This article was originally published on VICE Netherlands
Thanks to all the courageous humans who've given up their weekends to conduct extensive research into the effects of MDMA, we know there are certain legal and safe ways to counter its side effects. At this point, our lawyer says, we should say that we do not endorse drug use. Drugs are bad and if you do them you are dumb.
That said, if you are going to do something bad and dumb this weekend, you might wanna consider the following methods of making sure Monday morning isn't a carnival of lock jaw and tears.
If you eat well enough there's no need for any extra vitamins and minerals, but if you tend to live on a year-round festival diet of noodles, beer, and French fries, it sure couldn't hurt to pop some vitamin pills every once in a while. A lot of people online will tell you to load up on vitamins B6 and E, but that's not something you want to do. Both are bad for you when taken in excess, so stick to daily multivitamins. Start taking them the day before you plan to do MDMA, then a few the day you plan on popping your pill and one more the day after. This should allow your body to power through your night and make a speedy recovery.
Vitamin C—otherwise known as ascorbic acid—is an antioxidant. When taking ecstasy, your body is plagued by free radicals. These radicals, much like the ones in Islamic State, are no good and can damage the brain. Antioxidants like vitamin C function like predator drones and tear those free radicals right up for you. But please don't start chewing lemons or oranges like a madman. Ecstasy halts the production of saliva, lowering your teeth's defenses against acids. If you want to come off the drug with any enamel left on those pearly whites, stick with the vitamin pills instead of actual fruit. You already took some obscure pill laced with chemicals; don't start acting all health-conscious now.
You can take 1000 to 2000 milligrams of vitamin C per day—there's no real limit. Take it before, during, and after your high, or on the couch watching TV with your step mom—whenever and wherever is fine. Do take them with some food though, otherwise they can make you puke.
According to existing research, a bunch of other antioxidants are also beneficial in aiding in your recovery. Alpha lipoic acid and acetylcysteine are two that are said to protect the brain especially well from the aforementioned free radicals. Both supplements are sold over the counter, and can be used together with vitamin C.
You might not notice it while it's happening, but the day after the festivities you and your sore jaw might stumble upon some pictures of your face unknowingly performing its best impression of an exploding pug. If that's the case, then you should have pre-dropped some magnesium. Magnesium can help keep your jaw from jerking and grinding, making you look a lot less like a drug-fueled killer robot and more like a human being having a bit of illegal fun.
The multivitamins already brought you some magnesium, but do yourself and those around you a favor and take a little extra. Take one tablet at a time together with some food, shortly before or during the trip. Too much magnesium can cause diarrhea, so don't take more than 250 milligrams.
A lot of people claim that using 5-HTP—a naturally occurring amino acid—boosts their highs. This hasn't been scientifically proven, but it sounds plausible considering that 5-HTP stimulates the production of serotonin—a neurotransmitter partially responsible for how good you feel. Ecstasy opens your brain's serotonin floodgates, which is why you feel so happy and also the reason you feel like shit on those Terrible Tuesdays, once your pool of serotonin has run dry.
However, science says you shouldn't take 5-HTP while you're rolling or use it to boost your high because an overly high concentration of serotonin can poison your brain, and leads to serotonin syndrome. So please wait until the drugs wear off.
It has, however, been proven that 5-HTP can take the edge off the next day depression. A 200mg dose after your trip might help.