Harm Reduction with Preloading/Postloading
Preloading and postloading is the use of substances (generally nutritional supplements such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids) prior to and after substance usage.
People can use these methods to:
- Reduce the adverse side effects of the substance
- To enhance the desired effects of the substance
- To decrease tolerance to the substance
There are no guidelines on appropriate dosages, therefore follow the manufacturer’s recommended doses. All preloading and postloading substances can be found in supermarkets, health food stores, and pharmacies and are available over-the-counter in the U.S.
No amount of pre/post-loading will compensate for heavy usage.
Preload—to be taken 60-90 minutes before MDMA:
Learn about Preloading for Enhancement
- Vitamin C 500-1000mg
- Vitamin E 400IU
- Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) 100-200mg
- Magnesium 500-750mg
Postload—to be taken 4-6 hours after MDMA:
- Vitamin C 500-1000mg
- Vitamin E 400IU
- Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) 100-200mg
- Magnesium 500-750mg (if needed)
- 5-HTP 500-100mg (needed for MDMA only)
The post-load can be repeated after another 4-6 hours. Some people like to use 5-HTP for a few days post MDMA. There are many other antioxidant products available that could also be used.
Other useful ingredients include:
- Grapefruit juice
- Vitamin B-6
- Coenzyme Q10
This advice is not for those who suffer from alcoholism. Simply put, an alcoholic has "lost the power of choice in drink" and is "without defense against the first drink." In short, an alcoholic cannot drink safely.
Obviously, refraining from drinking any alcohol would be the best option. For those of you not planning to embrace a neo-temperance movement, here are some guidelines to minimizing the lingering effects of too much alcohol.
- B-Complex Vitamin
- About 2 glasses of H20
If hangover occurs:
- Drink water - Yes it makes both lists. Alcohol has dehydrated you, and to speed up your recovery the first thing to do is get the water back in your body. Ideally, a liter or two of IV D5-Ringer's lactate will solve the problem. But, drinking water is a close second.
- Coconut water - Fill with electrolytes, its high potassium and mineral content. In fact, one cup-full of coconut water contains more electrolytes than most sports drinks and more potassium than a banana. Coconut water is also used as an intravenous hydration fluid in some developing countries where medical saline is unavailable.
- Eat Burnt Toast - Butter and honey on burnt toast - if you can stomach it - will help calm the upset stomach with the sugar from the honey giving you a needed boost of energy and the charred bread acting sort of like charcoal and absorbing excess alcohol remaining in the stomach. If you're the type who vomits with your hangover this might give you some relief, or at least something to heave.
Drink More Alcohol - In the Philippines, it's been known that the best hangover cure is to just drink more alcohol. Although not proven scientifically, many locals swear by this remedy. Unbelievable? Here's a food for thought: have you ever had a hangover while drinking?
Do Something - Taking your mind off of the pain, by doing some other calm activity, such as watching TV, will help you ignore the pain. This might not work with everyone, but it is worth a try.
Sleep - The physical effects of alcohol on your body combined with the late nights that typically precede a hangover mean that sleep is usually easy to come by. Embrace it. Your body needs to metabolize the alcohol, and if you can sleep while it's taking care of that, you'll feel better when you wake up a few hours later.
- Avoid aspirin -, ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Although all of these are helpful for relieving headaches, you're better off avoiding them when you're hung over. Aspirin is a blood thinner, but so is alcohol. Combining the two is a bad idea. Acetaminophen when combined with alcohol can cause liver damage, and ibuprofen is more likely to irritate your stomach lining when combined with alcohol. edit: Take a couple of aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen before going to bed and you will get up tomorrow headache free. Are you taking a chance by taking a blood thinner? Not really, unless you plan on cutting yourself on a broken highball glass.
- Avoid coffee - Sacrilege, yes. But coffee will just make you more dehydrated. One cup might be OK, but try not to down an entire pot in some misguided quest to wake up. Drink water instead. Or, if you need caffeine, try something mellow like iced tea.
- Exercise - Frankly, this sounds crazy to us. But exercise speeds up your metabolic rate, and thus gets the alcohol moving out a bit faster. Not for the faint of heart, but if you feel like going for a run, by all means knock yourself out. Bonus points if you smell like a bar sweating its way down the street.
- Hot shower or steam - It should be noted that a steam room, sauna or hot shower exacerbates dehydration and should be balanced with additional water intake. However, the increased body temperature may help you metabolize the alcohol faster. While in general, over 95% of alcohol is metabolized in the liver, a small amount can be lost through urine (<10%) the breath (~1%) and through sweat (>1%) and it is thought by some that increasing sweat production can increase alcohol secretion through sweat glands. However, the main benefit may be the relaxation.
- Bury yourself up to the neck in moist river sand - Some people in Ireland swear by this method. It's really just here to illustrate that all those hangover cures your friends will tell you to try are unfortunately just folk tales. There is no easy cure, save toughing it out.
Ketamine and other Dissociatives
The term "dissociative" derives from "dissociative anesthetic", a class of anesthetics that produce unresponsiveness to stimuli by dissociating various elements of the mind (in simple terms, they knock you out by putting you 'out of your body'). Consciousness, memory, perception, and motor activity are all dissociated from each other.
Dissociatives are not frequently used as anesthetics in humans because of what are known as "emergence effects", various odd effects that can happen when people come out of anesthesia. All anesthetics can produce these effects, but with the dissociatives it is much more common and much more severe. Dissociative anesthetics (ketamine and tiletamine) are used in veterinary practice, since animals don't often complain about out-of-body experiences. Ketamine is also used in burn trauma and in children (who don't get the psychedelic effects of the dissociatives, and are not susceptible to dissociative brain damage).
These are some dissociative drugs you might encounter:
- Street Drugs:
- Ketamine (K, Special-K, Vitamin-K), in injection bottles or as powder
- Dextromethorphan (DXM), in capsules or as powder
- PCP (Angel Dust, Embalming Fluid, etc.), powder, liquid, or on smoking material
- Over-The-Counter and Quasi-Legal Drugs:
- Dextromethorphan (DXM), available in cough syrups and pills
- Nitrous Oxide ("Whippets" and iSi whipped cream chargers)
- Prescription Drugs:
- Ketamine (veterinary and human anaesthetic)
- Tiletamine (veterinary anaesthetic)
- Memantine and amantadine
- Research Drugs:
- Dizocilpine maleate (MK-801)
If you aren't going to abstain, the best thing you can do to protect your brain when you take a dissociative may be to take another drug which will keep the susceptible brain cells from becoming overactive, or help them resist the stress. There are several possible options, however keep in mind that I am only going to report what has helped in animal tests, and what some have suggested may help in humans. I do not recommend that you take these drugs, of course; that decision is up to you and your doctor. I'm only offering you the knowledge that's available from medical science.
An asterisk (*) next to an item in the summary indicates that the interaction is supported only by weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
Preload and Postload—before and after ingesting a dissociative:
- Coenzyme Q10 - may offer some protection by preventing mitochondria from running out of energy.
- Antioxidants – In Foods. In Vitamins All antioxidants
- Ginkgo biloba - may increase cerebral metabolism (and help bring nutrients to cells and clear out waste products); on the other hand, it may also affect brain activity more directly, and the results are unknown (it could make things worse).
- Multivitamin (an ordinary dose, not megadoses!) - shouldn't hurt, since many people don't eat as well as they should.
- Vitamin-B12/B-Complex -Nitrous oxide specifically depletes vitamin B12, so a supplement may be a good idea. Vitamin B12 doesn't absorb well, but there are sublingual forms available which may absorb better.
- Milk Thistle*
So far, I've got nothing