GHB to relieve opiate withdrawal symptoms?

Ms Iboga ms_iboga at
Sat Oct 16 11:38:02 EDT 2004


My apologies if this has been brought up already, but
I recently came across an article written by the
parent of an opiate addicted woman.  This article
discusses using GHB to combat dope-sickness, and has
nothing but high praise for the substance.

Has anyone here used GHB when detoxing?  I would love
to hear your report...

Here's the article:

Using GHB to Mitigate Opiate Withdrawal
	What's Related >>

by Bilbo

We have a 27 year old daughter whom we love dearly.
She has been away from home for about eight years, and
recently it became apparent that she had become
addicted to heroin. This was the result of a few years
of smoking and of nasal insufflation. When we as a
family confronted her and asked her permission to help
her through whatever process was necessary to the
ending of this addiction. She collapsed emotionally
and said, "Yes, please do."

The reader will have to forgive me if I write this in
less than an abstract and detached manner, as I am
writing about our flesh and blood, for whom we would
walk through fire, and whose life style had at times
wounded us beyond that which we would have thought
ourselves able to recover from. So great is love
sometimes that it leaves us confused and yet willing
to face undreamed depths of risk and pain. Thus we
began the process of restoration of our family.

She had seen enough of the government and regulatory
control and "strung-outness" that goes with methadone
treatment, and wanted no part of that, (for which we
were most grateful). Although she had a strong dread
of the "great sickness" which surely was heading her
way, she was bravely willing to "hole up" in our spare
bedroom and endure whatever might be her lot. She had
been sick before and loathed the prospect; yet loathed
even more the continued slavery and premature death
that would most likely be her portion otherwise.

I had read several mentions of the use of various
substances useful in mitigating the effects of opiate
withdrawal on newsgroups on the interned; among them
LSD, ibogaine, and GHB. Because of several social and
spiritual and family dynamics, and because of the
availability of GHB, it seemed the likeliest of the

I posted an inquiry to a individual I had read on one
of the well known news groups who had mentioned GHB as
an option to ibogaine. I asked for any references he
might know of that mentioned any clinical protocols
for the administration of GHB in opiate withdrawal.
(While I acknowledge that the mechanisms of action for
these two compounds could not be more disparate, GHB
seemed the only likely candidate). In a couple of days
this person replied with the abstract of a study from
some Italian medical researchers which had used GHB as
the agent for mitigation of symptoms of withdrawal.

I am currently unable to locate the specific research,
which was originally published in an international
journal of neuropsychiatry. However, the portion
containing the meat of the issue I was interested in
remains clear. The cohort of volunteers numbered, I
believe, in the several of dozens. Those who received
the GHB, rated their experience of withdrawal as
greatly modified by the application of periodic doses
of GHB during the course of the several days of
withdrawal. The need for any additional medication for
sleep, for nausea, and several of the other acute
symptoms was greatly reduced or totally eliminated in
the majority of persons undergoing treatment.

The protocol for the administration of GHB during the
initial and acute phase of opiate withdrawal is as
follows: 0.025 grams of GHB per kilogram of body
weight given orally every 3 to 4 hours for the first
three or four days, and then the same amount every 4
to 6 hours over the next 6 to 10 days. I, for
instance, weigh about 210 #, or 95.5 kilograms. The
desired dosage for me, therefore, would be just under
2.4 grams of GHB every dose period. A person would
take his or her weight in pounds, divide that by 2.2
to get the weight in kilograms, and then multiply that
product by .025 to obtain the desired dosage in grams.

A person would want to take the normal "sleeping dose"
of GHB prior to bed time, and follow this with another
full sleeping dose in middle of the night if awakening
occurs. That amount for most people amounts to about
0.1 grams per kilogram. During this dosing schedule it
is best if someone else is on hand to assist with
getting to and from the bathroom if needed in case of
difficulty in walking.

The object is not to render the individual
unconscious, but rather to allow a modicum of activity
and rest, while interrupting the acute symptoms of the
withdrawal. In as much as these individuals have a
demonstrated syndrome of dependence, it would be wise
for the helpers to pre measure the day's dosages ahead
of time and possibly label them or assign them to
specific times for administration, thus eliminating
the tendency toward seeking oblivion on the part of
the patient.

My dear daughter specifically took me aside several
days after her acute withdrawal phase was over, and
told me that "in case I didn't realize it," she wanted
me to know in no uncertain terms, that GHB was nothing
short of a miracle for her. She initially wanted to
have me make it available to several of her friends
who had tried multiple times to "kick" unsuccessfully.
As much as I would like to be a help to others, I
decided that it would not be practical or prudent for
me to become known as a supplier of this remarkable
compound to a circle beyond my family and friends,
however noble the purpose.

So at this time my only knowledge of the efficacy of
GHB in the relief of acute symptoms of opiate
withdrawal is by way of a two or three year old
medical study, and of much more significance to me, my
dear daughter's emergence from the dark and scary
world of addiction to heroin.

It seems that many, who would be very glad to leave
that slave master behind, are unable to do so out of
fear of the physical and psychological punishment
meted out to those who dare to rise up in pursuit of
freedom. GHB offers a safe, non-toxic, and gentle
guide for those who would take the underground railway
to freedom in the 90s.

My dear daughter was home with us for Thanksgiving,
and kindly consented to add a few remarks of a first
hand and personal nature to this report:

    GHB reduced my symptoms of heroin withdrawal to
perhaps 1/10 of what I would normally have
experienced. Having maintained a fairly sizable habit,
(from one to two grams daily for several years) I had
undergone painful withdrawal many times, and was
nothing short of amazed at the mildness of detoxing
with GHB.

    My symptoms usually included nausea, cramping,
headaches, sweating, watery eyes and nose, extreme
sensitivity to light and pain, physical weakness,
sleeplessness, and a general sense of restlessness and

    With GHB, however, I was relaxed, even at the
point when symptoms are normally at their most
intense, and had enough energy to take walks and do
light work. Physical discomfort was mild. I had few
aches or cramps, and enjoyed a healthy appetite. At
night I was given a slightly larger dose, and slept
comfortably and soundly for four to six hours at a
time. I felt emotionally more stable than usual.
Whether this was due to my secure environment,
actually getting sleep, or a combination of the two, I
cannot say. Notable to me was a marked reduction of
the intense craving for heroin that usually
accompanies "kicking".

    I do not doubt that everyone's experience with GHB
will vary slightly, but I found it to be remarkably
beneficial. While I would heartily recommend it to
anyone facing the pain and misery of heroin
withdrawal, I would also suggest having competent
support readily available for the first three or four

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