Date: Sun, 14 Dec 1997 22:55:55 EST
From: Chris Jenks <>
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: GHB To Reduce Withdrawal

  Dear Everyone,

  I was just checking out the Lycaeum at and found
the following new article. I realize we've discussed GHB on this list
before without any solid conclusion, but this first hand report sounds
informative. I understand that GHB recently because a controlled substance
in California. What a coincidence.


                       - Chris

Using GHB to Mitigate Opiate Withdrawal

                                       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 possibilities.

              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

              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
               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,
               weakness, sleeplessness, and a general sense of restlessness

                   With GHB, however, I was relaxed, even at the point when
               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
               recommend it to anyone facing the pain and misery of heroin
               I would also suggest having competent support readily
available for the
               first three or four days.

          HTML by: James Farrell
          Last Updated Tuesday, 02-Dec-97 17:45:00 MST