Thinking of taking a break from regular use?
See the 'Making changes' page for more information on how to Manage withdrawal from drugs and alcohol.
It is not common to become addicted to GHB or GBL. However, if you use these drugs regularly, especially in high doses, you may experience withdrawal symptoms when you want to stop using or take a break. Withdrawal symptoms can start 1–6 hours after the last dose of GHB or GBL wears off and can last from 5–15 days.
In people who have used GHB or GBL regularly for a long time, ‘cold turkey’ withdrawal can sometimes be dangerous. It is important to speak with a medical professional first if you are worried about withdrawing from these drugs.
If you …
Experience diarrhoea or constipation (or a change in bowel movements)
Experience aches and pains
Feel agitated or irritable
Feel sweaty or feel very hot or very cold
Experience low mood
Have difficulty sleeping
Try these things at home:
Have severe diarrhoea or constipation
Feel severely agitated
Experience severe nausea
Feel severely anxious
Experience intense low mood
Have suicidal thoughts
Have an irregular heartbeat
Experience ongoing insomnia
Feel panicked or have a panic attack
Call a doctor or Healthline (0800 611 116)
You can talk to your doctor about:
Have severe changes in heartrate
Have chest pains
Have disturbing hallucinations
Experience severe tremors
Have a seizure
These are signs you could be experiencing GHB/GBL withdrawal syndrome. You or the people around you should act quickly.
For more information on getting support for drug and alcohol use, see Finding support.
One Reddit user talks about running out of GHB and experiencing withdrawal symptoms:
“Been doing G for about 2 years, but twice a day every day for the last 8 months. I ran out, first symptoms: diarrhea, cold sweats, then got worse! At night, severe psychosis and hallucinations where I would see and hear people talk to me, I had to ask my wife what was real and what wasn’t.”
This experience was shared by a member of Rewired - a support group for men who have sex with men and use methamphetamine, run by the NZ Aids Foundation and NZ Drug Foundation.
It can be a bit weird adjusting back to life outside your bubble, so we’ve pulled togther a few key tips to help you out if you choose to use drugs.
For Mental Health Awareness Week, we talked to Phil Glaser, one of the team behind The Level, about how your state of mind has a bigger impact on your trip than you might think.