GHB and GBL Detox

Published by John Gillen | Last updated: 22nd February 2023 | All Sources

Before GHB or GBL detox can begin, it is important to understand the effects and risks associated with the drug.

GHB (Gamma Hydroxybutrate) and GBL (Gamm Butyrolactone) are closely related drugs which have strong sedative effects, they’re sometimes referred to simply as ‘G’. GBL is converted into GHB after entering the body, they come as a colourless, odourless liquid.

Both GHB and GBL are depressant drugs which produce a high such as a feeling of euphoria, they can reduce inhibitions, increase confidence, but can also cause drowsiness.

The effects start after about 10 minutes and can last for several hours. Because it can easily be added to drinks, it can also be used as a “date-rape” drug.


What are the risks of taking GHB and GBL?

It’s very easy to overdose GHB and GBL, as there’s very little difference between a dose that gets you high and a dose that causes unconsciousness or unresponsiveness.

It’s an addictive substance where dependence can develop quickly, meaning withdrawal symptoms are highly likely to occur when you stop taking the drugs.

These withdrawal symptoms can begin 1-2 hours after the last dose and can progress rapidly, with the potential to last up to 12 days. Mild symptoms could include insomnia, tremors, anxiety, high blood pressure, and vomiting, whereas the more severe withdrawal symptoms could be life-threatening such as severe anxiety, paranoia and psychosis, seizure, coma, and hallucinations.

There are many risks associated with taking GHB. These can include:

  • Death – taking GHB can result in unconsciousness and coma, leading to death.
  • Rape – due to the sedative effects of GHB, users may be at risk of sexual assault.
  • Poor mental health – GHB and GBL can result in short term confusion and disorientation with the potential to significantly effect the brain when used repeatedly.

The risks of taking GHB are greatly increased when consumed with alcohol. Both of these drugs are Class C, possession of GHB or GBL can get you up to two years in prison and/or an unlimited fine, supplying someone else, even your friends, can get you fourteen years in prison and/or an unlimited fine.

BBC news state that according to official figures from the Office for National Statistics, “there were 120 deaths in England and Wales between 2014 and 2018 that involved GHB”. However, they go on to say that the total number could be much higher as GHB isn’t a part of routine toxicology tests after sudden deaths.


How commonly are GHB and GBL used?

The popularity of these drugs has certainly grown, particularly among people on nights out in clubs. First, it was best known as a dangerous date rape drug as it could be easily slipped into drinks, then it became popular at chemsex parties. At the moment, it’s increasingly popular among younger clubbers all over Europe.

According to data given to the Guardian by 2018’s Global Drug Survey, “out of 1,000 GHB users, one in four women, and one in six men, have overdosed in the last 12 months alone”.

This rate of overdose is very high when compared with other recreational substances making it a very dangerous, and high risk drug. The difference between euphoria and overdose can be just a single millilitre, which could explain the particularly high overdose rate.

There have been a few studies into GHB deaths. The Guardian describe one which was conducted by Imperial College London that focused exclusively on the capital and found that there was a year-on-year rise in the number of deaths between 2011 and 2015, and that towards the end of the period, GHB deaths rose by 119% in a single year.


How can we help?

We have a wide range of alcohol and drug rehab treatments to help with your GHB addiction or GBL addiction. Our fantastic team expertly deliver carefully selected therapies in line with the design of your personalised treatment programme.

This level of personalisation ensures that you receive the very best therapies for your specific condition, allowing you the greatest opportunity for long-term recovery.

After you’ve made initial contact with our GHB rehab, we will talk you through the various GHB addiction treatment options available and answer any questions that you might have.

If you’re happy to proceed and join our residential rehab, we will then invite you to a pre-screening assessment where we can review your physical and psychological health and also get to understand the nature of your addiction better. All of this time spent with you allows us to create the most effective plan for your recovery from GHB addiction.

Upon joining our rehab centre, you’ll be welcomed in with open arms by our friendly recovery team. We’ll give you some time to settle in and become familiarised with your surroundings, unpack in your private room, and enjoy the calming grounds surrounding our treatment centre.

Initially, we’re likely to recommend that you begin with a GHB or GBL detox where your intake of the drug is gradually reduced in a safe and controlled environment.

Detoxing is the process of removing those harmful toxins from your body which will help you go into your subsequent therapies with a clear mind. However, there are some withdrawal symptoms which are likely to arise once your consumption of the drug has ended.

These could range from mild nausea, headaches, or dizziness to the more severe withdrawal symptoms such as seizure, insomnia, and delirium tremens, which will require urgent medical attention. This is why it’s so important that you undergo a GHB or GBL detox in a professional environment where support is on hand 24/7.

Once you’ve successfully completed your detox, we can move onto the therapies which have been selected specifically for your condition.

These will include a balance of psychological and well-being therapies which could include cognitive behavioural therapy, stress management, relapse prevention, mindfulness, yoga, art therapy, fitness therapy, or nutritional supplement therapy.

For more information call us today on 01923 369 161 or text HELP to 83222. You can also email us at

John Gillen

John Gillen - Author Last updated: 22nd February 2023

John Gillen is a leading addiction treatment expert with over 15 years of experience providing evidence-based treatment methods for individuals throughout the UK. John also co-authors the book, The Secret Disease of Addiction, which delves into how the addictive mind works and what treatment techniques work best.