The day(s) after the party can be quite the challenge — both mentally and physically. Going from extended states of pure euphoria and fun with friends and lovers to being alone in bed can leave you feeling fragile and blue. There is a saying that ‘doing Ecstasy today is like borrowing happiness from tomorrow’, which is very true. But you can work around it by following a good aftercare practice. The more we take care of ourselves before and after a drug experience, the better. Most importantly, know that the difficulty you experience afterwards is a natural part of using substances — and whatever blues you’re feeling will pass.
To help you discover an aftercare routine that works for you, we’ve collected some tips:
- Food. Chances are, you probably didn’t eat much while partying. If it’s still too difficult to eat the day after, just stick to juicy and hydrating foods like fruit, smoothies and yogurts. But if you can get some solid food in you, then go for some proteins like lentils, meat, fish and nuts. Any sort of healthy food, really.
- Detox. If you take ketamine, it’s advised to drink green tea: research suggests that it can help flush out the toxins. But don’t go crazy on all sorts of detox routines right after a party. Prioritise filling up on nutrients from food and beverages first.
- Vitamins. Research suggests that strong antioxidants like vitamin C and E can lessen the neurotoxicity of MDMA in the brain. Though it’s not proven in human brains (but in rats), it sure sounds like good advice to stock up on some vitamins after a long party. For example, magnesium supplements or magnesium rich foods (avocado, banana and nuts) are recommended for the aftereffects of jaw stiffness from drugs like cocaine and MDMA.
- Supplements. 5HTP is a popular health supplement that increases the brain’s serotonin production and can help alleviate the comedown during the days after MDMA or Mepherone use. It’s widely available and can be purchased in health shops.
Despite popular opinion, it’s NOT advised to take 5HTP before doing drugs as it can cause an excess amount of serotonin in the brain and increase your chances of developing serotonin syndrome. However, 5HTP can be very beneficial to take the day after; just make sure it’s been at least 12 hours since you last took drugs. This is true for all drugs that bind to serotonin (which is most of the popular drugs, except for ketamine).
If you’re on antidepressants, you should avoid 5HTP supplements: the interaction between them can lead to serotonin syndrome, as well.
- Sleep. Though food is key for your well-being, sleep is most effective for getting you back on track after a party. Try to maintain your sleeping pattern by timing your exit from a party, date or hang out so that you can go to bed when you usually do. It’s always a good idea to have at least one day (or some of the day) to recover before returning to responsibilities like school, work or caretaking. If you have trouble sleeping, remember: a little sleep is better than none. And if you can’t fall into deep sleep, rest is fine, too. If you use any sort of strong sleeping aids like valium or benzos, don’t take them right after doing drugs. First, give your body as much time as possible to wind down.
- Social care. Physical needs aside, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of social support. Going from being around lots of people to suddenly finding yourself alone can be quite depressing. It’s always nice to have a buddy to hang out with or simply talk to over the phone. Do things that are nice for you; take a bath, re-watch your favourite show or spoil yourself with your favourite take out. Know that this, too, shall pass and that you’ll have many more good times to come.
We hope the tips you just read will help you feel a little more prepared for what comes after your next party. To learn more about taking care of yourself after using drugs, check out some of our favourite resources: