Coping with comedowns

If you're partying hard all weekend, be prepared for the downsides as well as the upsides. Here's how to cope with a mighty drugs comedown.

The easy way…

Obviously, the best way to avoid drug comedowns is not to take any drugs in the first place. But if you are planning a big weekend which involves drugs then make sure you’re armed with the facts – including the risks involved.

What are drug comedowns?

A comedown occurs when the effects of your drugs wear off. It’s basically your body telling you it’s been poisoned – drugs are toxic substances, after all, and your system has to work hard to restore order. Hence the head feeling like a lead weight and the need to lie down.

A comedown can be a pleasant way to chill out with mates, but you can’t always guarantee a gentle landing. That’s why it’s good to prepare yourself for all eventualities.

Coming up safely

Before you drop, familiarise yourself with the festival/club layout. Make sure you arrange meeting points with mates and have enough cash to buy water and food.

Tell your mates what you’re taking, in case it goes horribly wrong and you wind up in A&E. The more the medics know, the more effective the treatment.

Avoid wandering off on your own when you’re up – if you come down with a crash then you’ll be thankful for having friends around you.

Steer clear of alcohol – mixing booze with any drug can complicate the comedown.

And then coping with the comedown…

The drugs have worn off and you feel like crashing out. Now what?

It’s time to replenish your battered body. When you feel up to it, aim to eat a healthy balanced meal. At the same time, keep sipping water, an isotonic drink or orange juice (which is rich in vitamin C – something that’s often lacking in your system after living it large).

Cannabis is a popular comedown choice amongst seasoned clubbers, but it doesn’t suit everyone. With some people, cannabis can mess with the effects of other drugs, especially alcohol, making it hard to predict how you’ll feel.

Sleeping pills and antidepressants don’t make good comedown companions. They can slow down the body system and can have fatal consequences when mixed with other drugs or alcohol (which also has a depressant effect).

If you’re coming down from ecstasy, you may feel slightly low or even quite depressed in the days that follow.

When your friend is suffering badly

Some people have worse comedowns than others. They feel so low and unhappy that they can’t even get themselves out of bed. They get pissed off easily and are angry with everyone. They see no end in sight and just want to cry all day. Thankfully, this level of comedown is not very common. However, it is useful to know how to deal with this if a mate of yours is really suffering:

  • Most importantly, explain to your friend what is happening physically to them. Stress that it’s a temporary spell and that they will feel much better in a day or two.
  • Prepare some healthy meals to replace the depleted vitamins they’ve been giving up for the sake of partying. Especially good is foods with brain chemical 5-htp (like bananas). You can also buy 5-htp tablets in health food stores.
  • Rent funny movies. Laughing helps.
  • Ensure your mate gets lots of sleep.

Next Steps

  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.


drug risks


Updated on 29-Sep-2015

Photo by volunteer photographer Rebecca Hancock