How to Come Down from a High

Three Methods:Managing AnxietyMinimizing the Effects of Your HighConcealing Your High

Uh oh! You're high as a kite and you've just realized that you're due for a visit from grandma or that you've got a test in half in hour. Don't panic! There's no substitute for time and patience, but with just a few easy tricks, it's easy to get your highness under control so that you can act normally in almost any situation.

Method 1
Managing Anxiety

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    Know that you can't overdose on marijuana or psychedelics. For someone who hasn't been high very often before, the experience can sometime be scary. It can feel like you're losing control of your mind and body or even like you're having an overdose. Luckily, for some drugs, overdose is impossible. If you're high on marijuana or a psychedelic drug like LSD, mushrooms, or peyote, you can't overdose, so don't worry![1]
    • These drugs can make you less coordinated and give you poor judgement, however, so you will never want to do anything physically dangerous when high on them (like drive a car, operate machinery, use a gun, etc.)
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    Avoid high-stress places and situations. When you're high, your surroundings can have a big effect on the way you feel. If you're in a relaxing, calm place, it's easier to feel good, and if you're in a scary, stressful place, it's easier to feel panicked or stressed. If you've got a case of the jitters, try going somewhere relaxing and comfortable, like your room or a comfortable chair in your basement. Try listening to relaxing music or watching a movie or TV show you love. Don't go somewhere that makes you nervous or agitated, like a crowded mall or a loud nightclub.
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    Hang out with people you're comfortable around. Good people can make it much easier to enjoy your high. If your high is making you nervous, try to surround yourself with people you know and trust. Close friends who are also high are usually your best bet. However, in the right situations, a trusted family member, a boyfriend/girlfriend, or a close friend who isn't high can be a good choice as well.
    • Everyone's different, so listen to your intuition — if someone makes you relaxed when you're high, stay with this person, and if someone makes you nervous or upset, stay away from this person.
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    Don't assume that people can tell you are high. People who are high often worry about the idea of other people who aren't high "discovering" their highness. In reality, it's a lot harder for people to tell that you're high than you may think. People usually won't assume that another person is high unless they have good reason to, even if they're acting a little weird. Most high people are almost impossible to tell apart from non-high people unless you're specifically looking for it, which almost no one is, so don't worry! Take a deep breath, relax, and be yourself — no one's going to find out.
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    Take your mind off of the high. When the effects of a high are making it hard to act normal, worrying usually makes the problem worse. Since it's tough to force yourself not to worry, instead, try doing something to distract yourself. Concentrating on something besides the fact that you're high can make you much more relaxed and focused. In fact, you may forget that you're high in the first place. Here are just a few ideas for taking your mind off of your high:
    • Listen to music.
    • Watch a movie you like.
    • Read.
    • Do something with your hands (like playing with Legos, drawing, or writing).
    • Find something interesting nearby to look at (like a plant, a piece of art, or some interesting architecture)
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    Understand the risk of overdose from "hard" drugs. Most people who are nervous from their high are absolutely fine and aren't in any danger. However, some drugs are dangerous and can hurt you if you overdose. To stay safe, it's important to know the signs of overdose for these drugs. This knowledge can also help you stay relaxed — if you don't have these symptoms, you're probably fine. Overdose symptoms for a few "hard" drugs are listed below:
    • MDMA/Ecstasy/Molly: Overheating, extremely high heart rate, dehydration, cardiac arrest, stroke[2]
    • Cocaine: Overheating, extremely high heart rate, seizures, nausea, difficulty breathing, chest pains[3]
    • Heroin: Difficult breathing, no breathing, weak pulse, coma, bluish skin[4]
    • Methamphetamine: Extreme agitation, chest pains, cardiac arrest, extremely high heart rate, paranoia, stomach pain[5]
    • Opiate painkillers (codeine, Oxycontin, vicodin, etc.): difficulty breathing, nausea, weak or very slow pulse, "choking" sounds from breathing, bluish skin, limp body, difficulty speaking[6]

