What is a comedown?

Comedown is sometimes used to refer to the following day’s hangover from drug taking or drinking. More commonly used to describe the two or three day after-effects from taking ecstasy, though it can refer to other stimulant use such as amphetamine and cocaine.

Ecstasy is a stimulant, keeping the user awake for hours even days. The user may also mix the drug with drink or other drugs and, if in a club, dance for long periods. Coupled with a lack of food, minerals and fluids, the after-effect is nearly always fatigue and dehydration. The body tends to be run down and organs such as the liver and kidneys can become damaged in their attempt to rid the body of the toxins.

Ecstasy also affects levels of feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin. In a comedown these chemicals fall to levels that can make the user feel anxious, depressed, paranoid, tired and experience dizzy spells. These effects typically last around three days, reaching their peak in the last day.

The ‘mid-week flu’ is all too familiar to many weekend clubbers, who can do little or nothing to avoid it. The best that can be done is to aid recovery with plenty of rest and healthy drinks and food such bananas and nuts. These contain not only vitamins and minerals but brain chemicals such as 5-HTP, that aid the production of the ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitter serotonin.