GHB and Drug Rehab Explained
Although GHB is not one of the more common recreational substances of abuse found in the UK, its consumption poses great danger: taking even a small quantity of GHB is extremely risky, especially if taken with other substances of abuse such as alcohol. Fortunately, various treatment facilities now operate across the UK that can provide you with the help you need to overcome your addiction and get your life back on track.
Where to Get Help for GHB Addiction/Substance Abuse
If you suffer from a GHB addiction and have decided to seek treatment, you may first be confused by the number and variety of treatment options available. However, it is important that you do not let this deter you from getting the help you need. In order to make your choice as straightforward as possible, contact your GP and/or an addiction specialist who can help you navigate across the addiction treatment landscape and give you the information you need about relevant treatment options.
Importance of treating GHB addiction & when to seek treatment
Generally speaking, the sooner you can begin to tackle an addiction of any kind, the better the prognosis, but there is no wrong time to get help. No matter how long you have been abusing GHB or how severe your addiction, if you want to change your life, it is never too late to attempt to do so. Most GHB addicts find it nearly impossible to give up the drug without professional help, and that help will be futile unless you admit your addiction and commit to treatment. Therefore, the sooner you can get to that stage, the sooner you can begin to receive treatment.
As a rule of thumb, if you think you may have a problem with any substance of abuse, including GHB, it’s very likely that you do. If you have previously tried and failed to stop consuming GHB and/or if your GHB abuse has begun to harm you or anyone else, you definitely have a GHB problem for which you should get help urgently.
Understanding GHB addiction treatment and rehab options
Addiction treatment takes a great variety of forms, and there are numerous treatment organisations and facilities that can help you overcome your GHB addiction. However, not every facility will be appropriate to you and your particular needs. Many factors will determine the type of treatment you receive (and where, how and for how long you receive it), including the state of your physical and mental health, your location, your family situation and your financial status.
Whether you end up getting treated by the NHS, a charity or a private rehab provider, the key thing is that you get into treatment as quickly as possible. Your GHB addiction could ruin — or even end — your life without professional help, but that help will be futile unless you are truly willing to change.
- NHS Options
- Private Rehab
- Residential Care
Private rehab vs free treatment options for GHB addiction
Several organisations — including the NHS, as well as various charities — provide free addiction treatment in the UK. However, places can be very limited and waiting times very lengthy, and for some people, the gap between reaching out for help and receiving it can be harmful.
In order to avoid the distress waiting for treatment can cause, some users elect to go down the private addiction route. Obviously, private addiction treatment comes at a cost, but this cost can often be defrayed by private health insurance, whilst some clinics themselves offer credit or easy payment terms.
Contact an addiction specialist to get more information about paying for private GHB addiction treatment services.
Executive/luxury rehab programmes for GHB addiction
Although getting help for your GHB addiction is imperative, if you work in a high-pressure or high-profile role, you may be reluctant to take the time away from the office that residential rehab requires. If that is the case, consider enrolling in an executive rehab programme that provides amenities such as videoconferencing and high-speed internet access to enable you to keep up to date with your work.
Meanwhile, if you are a high net worth individual, you may want to explore luxury rehab options; luxury rehab programmes see treatment provided in luxurious settings, comparable to a luxury hotel or holiday resort, in order to reduce stress to a minimum and maximise your comfort as you embark on treatment.
Call our admissions line 24 hours a day to get help.
What Happens in GHB Rehab
If you are thinking about getting treatment for your GHB addiction, you should try to get as complete an understanding as possible of the ins and outs of treatment so you know what to expect and will not be surprised by any of the elements of your treatment plan. While every client’s experience of rehab is different, most rehabs generally follow similar processes, and it is therefore possible to draw up a very rough guide as to what you should expect when you enter a clinic.
GHB rehab admission process
Every addiction treatment organisation has its own admission process, but in general it is in each organisation’s best interest to make admissions as straightforward as possible. When you first contact a treatment organisation, they will ask you a few questions to establish the nature of your problem and get an idea of your condition and will recommend a clinic to you. If you decide to attend this clinic, once you have paid a deposit, your place in treatment will be confirmed, and you will then be able to head to the facility of your choice.
