How Long Does Fentanyl Stay In Your System?

While a pandemic gripped the U.S., another kind of epidemic also swept the country. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 107,375 deaths from drug overdoses and poisonings in 2021. Approximately 67% of those deaths involved fentanyl or other synthetic opioids. In some cases, fentanyl was mixed with narcotics or methamphetamine, but two milligrams of fentanyl by itself can be lethal.


What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid used to treat patients with chronic or post-surgical pain. A controlled substance, it is similar to morphine but about 100 times stronger. Even when prescribed by a licensed medical professional, the use of fentanyl requires close supervision to prevent addiction.

Prescription fentanyl can be dangerous and may make its way to the streets, but its content and strength are known. Illicit drugs, made in secret labs or smuggled into the country, have no oversight. Sold as sprays, injections, powders, or pills that look like legal prescription drugs, opioids may be counterfeits or contain lethal combinations and deadly doses.

How Long Does Fentanyl Stay in Your System?

With mild use, fentanyl can stay in your system for one to three days. Residue may show up in hair follicle tests for up to twelve weeks, and blood tests may detect its presence from five to 48 hours after the last use. With frequent use, however, it settles in fat cells or other tissues and takes longer to clear the kidneys.

A 2020 study examined participants in a residential program who tested positive for fentanyl at intake. During a 20-day residential program, they received tests for fentanyl every two or three days. Researchers found that persons with opioid use disorder took longer than the usual span of two to four days to test free of fentanyl. The mean time for fentanyl clearance was around seven days. One participant, however, tested positive for 19 days following the last use.

Fentanyl Facts and Statistics

Information released by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) shows the staggering effects of opioids throughout the nation:

  • The addition of other substances to fentanyl may be accidental or intentional, but it is deadly.
  • The low cost of fentanyl leads dealers to mix it with more expensive drugs like heroin and cocaine.
  • Makers of illicit drugs follow no set protocol, and results may be haphazard.
  • In one study, 42% of fentanyl pills tested contained potentially legal doses.
  • Traffickers often sell fentanyl by the kilogram, and one kilogram can potentially kill 500,000 people.
  • U.S. deaths caused by synthetic opioids multiplied by 18 times between 2013 and 2020.
  • The number of opioid deaths increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In 2020, opioid-related deaths went up 38.1%.
  • Deaths caused by synthetic opioid overdoses, mostly illicit, climbed by 55.6% in 2020.
  • Fentanyl users may not know if illicit fentanyl contains an overdose or deadly mixture.

What Are the Street Names for Fentanyl?

A Schedule II prescription drug, fentanyl is known in its legal form by brand names like Sublimaze, Actiq, and Duragesic. Names for illicit fentanyl include China Girl, China Town, China White, Apace, Goodfellas, Dance Fever, Tango, Cash, Great Bear, Poison and He-Man. Most illicit fentanyl comes from Mexico.

How Do Opioids Work?

Nerve cells, located in the brain, gut, spinal cord, and other parts of the body, have proteins called opioid receptors. When opioids bind to opioid receptors, the cells release a feel-good chemical called dopamine. This creates a chemical interaction that blocks pain and creates euphoria. Gradually, stronger doses are needed to create the same level of pleasure, starting a cycle that leads to addiction.

What Are the Side Effects of Fentanyl?

Like other opioids, fentanyl can produce a wide range of side effects, including the following:

  • Pain relief
  • Euphoria
  • Sedation
  • Relaxation
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Constricted pupils
  • Urinary retention
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Depressed breathing
  • Loss of consciousness

Pleasure from fentanyl is intense and short-lived. When it is taken, breathing slows down, blood pressure drops, and fainting may occur. Seizures and death are possible.

What Are the Signs of Fentanyl Overdose?

Every day, 136 people in the U.S. die from illicit or prescription opioids. Warning signs of fentanyl overdose overlap with side effects but also include the following:

  • Cold, clammy or bluish skin
  • Limpness
  • Blue lips and fingernails
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Slow breathing or no breathing
  • Coma

An overdose requires immediate emergency care. People who have a history of substance abuse, are middle-aged, or take sedatives face the highest potential of death. Treatments to reverse overdose are available, but they must be administered quickly, especially when breathing is depressed.

