GHB Addiction Treatment In Toronto
GHB has been a popular club and party drug since the 1990s, frequently described as having similar effects to alcohol or MDMA. While its use has generally declined since 2002, it is still widely used in dance parties and electronic music festival scenes. This makes younger people, especially teenagers, particularly susceptible to the effects and subsequent addiction.
At Freedom From Addiction, we are committed to providing the most comfortable and caring environment in which to treat GHB addiction and withdrawals. Our state of the art medical facilities are designed to allow safe and monitored withdrawals, followed by extensive therapy and support during the addiction recovery phase. This focus on client experience has enabled us to become one of the leading GHB addiction treatment centres in Toronto and the GTA.
What is GHB?
Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), also known as G, gina, and goop amongst others, is a naturally occurring substance found in the body as well as a potent party drug. It acts on the neurotransmitter in the brain known as GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which normally functions as a natural sedative. GHB was first synthesized in 1874 before becoming more widely studied and used in the 1960s. GHB was recently reclassified to a Schedule I drug in Canada, placing it in the same class of drugs as heroin and cocaine.
The main effects associated with GHB use include euphoria, reduced inhibitions, relaxation, enhanced libido, and increased empathy. At higher doses, GHB can cause delirium, drowsiness, respiratory depression, and unconsciousness. Physical effects of GHB include nausea, dizziness, amnesia, constricted pupils, and loss of motor skill coordination. GHB is commonly consumed in the form of a liquid with a salty taste. This is either ingested directly or mixed into a drink, which can easily hide the taste. The effects usually onset rapidly and last several hours.
Due to its odourless and colourless appearance combined with its easy accessibility and prevalence in the nightclub scene along with the relaxing effects of GHB, this drug can also be used as a date rape drug. It induces short-term memory amnesia and lowers a person’s inhibitions so that they become more relaxed and agreeable to sexual activity.
GHB addiction can occur after frequent abuse of the drug over an extended period of time. GHB tolerance develops relatively easily, requiring higher doses to achieve the same high. Withdrawal from GHB can be potentially life-threatening, as users experience intense delirium, tremors, body temperature fluctuations, and possibly seizures. The severity of these symptoms makes recovering from GHB addiction extremely difficult to do on your own, meaning many users will take more of the drug to simply stop feeling so awful.
The Symptoms of GHB Withdrawal
As mentioned above, GHB tolerance can build over time as the body adjusts to the drug and becomes dependent on it. That also means you’ll need to take a larger and stronger dosage each time just to achieve the desired high.
The more GHB you take, the greater your chances are of accidental overdose, as the difference between a desirable high and overdose is extremely small. This is problematic for a number of reasons. First, continued use or abuse of any illicit drug typically means putting yourself in incredibly unsavoury and dangerous predicaments in which people can take advantage of you however they please. Second, if you do overdose without any reliable witnesses around to explain what happened to authorities, then doctors won’t be able to determine what’s happening and therefore, they won’t be able to aptly treat the issue. GHB overdose is rarely discussed in medical schools or seen in hospitals, meaning an overdose may be potentially mistaken for something else, with possibly life-threatening consequences.
Most drug addicts, however, would rather take these risks rather than having to endure the often excruciating and uncomfortable GHB withdrawal symptoms that occur when you go for a long period of time without having the drug in your system. GHB addiction withdrawal symptoms include the following:
- Sudden and dangerous drop in blood pressure
- Decreased heart rate
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of consciousness
- Coma or death
- Loss of coordination and reduced use of mental faculties
- Nausea and vomiting
Most GHB addicts typically experience a combination of at least two or three of these withdrawal symptoms at a time and this is typically amplified by the fact that they tend to mix GHB with other types of drugs or alcohol.
If these withdrawal symptoms sound intense, that’s because they are. Many GHB addicts have a hard time dealing with these withdrawal symptoms and often tend to revert back to their old habits after just a few days of enduring them. In many cases, the withdrawal is so intense that most addicts give up after a few hours. Dealing with these types of withdrawal symptoms is a true test of strength and will power and it’s not easy to do it on your own—in fact, sometimes, it can be downright impossible, but that’s not to say that you shouldn’t try at all or there’s no hope whatsoever.
Signs of GHB Addiction
Similarly to MDMA, GHB is typically not as addictive as other illicit drugs like cocaine or heroin. However, as tolerance develops, it can still cause physical and psychological dependence. There are several signs to look out for that are characteristic of GHB addiction, including:
Most drug addicts, however, would rather take these risks rather than having to endure the often excruciating and uncomfortable GHB withdrawal symptoms that occur when you go for a long period of time without having the drug in your system.
- Loss of memory, poor recollection
- Constant drowsiness
- Poor coordination
- Insomnia and fatigue
- Compulsive taking of GHB
- Learning difficulties
- Spending unsustainable amounts of money on GHB
GHB addiction can be extremely harmful to the body as well as personal relationships. The potential to overdose is much higher than with other similar drugs, and as it is often seen as a relatively harmless drug, the potential for socially acceptable abuse is high. If you notice any of the above symptoms in yourself or a loved one, you may need to seek effective GHB addiction treatment in Toronto.
GHB Addiction Treatment At Freedom From Addiction
Freedom From Addiction is the leading GHB addiction treatment centre in Toronto, focusing on a combination of medical detoxification and comprehensive therapies to address addiction at its core.
Our advanced medical detox facilities offer users the chance to clear the GHB from their systems while under the careful watch of medical professionals. Vital signs can be monitored, and assistive drugs can be administered that can help with the more unpleasant side effects of withdrawals. Particularly in the case of GHB, withdrawals can have potentially life-threatening symptoms, which makes medical supervision a necessity. This gives addicts the greatest chance at surviving withdrawals without relapsing and turning to drugs to make themselves feel better.
Following complete detoxification, our state of the art facility offers a range of therapies designed to give clients the tools they need to lead a drug-free life. We combine cognitive behavioural therapy with individual and group therapy sessions to address any personal issues which may have contributed to the development of the addiction in the first place. We also offer a range of amenities designed to help in the healing process, including a world-class gym, fitness classes, a library, and chef cooked meals.
Freedom From Addiction is one of the few privately owned drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities in Toronto to receive Qmentum accreditation from Accreditation Canada with commendation. This is one of the highest levels of excellence awarded by the industry, only being given to organizations that meet the strictest guidelines for client safety, comfort, and treatment effectiveness.
If you are looking for the most comprehensive and holistic GHB addiction treatment Toronto has to offer, contact Freedom From Addiction today.