GHB addiction assessment
Upon first entering a treatment facility, your first step will be a complete physical and psychological assessment to establish your condition and the severity of your addiction. Based on this assessment, your doctors will then create a holistic addiction treatment plan for you, according to which your treatment will be provided over the course of your stay in rehab.
The importance of honesty at this point cannot be exaggerated. A failure to be fully candid about the extent of your GHB abuse and addiction, and any other details that might be relevant, could cause your doctors to put together an ineffective or even dangerous plan of treatment for you.
Acceptance of the problem
One thing doctors will want to be sure of is that you are completely accepting of your GHB problem. Unless you truly want to stop abusing GHB, no addiction treatment can hope to be successful, and your doctors will seek to confirm that you are prepared for receptive to treatment so they can be confident you will put every effort into complying with your addiction treatment plan. Some GHB users struggle to accept their situation, possibly because they may not find it easy to admit to weakness. Nevertheless, recognising that you have a GHB problem is an indispensable prerequisite of overcoming it.
Medically assisted/controlled detoxification
After your initial assessment, you will move into the first phase of your treatment: detoxification (detox). Detox is a period of abstinence during which your system will be cleared of substances of abuse in order to rid you of any dependence you may have developed, as well as ensuring you are no longer consuming GHB while you are receiving treatment, as no treatment can hope to be successful in those circumstances.
During detox, GHB withdrawal syndrome may occur; if so, doctors (who will be on hand 24/7 throughout detox to ensure your safety) may choose to prescribe certain medications aimed at alleviating the most distressing and challenging symptoms of withdrawal (medically assisted detox).
The rehabilitation phase is based on therapy designed to reveal and address the root psychological causes of your GHB abuse and addiction and provide you with an array of psychological tools and techniques you will be able to utilise throughout your recovery. The rehabilitation phase will also further emphasise physical healing in the form of bespoke fitness and dietary plans and potentially access to a range of other facilities, depending on the specific clinic you attend.
Upon completing your GHB addiction treatment plan, you will be equipped with a variety of psychological defence mechanisms against relapse you can use in the outside world, along with numerous new and/or improved skills in several areas. Your system will also be completely free of GHB, and you will be enjoying the abstinence which you have worked so hard to achieve. However, you must remember that your recovery process is not complete just because you have left the clinic; on the contrary, it is a long-term process to which you must be dedicated if that hard-won abstinence is to be sustained. To provide your recovery with the strongest and most solid foundations possible, good rehabs will give you up to a year’s free aftercare.
What Is an Inpatient Rehab Programme?
Inpatient rehab programmes are what most people think of when they contemplate rehab: treatment on-site in a secure, friendly, substance-free facility. GHB users undergoing inpatient treatment typically stay in the clinic for a period of between one and three months, where they can benefit from and be reassured by the 24/7 presence of medical staff. If you are receiving inpatient treatment for your GHB addiction, you can also receive support, advice and simple companionship from fellow clients in treatment who understand the great highs and lows of addiction.
What Is Outpatient Rehab?
If you are desperate to get help for your GHB addiction but feel unable to take the time away from work and/or family that inpatient treatment requires, you may wish to explore outpatient GHB addiction treatment options.
In outpatient rehab, clients attend the clinic for certain appointments — including therapy sessions and the provision of medication — but must carry out the other elements of an addiction treatment plan independently.
The flexibility of outpatient treatment options can make them extremely attractive, but alongside their advantages, outpatient programmes do have some distinct disadvantages. As well as typically lasting much longer than inpatient treatment, outpatient programmes do not remove you entirely from the daily environment in which you succumbed to GHB addiction in the first place, thus making relapse more likely.
Participation in a day programme would see you attending your clinic of choice during the daytime for between one and seven days a week but returning home or to other accommodation overnight. The number of rehabs now offering day programmes is increasing fairly rapidly in response to growing demand.
A day programme might be considered appropriate for you if you reside close to the clinic and can travel back to treatment fairly easily, have a robust support network to rely on when you are not at the clinic or have certain obligations (such as a young baby) making overnight stays away from home particularly problematic. Day programmes are also sometimes advised for clients in recovery who have completed an addiction treatment plan but want ongoing support.