Can Fentanyl Overdose Be Reversed?

If not taken as prescribed, opioid overdose can cause the heart to slow down or stop, making it impossible to breathe. Immediate intervention, by administering naloxone or calling 911, can prevent brain damage and death. Naloxone is a medication that reverses opioid overdose. Like opioids, it attaches to opioid receptors; but it blocks and reverses the opioid’s effect.

Naloxone doesn’t work as a treatment for opioid addiction or dependence, and it is not harmful if given to someone without opioids in their system. It is recommended when an opioid overdose is suspected or when warning signs of an overdose are present. It comes as an injection or a nasal spray. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) provides a free Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit.

Treatment for Fentanyl Addiction

It’s easy to become dependent on fentanyl, but it’s hard to stop using it on your own. If you or a loved one needs help, the team of compassionate and experienced professionals at Long Island Interventions can set up a treatment plan that’s right for you. Contact us today to begin the path to recovery.


  • How does fentanyl make you feel?
  • How long do pain pills stay in your system?
  • How long does Fentanyl stay in urine?

Published on: 2024-05-10
Updated on: 2024-06-21

How far back will a mouth swab drug test go?

While the urine drug testing method has been popular among employers and workplace drug tests for decades, mouth swab tests are becoming increasingly prevalent. Mouth swab tests are highly affordable and deliver quick results. Lab testing for saliva gives just as accurate results as urine testing. While it’s possible to alter and tamper with samples from urine screens, it’s not easy to do so with mouth swabs since they may be conducted on-site. From marijuana to cocaine, these tests can be used to screen for many different drugs. You may be wondering how far back a mouth swab drug test goes. The answer depends on numerous factors, all of which are detailed in this guide.

mouth swab

What Are Mouth Swab Drug Tests?

A mouth swab drug test, also known as oral fluids drug tests, saliva drug tests, and oral swab tests, occurs by obtaining a sample of someone’s saliva. It is a drug screening test that detects traces of substances in someone’s saliva sample to identify the presence of drugs or alcohol. If someone smokes marijuana or cocaine a week before the test, the drug test results may be positive. However, these tests are usually meant to identify very recent drug use.

Before taking the test, the person administering it will ask you if you’ve had any beverages or food in the last 10-20 minutes. A swab will then be taken along your tongue, cheeks, and gums for several minutes. Once enough saliva is collected, the swab is placed inside a secure receptacle. The receptacle usually contains test strips that change color whether you test positive or negative for specific drugs. Each strip is labeled with a different drug. For example, a six-strip receptacle may screen for methamphetamine, marijuana, methadone, amphetamine, opiates, cocaine, and phencyclidine.

How Far Back Do These Tests Go?

Even though mouth swab tests work best when used to identify recent drug use, long-term detection is possible. Immediately after someone takes drugs like marijuana or opioids (heroin and codeine), the cannabis can be found in the metabolites of the saliva. If an individual uses drugs a few hours before they take the mouth swab test, the substance will almost certainly be detected.

Short-term detection occurs if the test is taken within one to two days after using drugs. While drugs don’t always show up after 24-48 hours, most of them do. Everything from cocaine to benzodiazepines can be detected by a mouth swab drug test kit within the short-term timeline.

Depending on the drug, it’s possible for a mouth swab test to identify the presence of an illicit substance more than 72 hours detection time after it got into the body. However, factors like metabolism and drug use frequency determine if the test will come back positive.

If you’re set to take a test over the next few days, keep in mind that specific drugs can be detected even if it’s been weeks since you last used them. One substance that’s easy to detect with mouth swab tests is marijuana (THC). If you only smoke marijuana occasionally, it’s unlikely to be found in your saliva. However, chronic marijuana users can test positive well after they last smoked or consumed the drug.

Factors that Determine Detection Period

Numerous factors determine how long a drug can be detected with this test, which include the following:

  • A person’s metabolism
  • Type of drug that was taken
  • How often the drug is used

As touched upon previously, drugs like marijuana are detectable for a much lengthier amount of time in comparison to other substances. Your metabolism dictates how quickly a drug leaves your system. Let’s say you have a relatively slow metabolism. In this scenario, the drugs won’t be processed as quickly.

