Detoxing from GBL through a safe and caring experience with Passmores House

Passmores House is a well-established and high-quality 23-bed detox and rehab set in the idyllic Essex countryside.


At Passmores House we pride ourselves on the specialist care we provide and our ability to manage very complex detoxes, thanks to our experienced medical team, trained counsellors and having 24/7 nursing on site.

Although we support a significant number of alcohol detoxes and a range of opiate stabilisations and detoxes, we also help people to safely detox from high-risk substances including GBL (gamma-butyrolactone).

Passmores HouseWe started our first GBL detox six years ago and since then we’ve carried out about 100 overall. GBL detoxes are highly unpredictable and hard for even general hospitals to carry out as withdrawals can cause:
• seizures
• delirium and confusion
• severe anxiety, depression, craving, self-harm and psychosis
• rapid changes in heart rate and blood pressure
• nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal cramps which can lead to electrolyte imbalances
• poor sleep
• severe muscle stiffness, cramping and muscle aches

Passmores HouseWe use a combination of diazepam with baclofen as well as utilising a range of medications to treat withdrawal symptoms. Importantly, our detox packages also include tailored psychosocial interventions. We also offer bespoke rehab packages for individuals who have engaged in chemsex activities.



One of our residents tells us about their experience of using GBL and how Passmores House helped them.

GBL was offered to me at a chemsex party. I had no experience or even the faintest knowledge about the drug beforehand. People at the party ranged from young adults, to older businessmen and full-time mothers.

My first use was an extremely overwhelming sensation accompanied by a wave of overconfidence. Subsequently a loss of almost all inhibition created a cloud of guilt, regret and disgust that seemed to loom over me indefinitely.

There is an extremely fine line between euphoria and death in regards to dosage. As use becomes more reckless, the precision with dosing also deteriorates.

Blacking out, often called a ’G-Hole’, occurs so frequently that it is often normalised in the GBL scene and people lying comatose on the floor are stepped over or pushed aside while partying continues. In this state you’re vulnerable to sexual assault and robbery, with absolutely no recollection.

A ‘G Hole’ is more likely to occur if GBL is mixed with alcohol, if intervals between doses are not respected, or if the user has been awake for an abnormally long time.

I initially sought help through my local service and then at Via, where I was referred to Passmores House. The withdrawals have been much more manageable than I expected, with appropriate medication for a comfortable detox. The community groups and check-ins have helped me tremendously, and I’ve shared insights about my recovery that I would have usually suppressed.

I owe this not just to the staff at Passmores, but also the other residents, who created a wonderfully safe space that made me feel valid and understood. Alongside superb medical professional support I received profound emotional support from the medical staff, which gave me clarity and grounded me in sporadic moments of discomfort.

GBL addiction is extremely overwhelming and often feels inescapable. It very soon loses its euphoria, becoming a habit that persists solely to escape and delay withdrawal and discomfort.

There is no better feeling than being freed from the shackles of GBL, and receiving autonomy over your body, mind and soul once again.

DDN Rehab Guide

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