Josh Chandler | February 9, 2018

Examining GHB Abuse and Addiction

An addiction to Gamma Hydroxybutyrate also known as GHB, can lead to several long-term effects. Read on to learn those effects and the potential reasons for entering GHB rehab.

If you’re on this page, there’s a high chance you’re interested in GHB rehab, or you’re looking for some information on behalf of a friend. Either way, welcome!

Throughout this blog post, we’ll delve into four of the long-term effects of GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate). Most users are not aware of the harm caused by this compound.

The need for GHB rehabilitation has never been more necessary than it is today. Sadly, 15,600 overdoses of GHB have occurred in the US alone since 1990.

We’re not listing these effects to scare you but rather to inform you and others about the importance of GHB rehab.

Eager to find out more? Let’s get into it!

Why Do People Take GHB?

Before we dive into the side effects, it’s important to outline a brief background of this drug.

GHB was first created in the 60’s to relieve pain. However, since the 90’s, it’s increased in popularity as a ‘club drug’ as well as a muscle stimulating supplement among bodybuilders.

This compound has a similar effect on the brain as other common sedatives, such as alcohol and anti-anxiety meds.

Typically, people abuse these drugs in an attempt to feel relaxed, free, and less anxious.

However, by overdosing on these kinds of medications, the user only makes the anxiety worse. This leads to a vicious circle.

The Long-Term Effects of GHB


Hallucinations can be terrifying. It’s as simple as that. Sadly, this can be both a short-term and a long-term effect of GHB.

A famous example of this is provided by a British woman. She pulled out 18 of her own teeth using pliers because she hallucinated during a GHB overdose.

She thought she saw a neon green and pink fly go into her mouth and down her throat, which prompted her to take drastic action. She felt like she was choking, so she removed her teeth to stop that feeling.

This is obviously an extreme example, but sadly it does happen. Both the physical and mental effects of GHB are terrifying.

Cardiovascular Collapse

For those of you who don’t know, cardiovascular collapse refers to the sudden loss of blood flow to the brain and other vital organs.

This can result in a change of mental status and hypotension (abnormally low blood pressure).

Hypertension can cause a whole range of issues. Fainting, dizziness, and lightheadedness are just a few to mention.

These symptoms may seem minor. However, hypertension can also result in more severe complications, such as stroke and heart attack. Kidney failure may occur too.

Needless to say, you could die from any of the above situations. It really is as serious as that, and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

If you feel you might be at risk, we urge you to seek a reputable GHB rehab program.

Extreme Anxiety

Extreme anxiety can be downright terrifying. Here are some of the side effects you could face:

  • Feelings of sheer panic and fear
  • Problems sleeping at night, yet feeling tired during the day
  • Difficulty staying calm and still
  • Unusually cold, sweaty, numb or tingling feet and/or hands
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dry mouth
  • Feeling sick and/or, vomiting
  • Tense and/or aching muscles
  • Dizziness

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that living with extreme anxiety day in and out is a horrible way to be.

This is why we stress the importance of seeking help sooner rather than later. GHB rehab program could save your life.


Approximately five percent of GHB users will experience some kind of seizure.

When your body experiences a drug-induced seizure, it’s a sobering reminder that ingesting illegal drugs can be fatal.

Unfortunately, when someone has a seizure, they run the risk of seriously injuring themselves. They’ll often fall over, which can lead to broken bones and head injuries.

If you experience a seizure that lasts for half an hour or longer, the chances of suffering from brain damage go up.

In severe cases, seizures can result in sudden death.

Not only are there are medical consequences, but there are also practical ones.

If you have seizures, you typically won’t be allowed to drive for a certain period of time. You could be a danger to yourself and others on the road.

What Does GHB Rehab Entail?

We recommend that the safest way to approach a GHB detox is via a supervised residential facility or hospital.

A thorough GHB rehab will treat the physical addiction to this drug. However, since this drug is psychologically addictive, users will often need counseling, support, and advice.

A good-quality rehab program is designed to inform addicts about the nature of their addiction. This includes getting to grips with how and why they felt the need to self-medicate.

Counseling will also usually tackle how the patient can and should move forward to lead a drug-free life.

Often, GHB addicts find it valuable for their friends and family to get involved in the rehab process. This may prompt the need for family counseling.

Sadly, GHB is associated with a high relapse rate, so aftercare is essential to treat addiction.

Get Your Life Back on Track

If this article hit home for you or has concerned you about a friend or a family member, reach out to us today. We’re here to help GHB addicts make a full recovery.

In case you have any questions, we have all the time in the world to answer them. Our team will guide you through the healing process, and help your loved ones handle things more easily.

Don’t let this addiction take over your life. It’s in your power to recover and find freedom.

Alternatively, you may want to consult our blog for further advice on addiction. It covers everything from alcoholism to inpatient rehab. We hope these articles help!

Addiction,Drug Addiction,Drug Rehab,Treatment,
Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.

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