Regardless of what you eat or drink, the drugs will remain in your body for longer. If you have a faster metabolism, the detection window should be shorter. The quality of the test can impact the results as well. Some mouth swab tests are more sensitive than others.

Drugs that a Mouth Swab Drug Test Can Detect

There are two ways that a mouth swab drug test can be administered, the primary of which involves swiping a few areas of your mouth to gather saliva. It can also be placed under your tongue for a short period until the stick changes color. Many of these tests produce results in just a couple of minutes. However, some require you to first send them to a lab. If this extra step needs to be taken, you can expect to get results back within 24 hours. The drugs that are regularly detected with these tests include:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Barbiturates
  • Methamphetamine
  • Amphetamines
  • Alcohol
  • Opiates
  • Oxycodone
  • MDMA

One reason why urine tests and blood tests are still used by many employment drug testing and government institutions is that drugs can be detected within a longer time range. Even though mouth swab tests provide fast results, many drugs can’t be detected in saliva after 48-72 hours.

Preparing for a Mouth Swab Drug Test

To avoid a positive mouth swab drug test, there are several steps you can take. For one, avoid using drugs for one to two weeks. Once you take the test, consider treatment if you’d like to stop taking drugs for good. To pass this test, it’s also important to maintain good oral hygiene, which means using mouthwash and brushing your teeth every day.

A drug is easier to detect in saliva when there’s a high concentration of it. If you drink a lot of water during the day, this might dilute the concentration of the drug. Keep in mind that each facility has instructions that you must follow before taking the test.

Obtaining Treatment for a Substance Use Disorder

If you think you have a substance use disorder, consider seeking treatment immediately to avoid long-term consequences. Over time, drug addiction can lead to financial problems, relationship issues, and health complications. Long-term consequences are less likely if you obtain treatment that helps you understand why you’re using drugs and how to deal with the cravings. The primary options available to you include outpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, and inpatient rehab.

Mouth swab drug tests have proven to be effective at detecting drug use if the incident has occurred recently. However, many factors, including everything from test sensitivity to drug type, play a role in determining the detection rate. If you’re interested in getting help for your substance abuse, call Long Island Interventions today to learn more about the lasting solutions we offer.

Published on: 2024-02-26
Updated on: 2024-06-21

How Much Is a Gram of Shrooms?

As interest in psilocybin mushrooms grows and more states decriminalize their use, their popularity is rising. Although selling psilocybin mushrooms is still illegal in most places, it is becoming more common in areas where there are legal loopholes, provisions made for medicinal use, minor trade penalties, and lax enforcement. Consequently, psychedelic mushrooms are more available and easier to buy than ever, whether they are purchased at a dispensary, in a store, online, or from a dealer. Below, we’ll discuss the current cost of shrooms, provide a little background, and note the risks involved in making a purchase.


Understanding Psychedelic Mushrooms

Psilocybin mushrooms, also known as “magic mushrooms” and “shrooms,” contain a drug that has recreational and potentially medicinal uses. When people take psilocybin and psilocin, their brain activity changes, and they see the world differently. It is an illicit hallucinogen with effects similar to LSD, ketamine, MDMA, and peyote. People who ingest shrooms often experience a euphoric, hallucinogenic “trip.” Some people believe that magic mushrooms enhance their mental and spiritual well-being in the long term by helping them feel more creative and less anxious and depressed. Medical researchers are even looking at psilocybin as a possible treatment for addiction to more harmful substances. Consuming magic mushrooms typically involves ingesting dried mushrooms. 

Unfortunately, magic mushrooms are not risk-free. People can experience a “bad trip” if they are in a negative state of mind when they take shrooms. Worse yet, taking shrooms can have dangerous long-term effects for people with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Another danger exists for inexperienced foragers who misidentify wild mushrooms and accidentally ingest poison, which can result in serious illness and death.

Magic Mushroom Doses

People who take magic mushrooms need to keep the risks in mind and be careful of how much they consume. Understanding the typical dosages of magic mushrooms helps put their costs into perspective.


Consuming half a gram or less of magic mushrooms is referred to as taking a microdose. Taking this amount of shrooms may elevate your mood and slightly improve your cognition without causing you to trip. If you consume a bit more but keep your dose under a gram, you may feel slightly euphoric and experience a state of altered perception.

Light Dose

A light dose of psychedelic mushrooms usually contains between one and two grams. This dose will induce noticeable changes in your perception and thought patterns.

Standard Dose

Generally speaking, consuming two to 3.5 grams of mushrooms means that you are taking a standard dose. Ingesting this amount of psilocybin mushrooms generally brings on hallucinations and a suite of psychedelic effects, such as colorful visual imagery and an altered perception of time.

Heavy dose

A dose greater than 3.5 grams of psychedelic mushrooms can result in an extremely intense experience, especially at doses above 5 grams. These experiences are not necessarily “good” and may carry a higher risk of negative long-term effects.

Dosage TypeAmount (grams)Description
Microdose0.5 or lessElevates mood and slightly improves cognition without causing a trip.
Light Dose1 – 2Induces noticeable changes in perception and thought patterns.
Standard Dose2 – 3.5Causes hallucinations and psychedelic effects like colorful visual imagery and altered perception of time.
Heavy Dose> 3.5Leads to an extremely intense experience, especially above 5 grams, with a higher risk of negative long-term effects.

When it comes to shrooms, more is not necessarily better. The same dose of the same shroom can affect people differently. A person’s experience can be influenced by the species of shroom they take, their body composition and chemistry, their emotional state, and their environment.


How Much Do Shrooms Cost?

In the United States, when people buy magic mushrooms “on the street,” they typically pay between $7 and $12 per gram, at an average price of $10 per gram of magic mushrooms. For most dealers, there is little benefit to selling microdoses, so shrooms are usually sold in one of the following five quantities: an eighth, a quarter, or a half of an ounce, a full ounce, or a pound. We’ll go over these quantities, their gram equivalents, and their average costs below.

Eighth ounce (3.5 g): $32

An eighth of shrooms, which weighs an eighth of an ounce or 3.5 grams, usually cost around $30. The species and freshness of the mushroom can also affect the cost. If an eighth costs more than $40, it’s likely that there is a shortage in the market, the dealer or grower is overcharging for the product, or you live in a place where selling magic mushrooms is a high-risk endeavor.

Quarter ounce (7 g): $60

A quarter of shrooms is generally sold at twice the price of an eighth, or around $60. The price may range from $55 to $75, depending on the species of mushroom, the vendor, and the location.

Half-ounce (14 g): $100

Buying mushrooms in larger amounts usually results in a discounted price per gram, from around $9 or $10 per gram to about $7. $100 is a common price for a half-ounce of shrooms.

Full ounce (28 g): $200:

Most of the time, a full ounce of shrooms will cost about $200.

Pound (454 g): $2,400

Most people estimate that a pound of magic mushrooms should be discounted to about $5 per gram, costing around $2,400. In reality, it’s unlikely that that quantity of mushrooms will be readily available because a dealer would face heavy fines and serious legal repercussions if they were caught possessing or selling that amount of psychedelics.

QuantityGram EquivalentAverage Cost ($)Price Range ($)Notes
Eighth ounce3.5 g$32>40 indicates shortage, overcharging, or high-risk area. Generally around 30.Price affected by species, freshness.
Quarter ounce7 g$6055 to 75Price may vary by species, vendor, location.
Half ounce14 g$100Price per gram decreases with larger amounts, around $7 per gram.
Full ounce28 g$200
Pound454 g$2,400Discounted to about $5 per gram. Availability unlikely due to legal risks.

Why Do People Buy Psychedelic Mushrooms?

Although it might seem like growing or foraging for mushrooms would be the safest and cheapest way to get them, many people prefer to buy them from a shop or a dealer. Growing shrooms can be risky in places where this practice is illegal. It also takes time and commitment to buy spore kits to get started, and a good harvest is not a sure thing. Foraging for shrooms can be dangerous for people who can’t tell the difference between a psychedelic mushroom species and a poisonous one. Some people feel more confident about buying a vetted product in a known dosage from a trusted source, and others simply prefer the convenience of buying it outright.

magic mushrooms chocolate

What Factors Impact the Cost of Magic Mushrooms?

Today, psychedelic mushrooms are abundant and fairly easy to find in the United States. