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How Long Does GHB Stay in Your System?

How long does GHB stay in your system

Once available in health food stores and marketed as a supplement for fat loss, muscle growth, and stress relief, GHB, or gamma-hydroxybutyrate, is now classified as a Schedule I drug. Despite its illegal status, it’s still commonly found at clubs and raves, where the colorless liquid or white powder is mixed into alcoholic beverages. 

Like Xanax and Valium, GHB is a central nervous system depressant. In low doses, users may experience euphoria, calmness, and an increased sex drive. Despite these seemingly positive effects, its potential for misuse is high. Used maliciously, GHB renders people unconscious, leaving them vulnerable to sexual assault and unable to recall what happened. 

This article delves deeper into the nature of GHB and its effects. Most importantly, it answers the question: how long does GHB stay in your system? 

Need help quitting GHB? Call La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center at 888.903.9898. 

How Long Do the Effects of GHB Last?

GHB acts quickly in the body, with effects like euphoria, calmness, and drowsiness typically starting within 10 minutes of taking the drug. These effects usually last two to five hours, sometimes extending up to seven hours. The duration varies based on several factors, including the dose taken, the person’s body size, and whether other substances are present. 

Research shows that combining GHB with alcohol, as many users do, increases how quickly GHB’s effects begin. Alcohol also increases how quickly the body metabolizes the drug, meaning the effects last for just 30 minutes to an hour and a half. 

How Long Does GHB Stay in Your System?

A person’s weight, body fat, and biological sex affect how fast GHB is metabolized. Additional factors, such as eating before or just after taking GHB, can slow its absorption through the stomach lining. 

What’s more, existing liver problems may alter metabolism rates since most of the drug is processed in this organ. Additionally, kidney function issues could affect how quickly the body excretes the drug. 

With all of that said, the average half-life of GHB is 30 to 60 minutes, meaning 50 percent of the drug is eliminated from the body within one hour. Depending on the dose, it takes 1.83 to 5.5 hours for the body to eliminate the drug.

Because the body eliminates GHB so quickly, detecting it using drug tests is challenging. Despite this drawback, urine, saliva, blood, and hair tests can detect GHB. 

Here’s more information about each test. 

Test Type Detection Window Notes
Urine Up to 12 hours Noninvasive, affordable, commonly used
Saliva Up to 6 hours Noninvasive, often used to confirm urine test results
Blood Up to 8 hours  Most accurate, but invasive
Hair Up to 1 month Longest detection window, but less accurate for GHB; useful for delayed testing

What Are the Effects of GHB?

In low doses, GHB causes euphoria, lowered inhibitions, and an increased sex drive. At higher doses, effects include:

  • Muscle relaxation or an inability to move
  • Loss of coordination
  • Disorientation
  • Sleepiness and lethargy
  • Confusion
  • Depressed breathing
  • Lower heart rate
  • Trouble with learning or memory
  • Extreme sedation

Can You Overdose on GHB?

It’s possible to overdose on GHB. The overdose risk increases when GHB is mixed with alcohol or other drugs. Symptoms of a GHB overdose include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Slow or irregular breathing
  • Coma
  • Death

If you suspect someone has overdosed on GHB, call emergency services immediately. Give the paramedics as much information as possible, including when the person took the drug, when the symptoms started, and any other substances they might have used. 

GHB Treatment at La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center 

La Fuente offers a comprehensive range of programs, from medically assisted detox to sober living homes, all designed with a focus on serving the LGBTQ community. Our safe and inclusive environment provides tailored support for those seeking to overcome GHB addiction.

Call us today at 888.903.9898 to learn more about our Southern California GHB treatment program. 

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