Definition of Rebound Effect

Pills in paper cone
Rebound Effect. Paul Linse / Getty Images


A rebound effect is what happens when the body tries to bring itself back into balance -- homeostasis after a drug has been taken by pulling in the opposite direction of the drug. One of the ironies of addiction is that the rebound effect causes the user to experience the very same effects they were hoping to escape through drug use.

Pronunciation: ree-bound E-fect

Examples: When you take a sedative drug, which causes relaxation and drowsiness, a rebound effect of agitation will occur.

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