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After Party & Detox


For every party, there's a price to pay, and that's Monday. Especially if you've been altering your consciousness with exotic chemicals, you might experience after-effects that last for several days.

There are a couple of ways to prevent a serious hangover, depending on the kind of substances you've been ingesting.

If you've been drinking a lot, you should focus on getting your liver cleansed. If you've been using stimulants, like speed, you need to get your dopamine levels up. If however, you've been using substances like MDMA (Ecstasy) you need to recover your levels of serotonin.

Psychedelic drugs like LSD, shrooms and DMT do not require any detoxification (because they're not toxic), just some time to contemplate and integrate the experience.


Alcohol is mainly broken down in the liver. Most of the alcohol is broken down by an enzyme known as alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). ADH breaks down alcohol into acetaldehyde, which is a toxic substance with unpleasant reactions when it builds up. Another enzyme, aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), breaks down acetaldehyde into acetate. The acetate eventually leaves your body as carbon dioxide and water.

When you drink large quantities of alcohol in a short period of time, you're likely to end up with a hangover. To speed up recovery, drink plenty of water and take some Milk Thistle capsules (Carduus marianus), a herb that contains silymarin, which protects, stimulates and helps to detoxify the liver.


Assuming you've got pure MDMA, which in many countries is rare, your body will experience first a serotonin surge (while you're rolling) and then a low. When your serotonin levels drop, you might feel sad, lethargic and tired. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate our mood. It's made from L-tryptophan, a common amino acid, present in bananas, milk and many other foods. To recover the serotonin levels quickly, it's recommended to take a high dose of serotonin on an empty stomach, preferably before you go to bed, but at least on the day(s) after the party. Most capsules contain either 400 or 500 mg, sometimes with vitamin B6 added. Take 1 or 2 of these capsules, a couple of times a day.

An alternative to L-tryptophan is 5-HTP, which has a similar effect (it's a building block of serotonin), but requires a lower dose, say, 50 to 200 mg a day. Although it's produced in our own bodies, food doesn't contain 5-HTP. But some seeds (Griffonia simplificifolia) do contain this substance in abundance. Most capsules contain 50 mg of 5-HTP. In some countries, 5-HTP is not available, unless one has a doctor's prescription.

After Party products, like After D, contain vitamins and L-tryptophan.


Cocaine produces a quick release of dopamine, which is experienced as euphoria (though quite different from MDMA, which produces an empathic and insightful type of euphoria, while the cocaine rush tends to be much more self-centred). When dopamine levels plummet, one might feel down. Drugs and drinks which trigger dopamine release are risky because whenever dopamine is involved, addiction becomes a possibility.

Amphetamine / Speed

Speed releases both serotonin and dopamine. If you've taken speed you must FIRST replenish serotonin levels by taking L-tryptophan or 5-HTP. The L-tyrosine should be taken some time afterwards (for example, one or two hours later). Taking L-tyrosine while your synapses are still starving for serotonin, can be harmful to your health (neurotoxic).

Sleep deprivation

Although a little sleep deprivation is generally not dangerous, it does slow down recovery and worsen the effects associated with synthetic drugs.


Dehydration is another thing you should try to prevent because it will worsen your hangover. If you're going to drink alcohol, regularly drink some water as well. Don't overdo it though, especially if you're using MDMA. Erowid issues the following warning:

"One of the persistent problems with MDMA use is that of the hyperthermia (heat-stroke / over-heating). Several factors add to this effect, including MDMA's pharmacological effect of increasing body temperature, the strong physical stimulation experienced by most users, and the euphoria and comfort of the experience which can cause users to overlook their level of exertion. Many Ecstasy users have been told that they need to make sure they are drinking enough water to stay on the safe side of this problem, but as a result, some users encounter the somewhat less recognized problem of over-hydration which causes hyponatremia (literally "low salt") also called "water intoxication".

The human body (as with other animals) maintains an equilibrium of electrolytes including salt in the bloodstream as part of its normal operation. Sweating causes the body to lose salt, but the primary cause of hyponatremia in Ecstasy users is drinking enormous amounts of water, which dilutes the salt in the body to a dangerous level. Unfortunately as the electrolytes get out of balance, body systems start to fail and (because of the blood-brain barrier), the sufferer starts to exhibit signs of crisis such as diarrhoea, over-salivation, stupor, vomiting, muscle tremors, confusion, frequent urination, and other general symptoms of illness, and their brain begins to swell. This swelling is called a 'brain oedema' or 'cerebral oedema' and can (and does) lead to brain damage, paralysis, and death.

The dangers of drinking water obsessively while high are real. If you're drinking a lot of water, in any context, mixing in some salty snacks or drinking sports drinks will keep your salt and electrolyte levels healthier and can prevent hyponatremia. Including electrolytes in drinking water or consuming isotonic beverages or taking electrolytes/salts as supplements (at the correct levels) will likely prevent hyponatremia/water poisoning in nearly all cases. People on MDMA often do not want to eat anything, so salty snacks tend to be an ineffective option. While some people find the sugary or salty sport-type drinks unappealing, others actually prefer the sports drinks while high and say that they quench the thirst better than water. Any balanced electrolyte drink will help prevent overheating (hyperthermia) and water poisoning (hyponatremia) and are useful, experience-improving, and possibly life-saving simple products Ecstasy-users and party-organizers can include, helping everyone maintain a healthy water equilibrium while dancing hard, taking stimulants, and to help curb the negative effects of obsessive over drinking."

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