However, a day programme might be inappropriate for you if you live more than an hour away from clinic, do not have a strong support network or suffer from dual diagnosis or any other co-occurring health issues that can complicate treatment.
Intensive outpatient programmes
Intensive outpatient treatment programmes might consist of four or more 3- to 5-hour treatment sessions each week provided at the clinic, with some other elements of the treatment plan completed independently. Intensive outpatient treatment might be seen as a stepping stone or bridge between full inpatient treatment and a standard outpatient approach, and such treatment plans are usually of a significantly shorter duration than traditional outpatient plans.
In intensive outpatient treatment, you will attend the facility for the aforementioned sessions and other appointments such as the prescription of medication but will be able to lead a comparatively normal life during the rest of the week, including going to work if your employer is able to offer that degree of flexibility. Because of the amount of time spent away from the facility, clients in intensive outpatient treatment are at a higher risk of relapse and are usually expected to undergo frequent drug testing.
Call our admissions line 24 hours a day to get help.
Ongoing care, usually known as aftercare, is supplemental treatment provided to a client who has completed a full addiction treatment programme and moved into the recovery phase. Once in recovery, you can benefit from a broad range of treatments offered by the clinic, including counselling and therapy and the further prescription of medication, as well as activities organised and/or hosted by other organisations such as attending support group meetings.
An aftercare plan will be given to you by the clinic upon the conclusion of treatment, with a schedule of appointments decreasing in frequency you progress through recovery. Some of these will take place on-site at the clinic, while others may be conducted over the phone or via email. You also may be expected to participate in support groups and/or counselling.
Some clinics also make their facilities available on an emergency basis to any clients who have completed treatment plans but require urgent support during aftercare. However, not every clinic has such policies, so you should confirm the details of an aftercare plan as part of your research into possible clinics for your treatment.
How Is Medication Used to Treat Addiction?
Although at present there is no pharmaceutical cure for addiction, medication may still play many valuable roles in the treatment of addiction.
Some medications are prescribed to alleviate cravings, while others assist clients in reducing their dosages. Some are used as safer, legal substitutes for particularly dangerous and/or illegal substances of abuse, and some can actually deter substance abuse. In rehab, medicines are also commonly prescribed to lessen the worst effects of withdrawal syndrome.
Of course, in cases of emergency, many medications may be made available in order to save an client’s life.
Medications used in addiction treatment & rehab
A range of medications has been approved by the British government for use in treating addiction. However, not every medication is relevant to every substance use disorder, and some medicine may in fact be dangerous in specific cases. It may interact with other medications and/or certain substances of abuse or may endanger the health of clients suffering from dual diagnosis or other co-occurring conditions. Because of this, you should never attempt to self-medicate your GHB addiction or any other substance use disorder. Only take medication prescribed to you by a doctor.
You should not enter treatment expecting to receive pharmaceutical treatment; whether you do will depend initially on your assessment upon entering the clinic and then on how you respond to your treatment. Your doctors may decide that it will not be appropriate for you to receive medication, but that does not mean your condition is not serious or that your treatment is less likely to be successful.
- Naltrexone (Vivitrol)
- Buprenorphine (Buprenex)
- Disulfiram (Antabuse)
- Acamprosate (Campral)
- Paroxetine (Paxil)
- Modafinil (Provigil)
- Desipramine (Norpramin)
- Mirtazapine (Remeron)
- Bupropion (Buproban)
- Gabapentin (Fanatrex)
- Vigabatrin (Sabril)
- Baclofen (Kemstro)
- Topiramate (Topamax)
Psychotherapy for GHB Addiction Treatment
Therapy is the foundation of all addiction treatment. It aims to uncover and address the problematic behaviours and thought processes that cause substance abuse and addiction and to provide clients with a healthier and more positive outlook on the world and upon themselves. This will enable them to view life very differently once they leave the clinic from how they did before they entered it. Therapy also gives clients a variety of tools and techniques designed to give their recoveries the most solid foundations possible.
