Good News: Science Says MDMA Can Be Comedown-Free

New research suggests that, instead of the crushing existential mood drop we're all used to, MDMA can actually produce an "afterglow" – if you're not an idiot about it.
September 23, 2019, 2:20pm
mdma and ecstasy
Photo: Contraband Collection / Alamy Stock Photo

This article originally appeared on VICE UK

You wake up after precisely three minutes of sleep in an immense panic, your jaw sore and the inside of your cheeks chewed to shreds.

It's OK, though: you're in bed. You lie back down and allow the familiar tones of The Office (US) to rock you back into unconsciousness. Then you wake up again 50 seconds later and dramatically type 999 into your phone, just in case you are in fact dying. You spend the next week looking vacant and pitiful, like a small child in a Victorian painting.

Comedowns are the punishments we deserve for living like pieces of shit. However, they aren't – it turns out – mandatory parts of the MDMA experience.

According to Dr Ben Sessa, a Bristol-based Addictions Psychiatrist, MDMA Psychotherapist and Psychedelic Researcher, the lingering effects of clinical MDMA tell a different story from the one we all know.


Compared to a comedown that has you begging your body for any remaining crumb of serotonin, which Sessa says is "an artefact of sleep loss, excessive exercise and concomitant drug use", there is no "post-dosing mood drop" with clinical MDMA use. Instead, it gives an "afterglow", which is a much nicer word typically reserved for describing pregnant women and spa packages.

Unsurprisingly, the moral of the story is: if you take good MDMA in controlled doses instead of boshing four pills you bought in the smoking area off someone called "Spike", then try to get some proper sleep rather than staying up for 52 hours, you'll feel much better 72 hours later.

We've reached out to the authors of the study for further information and will post updates as they come. In the meantime, here's some MDMA harm reduction advice: