One of the issues often talked about is the correct level of hydration required when using psychostimulants such as amphetamines or MDMA.
Stimulants typically raise core body temperature and cause fluid loss through sweating. They also affect your perception of how hot or cold you really are. Also, these kinds of drugs are often taken while undertaking strenuous activity (dancing, sports, sex).
It is important therefore to ensure that you are adequately hydrated considering the kind activity that you are undertaking.
The general rule of thumb for maintaining adequate hydration is:
- 500 ml of water or fruit juice per hour if active
- 250 ml of water or fruit juice per hour if inactive
Some other things that may be worth trying include:
- Avoid alcohol, energy or caffeinated drinks, they just dehydrate you further
- Stop activity if you feel faint, nauseous, stop sweating or can't piss
- If active ensure you rest for 15 minutes after an hour of activity and try and ensure you get cool fresh air
Hyponatremia (Water intoxication)
Hyponatremia can occur when you drink so much water that you dilute the salt levels in your blood. This can be lethal.
This water intoxication has been attributed to a small, but highly publicised number of MDMA related deaths in both Australia and overseas. Ingesting an enormous quantity of water too quickly over a short time span causes water intoxication or over hydration because the water ingested exceeds the body's ability to metabolise it safely.
Stimulant drugs like MDMA also slow down your kidneys' work rate and make it harder to get rid of excess fluid.
Hyponatremia is extremely rare and it is far more likely that a healthy person who has ingested MDMA and who is active will experience symptoms of dehydration.
The general rule is to drink plenty of fluids but don't go bananas. If you feel unwell, get medical help.