increased pulse, and panic attacks. After this stage, patients may seem fine and ready for discharge.

In reality, withdrawal progresses over the next few days, leaving patients to experience a mix of symptoms, including:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Psychotic thoughts

The Hader Clinic has clinical experience treating GHB withdrawal. As a private hospital, we can administer medication that aids with physical symptoms of withdrawal. Our multidisciplinary team can also help you manage the psychological effects of withdrawal, helping you move on to the next stage of recovery.

Frequently asked questions about GHB

Isn't GHB a date rape drug? Why do people use it on themselves?

It's true — GHB is a notorious date rape drug. It is usually colourless and without odour, with a slightly bitter or salty taste, making it easy to slip into drinks undetected.

However, in the 1960s, GHB was initially synthesised as a drug to treat insomnia, depression, narcolepsy, and alcoholism — and still is to this day. It's also used as a growth hormone stimulant for bodybuilders and athletes.

It is also taken consensually by individuals and groups in a variety of settings. In the short term, GHB can contribute to feelings of euphoria, an increase in sex drive, and lowered inhibitions. It also has a range of adverse effects, including drowsiness, tremors, nausea, and diarrhoea.

What kind of drugs is GHB commonly mixed with?

Due to its euphoric effects and designation as a party drug, GHB is a prime candidate for a poly drug use. As popular as it is, GHB can be one of the more dangerous elements of poly drug use, potentially leading to stroke, seizures, coma, and death.

  • Mixing GHB with other depressants like alcohol or prescription drugs can lead to a much higher chance of overdosing without warning.
  • GHB taken alongside stimulants like cocaine or amphetamines can put enormous strain on the body and heart.

Due to its depressive effects, GHB is often taken to ease the comedown from stimulants and other substances. This reliance on both substances at one time can lead to addiction of both simultaneously.

Can you overdose on GHB?

Abusing GHB leaves users open to a severe risk of overdose. There is a tiny margin between a dose that produces the desired effects, and a dose that is over the limit of human consumption.

Serious adverse effects include:

  • Sudden sedation
  • Respiratory distress
  • Unconsciousness or coma

Concentration between vials and batches varies widely, so it's impossible to know how much of the active ingredient one is ingesting.

My loved one is smart. How did they manage to fall into taking GHB?

GHB is an addictive drug, and addiction is not a choice — but a disease. It affects everyone from all walks of life, no matter their age, income, gender, race, or level of intelligence. Addiction doesn't discriminate. Fortunately, like many diseases, it can be treated.

We successfully treat all kinds of people for all types of addiction. We take every patient on a case-by-case basis, formulating a treatment plan that will take them from detox and withdrawal, to our inpatient program, and finally offer them support as an outpatient. Our specialised GHB addiciton treatment give them the best possible chance at recovery.

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