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How to Avoid (or Recover From) a Methylone ‘Comedown’

A methylone comedown can include depression, fatigue, and mood swings.

The only way to avoid a comedown is not to use methylone at all. To recover from one more quickly, drink plenty of water and rest as much as possible.

What Is Methylone?

Methylone is a designer drug often referred to as bath salts and sometimes sold as plant food.

The synthetic cathinone is called M1 and MDMC sometimes. Its full chemical name is 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylcathinone.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) publishes that methylone is illegal in the United States with no medicinal uses. It is similar in action to MDMA (ecstasy) and cocaine.

Methylone interacts with the reuptake of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Intoxication leads to extreme euphoria or a high, that is characterized by feelings of pleasure, emotional closeness, excitement, wakefulness, high energy, elevated body temperature, and distorted senses.

The Methylone Comedown

The comedown from methylone can produce the opposite effects. Depression, fatigue, mental fogginess, sleep issues, and mood swings are common.

Avoiding methylone use altogether is the best way to prevent the crash. Bath salts like methylone are unregulated. This means they are unpredictable and can have many possible side effects and unintended consequences.

Supportive care is generally the optimal method to manage a methylone comedown.

Aside from not using the drug at all, minimizing use, drinking a lot of water, and keeping cool may help to prevent the full effects of a methylone crash.

Timeline and What to Expect 

Since methylone is similar to MDMA in structure and the way it interacts in the brain and body, the methylone crash may be very similar to an ecstasy crash.

Generally, the effects of methylone will wear off several hours after ingesting the drug. The comedown, or hangover, may start within 12 hours after taking it.

The effects will typically peak within a day or two.  Then they’ll start to level out and get better in the span of a few days to a week.

There are several factors that can influence how long the methylone hangover may last.

  • Amount of methylone taken
  • If methylone was taken with other drugs or alcohol at the same time
  • The manner in which it was taken (Injecting, snorting, or smoking it can increase the rate of dependence and sends the drug into the bloodstream faster, resulting in a stronger and faster crash.)
  • How long and how often methylone has been used
  • Biological aspects such as metabolism rate, which can be influenced by gender and race
  • Genetic factors, including personal or family history of drug dependence and/or addiction
  • Presence of any underlying or co-occurring mental health or medical conditions
  • Environmental considerations, including levels of stress at home

If you take a lot of methylone on a regular basis for a long time, the comedown can last for longer, and the crash can be more significant. The same is true if methylone is combined with other substances. This can complicate the way the drugs interact in the brain and body, and also how they are processed out.

Effects of the Comedown 

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that when ecstasy leaves the body, serotonin levels drop, which can cause feelings of anxiety and depression. Serotonin and dopamine are some of the brain’s chemical messengers that help a person to feel happy. They are also involved with cognitive functions, sleep abilities, and movement.

Methylone is a stimulant drug that speeds up functions of the central nervous system and makes a person feel energetic, happy, and awake. When coming down from the drug, you will feel the opposite effects.

A methylone crash may then include the following symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Mental cloudiness
  • Memory issues
  • Paranoia
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature irregularities
  • Motor control issues

The more methylone you take, the more intense the high and the low will be. 

JAMA Network warns that bath salts like methylone can be much more dangerous than ecstasy, and they may have more neurotoxic and long-term side effects.

BBC News reports that just like with ecstasy and other amphetamines, taking more methylone can increase levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. When the drugs wear off, the low created by dips in levels of these neurotransmitters can last for several days and be very unpleasant.

Dangers of Use

Bath salts like methylone can be extremely toxic. It’s hard to know exactly how they will interact in the body and what the side effects may be.

Often sold under the guise of legal “non-edible” substances, these synthetic cathinones can cause hallucinations, paranoia, agitation, violent behaviors (excited delirium), and panic attacks, NIDA warns.

Methylone is also considered to be addictive and can cause toxic overdose and death. It is best to avoid methylone use altogether.

Treatment for the Comedown

To minimize a methylone hangover, keep the amount used to a minimum. Drink a lot of water to stay hydrated and to flush the system as much as possible.

Supportive care in the form of addiction treatment or detox program can manage the comedown as well.

Additional tips for recovering from a methylone comedown include:

  • Take a warm and relaxing bath.
  • Stay in a quiet, relaxing, and calm environment.
  • Eat balanced and healthy meals. Avoid processed foods, refined sugars, and caffeine.
  • Use mindfulness meditation and relaxation techniques.
  • Stick to regular sleeping schedules and avoid screens before settling down to bed.
  • Consider chiropractic care or massage therapy to reduce tension and stress through body manipulation.

Methylone can be an addictive substance. The more you use it, the more difficult the comedown will be.

An addiction treatment program can provide coping mechanisms and relapse prevention techniques that can aid in overall recovery.

Sources

(October 2013). 3,4-Methylenedioxymethcathinone (Methylone). U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Retrieved February 2019 from https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_chem_info/methylone.pdf

(December 2012). A Trip on "Bath Salts" is Cheaper than Meth or Cocaine But Much More Dangerous. JAMA Network. Retrieved February 2019 from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/1486827

(December 2011). Designer Drugs: Effect on Brain Chemistry 'Like Ecstasy.' BBC News. Retrieved February 2019 from https://www.bbc.com/news/health-16185373

(February 2018). What are Synthetic Cathinones? National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved February 2019 from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/synthetic-cathinones-bath-salts

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