How to Stop a Comedown
What is a Comedown?
When you have been binging drugs often for a few days at a time, you may have noticed that you will start to experience a change in mood, also known as a comedown.
A comedown causes low energy and irritability, and symptoms of anxiety or depression are commonly experienced. This happens as drugs cause a rush of dopamine to the brain which leads to a chemical shift, resulting in a comedown once drugs are removed from the system.
The shift in dopamine results in the following side effects during a comedown:
● Low mood
These symptoms of a comedown are common with use of stimulants and hallucinogens due to their extreme impact on your brain.
Now the important thing to remember with a comedown is that while it’s unpleasant and can have serious ramifications for your mental health, a comedown is not physically dangerous.
Comedowns can make you feel miserable and like you want to spend the day in bed. So long as you follow a few simple tricks and tips, you will return to normal in no time.
Tips to Stop a Comedown
Stopping a comedown may feel impossible, but there are some things you can do to alleviate symptoms. See ways to stop a comedown below:
Self-Care and Hydration
Planning a self-care day if you know you are likely going to experience a comedown is recommended to stop a comedown.
Comedowns make you feel mentally strained and often depressed, so it is important to relax and take time to recover in a safe space. Instead you should:
● Take a nap for energy
● Avoid strenuous activities
● Take a long relaxing bath
● Don’t rush to wake up
● Go to bed early
● Fill a water bottle and keep it with you
● Try to drink at least every 15 minutes
● Have watery snacks such as melon, ice lollies or smoothies
● Avoid anything with too much salt, like crisps or nuts
● Fresh, healthy food such as vegetables and fruit are best
● Avoid greasy takeaways are they can upset your stomach
● If you are nauseous, small snacks are better than nothing and try to stick to foods that will coat your stomach. Bread is good for relieving nausea
● If eating feels too hard, a smoothie is a great alternative
Manage Physical Symptoms
Comedown causes physical symptoms that are similar to that of a hangover.
Nausea, headaches and muscle pains are quite common and painful.
Don’t worry. You can use a few simple tricks to make yourself a bit more comfortable so you can get the rest you need.
● Most indigestion tablets have anti-nausea effects
● Home remedies such as ginger or bread help to settle your stomach
● Drinking plenty of water and avoiding greasy foods helps relieve it faster
● Try to stay somewhere dark and quiet
● Ice packs over the eyes can help stop comedown headaches
● Over-the-counter painkillers work very well, and you can stagger taking ibuprofen and paracetamol so you don’t run out
● You can use a TEMs machine or a massage machine to ease pain
● Over-the-counter pain killers work well for this too
● Long hot baths help to relax and ease muscle pain
● Hot water bottles and heat packs are good for hard-to-reach areas.
Seek Emotional Support and Coping Techniques
Being tired and experiencing a comedown is emotionally draining. It leaves you feeling like everything is too much and that you could snap any moment.
That is why it is important to surround yourself only with people you can rely on. Tell them you are feeling fragile and need to be looked after. You can only take the break you need by communicating your feelings, and this is the best way to stop a comedown.
As well as helping you physically, they can also act as your shoulder to cry on and be someone to calm you down and help you to destress.
You can also engage in mindfulness activities to try and keep yourself calm. These can include:
● Light exercise
Easy-to-do activities that can keep you centred are key to overcoming a comedown. It is best to not cause any additional strain on your body or mind too much and should avoid anything frustrating. Stopping a comedown is all about being kind to yourself.
Avoid Drug and Alcohol Use
The common misconception is that more drugs or alcohol will relieve a comedown. Unfortunately, this is false and will just make you feel worse once they have left your system. It is very important that during a comedown, you avoid triggers and temptations to use more drugs.
You should avoid going to bars or any environment or situation where you often abuse substances. This is because there is a link in your brain between the good feeling you experienced from your high and the location or activity you were doing. Instead of worsening comedown symptoms, focus on relaxing and avoid the use of drugs.
Source Professional Help for Drug Use
If you are someone that experiences frequent comedowns because you regularly use drugs, then it may be time to examine your drug use.
Drug addiction has a way of sneaking up on you, so what once may have been a habit used to relax or party with, now may be a physical dependency, otherwise known as drug addiction.
If you can’t imagine living sober and experience withdrawal symptoms or severe comedowns when you don’t use drugs, it may be time to seek professional help. If you are curious about the help, you can receive and want to seek treatment or simply just need some advice, there are a few simple steps you can take.
Talking to your GP or therapist can be a great start, as they are trained to recommend the next steps for you.
If you prefer something a little less formal, you are also more than welcome to attend a Narcotics Anonymous meeting to see what it would be like to use their services.
Long-Term Strategies for Stopping a Comedown
Implementing lifestyle changes is the best way to ease the worst of comedown symptoms.
These changes are designed to keep your body healthy and stop a comedown, such as drinking plenty of water, eating healthy food and exercising regularly.
Try to manage your stress and mental health in alternative ways. This can be as simple as a calming cup of tea or attending therapy. You may even find an underlining cause for your drug dependence.
What matters is that you try to start living a healthier life so that drugs don’t have as much of a hold over you. Only then will you be able to stop a comedown.