Method 2
Minimizing the Effects of Your High

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    Splash your face with cold water. Before you do anything else, try this old trick. Find a sink (one without a mirror is best) and run some cold water. Carefully splash your face with the cool, refreshing water. This is a great way to bring yourself "back to reality" if your thoughts have been spiraling out of control and can help you relax if you're feeling anxious.
    • As noted above, mirrors can be something you want to avoid if you're seriously high, especially on a hallucinogen like LSD or mushrooms. For some people, looking into the mirror while tripping can make them feel strange or disconnected from reality.
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    Try a change of scenery. Sometimes, simply getting up and going somewhere different can have a positive effect on someone who's high. If you're indoors, leave the room you're in and go to a more comfortable one or someplace outside where there's fresh air.
    • If you've been smoking marijuana, a nice outdoor breeze can also help blow the smell out of your hair and clothes.
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    Go for a walk. Going for a short walk around the neighborhood can be a great way to calm yourself down and clear your head when you're high (and it's also usually pretty fun!) Feeling the warm sun or a pleasant breeze can help wash away any jittery feelings, leaving you feeling calm and relaxed. Also, because walking is mild exercise, it can make your body release natural endorphins, which will make you feel good.[7]
    • Some amateur weed "experts" claim that exercise can remove THC, the active chemical in marijuana, from the body. Though there is no scientific evidence to support this (in fact, the opposite may be true),[8] a nice walk can make your thoughts much calmer and clearer when you're high, so it's definitely worth trying.
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    Shower or bathe. What's more relaxing than a nice shower or bath? Warm, clean water can feel amazing when you're high, and as a plus, it can help you get a grip on scattered thoughts and "collect yourself", especially if you've been feeling nervous or panicked. For the best effect, try starting with warm water, then finishing with cool or cold water to help you snap back to reality.
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    Eat a meal. Being hungry can make it trickier for almost anyone to make smart, logical decisions — if you've ever felt angry or irritable after skipping a meal, you've felt this.[9] When you're high, hunger pangs and irritation can make it a lot harder to "keep it together" when you're coming down, so chowing down on some filling, refreshing snacks can make a big difference.
    • Some drugs, like LSD, can make it so that you don't feel like eating when you're high. If this is true for you, don't force yourself to eat. Giving yourself an upset stomach may make the comedown period worse.
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    Have some coffee. If you're feeling sleepy, drowsy, or "woozy", in some cases, a nice cup of Joe (or something else with caffeine, like an energy drink) can help perk you up. Caffeine won't make you "less high", but it can make you a little more alert, so if you're worried about falling asleep before you come down, this can be a good "quick fix". Don't have more than about one drink's worth of caffeine — more can make you feel worse or make you panicky.
    • Drugs and other chemicals that affect your brain can have a multiplicative effect — in other words, the more types chemicals you put into your body, the more high you can feel. Because of this, you definitely won't want to drink lots of caffeine or take other "upper" drugs to make you feel less high!
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    Rest. The quickest way to get a drug out of your system is usually just to let your body do its work, so if you have time to take a quick nap or get a night's sleep, do it. When you wake up, you'll feel refreshed, replenished, and possibly even completely sober!
    • For many drugs, including marijuana, sleep should come easy (and feel great) when you're high.[10] If your high has you feeling jittery or nervous, don't worry — relaxing alone or with a few good friends can have the same sort of effect.

Method 3
Concealing Your High

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    Use eye drops for red eyes. When you're high, the idea of interacting with people who aren't high, especially people like your parents, teachers, and so on, can be scary. Luckily, it's not hard to hide your high! For example, if your eyes are red (a common side effect of marijuana), use soothing eye drops to clear them up. Products like Visine and Clear Eyes work well and are sold at pharmacies for cheap.
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    Eliminate odor with new clothes or cologne/perfume. If you've been smoking, the smell of your drugs can stick to your body and clothes. Some drugs, especially marijuana, have smells that can clue people into what you've been doing. If you have time, try changing your clothes, bathing, and even using a little perfume or cologne to cover this smell up.
    • Don't use tons of scent to hide the smell of your drugs. Strong scents of cologne or perfume can be attention-grabbing and may even be a clue that you've been smoking themselves.
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    Use gum or candy to hide smokey breath. Don't forget about the smell on your breath! Even though this won't be as strong as the smell that clings to your body and clothes, it can be a problem if you have to get close to someone. Try sucking on a piece of hard candy or chewing scented gum to cover up this smell.
    • You may want to consider cough drops, especially if you've just smoked marijuana. Not only will they hide the scent of smoke on your breath, but they'll also make your throat feel better if your smoke was harsh.
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    Keep quiet if you're worried about how you'll sound. If you're not really high, don't worry ‐ you'll probably be able to talk to other people just fine without them telling you're high. However, you may not want to talk to other people unless you need to. Even if you don't sound high at all, you might get nervous from talking. When you're high and nervous, your thoughts can get scattered and panicky, so keeping quiet until you need to is usually a good move.
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    Stay relaxed as you move. Depending on the type of drugs you're using, you may be less coordinated than normal when you're high — you may feel slightly dizzy, slow, or disoriented. If this is true for you, avoid activities like sports and hard exercise. When you do get up and move around, stay relaxed! Getting nervous will only make you self-conscious of your own movements, which can make it even easier to make mistakes.


  • If you're going home and don't want to your parents to know what's up, use eye drops to alleviate the redness, and make sure your clothes don't smell of marijuana. Change your shirt if necessary.


  • Do not attempt to drive until the effect is completely worn off!

Article Info

Categories: Addictions