Improving GHB withdrawal through the Club Drug Clinic

Gary Hart September 10, 2016

Researchers are investigating whether the withdrawal symptoms from the club drugs GHB and GBL can be reduced and outcomes improved by adding the drug Baclofen to the more conventional Benzodiazepine treatment.


In this new ground-breaking study, the team, led by Prof Anne Lingford-Hughes, Consultant Psychiatrist at Central & North West London NHS Foundation (CNWL) and Professor of Addiction Biology at Imperial College London, is looking to see whether adding Baclofen can improve outcomes while detoxing from GHB usage.

GHB and GBL are both highly addictive and present a significant overdose risk to users. Withdrawing from usage can be life-threatening without medication.

There is some evidence that Baclofen, which is more commonly used to treat muscle symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis, including spasm, pain, and stiffness, might help.

The team, who are based at both CNWL’s Club Drug Clinic and St Thomas’ Hospital, are now looking to test the theory by recruiting nearly 90 patients for a 12-month feasibility study.

Dr Owen Bowden-Jones
Dr Owen Bowden-Jones

CNWL Consultant Psychiatrist and founder of the Club Drug Clinic, Dr Owen Bowden-Jones, who is a co-investigator, said: “GHB and GBL are potentially dangerous drugs causing overdose, dependence and severe withdrawal symptoms. We hope that the use of Baclofen will make the withdrawal process less unpleasant and also improve long-term abstinence from the drugs.”

CNWL and its Club Drug Clinic are partnering with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Imperial College, London, the University of York and Antidote – the London-based LGB&T drug and alcohol support service.

To take part users must be aged over 18, be dependent on GBH/GBL or trying to withdraw from usage, be under the care of a drug treatment service and have a clear aftercare plan.

For details on how to take part email:  

Or telephone the Club Drug Clinic on 020 3315 5800

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