Coping-focused psychotherapy methodologies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) are very common in the treatment of addiction, and most rehabs offer one if not both of these forms of therapy.
In psychotherapy, coping means the conscious exertion of effort in an attempt to solve personal and interpersonal challenges to reduce or defeat stress and conflict. Coping strategies are usually developed as an individual matures, but may be inadequate in some individuals, who may consequently turn to substance abuse as a form of coping. The therapist will work with the client to explore previously unsuccessful coping strategies and develop more successful alternatives that can be deployed going forward.
Social skills/interpersonal/growth psychotherapy
People with poor social or interpersonal skills may struggle to achieve and sustain important relationships such as romantic or professional ones, which can cause significant psychological and emotional challenges. Some people turn to substance abuse as a coping mechanism when confronted with these challenges, and that substance abuse can easily lead to addiction. This in turn can cause very serious social difficulties when users withdraw from friends and family as addiction takes hold.
Interpersonal psychotherapy enhances existing social skills and develops new ones, with the aim of enabling clients to build more fulfilling and more successful relationships. The benefits of such relationships are manifold, and successful interpersonal psychotherapy can have a great impact on a client’s happiness and their career prospects. It can also have a positive impact on subsequent addiction treatment as the client becomes better able to articulate their thoughts and feelings in therapy.
Exploratory, or psychodynamic, psychotherapy examines how the past affects the present. Therapists will work with clients to uncover and examine past experiences that have contributed to the development of problematic behaviours and thought processes and potentially to clients’ substance abuse and addiction.
Trauma is a very significant driver of addiction. However, examining traumatic events can be both difficult and distressing for the client, and therapists must be very careful if they are to achieve significant therapeutic benefits without causing further emotional harm. Typically, this means that exploratory psychotherapy can often be a comparatively slow process.
Nevertheless, the benefits of exploratory psychotherapy can be significant, including positive impacts upon a client’s self-esteem, self-awareness and mood regulation. Many clients who go through exploratory psychotherapy during addiction treatment remain in therapy after the conclusion of their treatment because of the numerous benefits they take from the model.
Call our admissions line 24 hours a day to get help.
Types of psychotherapy used in GHB addiction treatment
Although a great number of different therapy methodologies and models are employed in the treatment of addiction, obviously each clinic can only provide a limited selection of these approaches. If you have gone through therapy previously and are keen to receive one particular form of therapy during your GHB addiction treatment, you may wish to research clinics that provide that form. A good place to start would be an addiction specialist, who may be able to tell you which clinics if any offer your preferred therapy methodology.
Not all addicts respond equally well to every therapy methodology, and sometimes clients need to try out various methodologies before settling on one or more with which they feel comfortable. Bear in mind that not all clinics are wholly receptive to this kind of experimentation, and if you feel that you are likely to want to try out different therapy approaches, you should ask any clinic you are considering how much flexibility you will have in this regard.
- Acceptance and commitment therapy
- Art therapy
- Cognitive behavioural therapy
- Dialectical behavioural therapy
- Experiential therapy
- Family therapy
- Fitness therapy
- Group therapy
- Holistic therapy
- Individual therapy
- Music therapy
- Psychodynamic therapy
The Recovery Process
Once you have completed treatment and left the facility, it may be tempting to feel that you have overcome your addiction completely and can now move on. Unfortunately, this mindset is very problematic: you should always think of recovery as a long-term process requiring hard work and dedication if your hard-won abstinence is to be sustained. Many recovering clients still call themselves “addicted”, even though it may be years or even decades since they last engaged in substance abuse. They do this as a reminder of how easily they could slip back into their old habits, which this time could prove fatal.
Elements of recovery
When contemplating recovery, it can often be beneficial to break the process down into various components you can address individually during therapy — for example, spending one session developing specific tools and techniques to assist you in one element of recovery before moving onto another in a subsequent session with your therapist’s guidance.
If you feel that you are having particular difficulties in certain elements of recovery, it is important to realize that this does not mean your recovery will be a failure; simply spend extra time and effort focusing on these problematic elements specifically.
- Developing hope
- Secure base
- Sense of self
- Supportive relationships
- Social inclusion
- Coping skills
- Giving meaning
How Long Are GHB Rehab Programmes?
How long you stay in rehab to receive treatment for your GHB addiction will depend to a great extent on several personal factors, such as your physical and mental health, the nature and severity of your addiction and the kind of treatment you are to receive. You should be flexible about the duration of your treatment, since the timeframe you have in mind and/or are given at the start of treatment may be impacted by developments during treatment. For instance, if you respond especially well to treatment, you may end up spending less time in the clinic than you originally planned; on the other hand, more time may be needed to address your situation than was first thought.
Roughly speaking, stays in residential rehab usually last for between 30 and 90 days, though some clinics offer shorter and more intensive, and/or longer and more gradual, addiction treatment programmes as appropriate.
What Does GHB Rehab Cost in the UK?
As with the duration of treatment, the cost of receiving private treatment for your GHB addiction can be affected by numerous factors, and indeed it is often very difficult to give even a ballpark figure for likely treatment costs.
However, a rough estimate for standard residential GHB addiction treatment in the UK would be anywhere between £4,000 and £15,000 a month, with costs affected by the duration of treatment, the type of treatment provided and the standard of the facility, amongst other factors. Clearly this is a very wide range, and because pricing does vary so significantly from both one rehab to another and within the same rehab from one treatment plan to another, it can be problematic to make assumptions regarding the likely cost of addiction treatment.
Always get precise costings as early as possible from any clinic you might be considering, as this will make calculations regarding the affordability of private GHB addiction treatment both simpler and more relevant. In addition, always speak with an addiction specialist to find out about various treatment payment options and whether more affordable treatment options may be open to you.
GHB Addiction Recovery and Aftercare
Good rehabs typically provide up to a year’s free aftercare, and you should be sure to take full advantage. Having completed treatment, some clients in recovery find it difficult, even distressing, to return to the clinic, where they are reminded of the difficulties they struggled with only a short time ago. Nevertheless, if you can overcome such sentiments, it will benefit you substantially, and you should welcome anything, especially a well-prepared aftercare plan, that can make your recovery less challenging and increase the likelihood of sustaining your hard-won abstinence.
Recovery and community
Your friends and family are the most obvious support structure you can turn to during your recovery, but it is important to remember that they are not the only source of support. One silver lining of Britain’s ongoing troubles with drug addiction is that a large and active community of recovering users now exists to whom you can turn for support and advice, and whose members you can support in turn. This can be very therapeutic in itself and can also provide you with further opportunities to address some of the more intractable problems with which you might continue to struggle throughout your recovery.
Call our admissions line 24 hours a day to get help.
Several support group organisations are now active in the UK providing companionship, assistance and advice to recovering users. The most famous such support group is Narcotics Anonymous (NA), an offshoot of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) operating under AA’s famous 12-step model. NA and other such support fellowships host meetings throughout the country, usually on a weekly basis, and attendance is typically free for anyone committed to leading an abstinent life. Speak with an addiction specialist about support group organisations in your area.
The 12-step methodology provided at NA has been instrumental in saving countless lives worldwide, although it’s important to note that some clients may find the model problematic if certain steps are incompatible with their personal beliefs. To discover more about the 12-step model and which groups offer it near you, speak with an addiction specialist.
Ready to Start Rehab?
Your GHB addiction could do severe, even fatal harm to you, and even if it does not, it could damage or destroy everything you hold dear. As a result, there is no wrong time to seek help for your GHB addiction. As soon as you are able to admit you have a GHB problem, call your GP and/or an addiction specialist to discuss treatment options that may be appropriate for you. The sooner you can make that call, the sooner you can get into treatment, and therefore the better the prognosis.
Take control of your life — get started on the road to recovery
Your GHB addiction may make you feel completely out of control, but you can take that control back with professional help. Right now, if you are in the grip of an addiction, it is easy to see no way out, but a growing number of Britons who used to struggle with GHB addiction have gone through treatment successfully and now lead healthy, happy and abstinent lives. If you want to be one of them, make that call today to your GP and/or an addiction specialist: It could be your first step on the road to recovery.
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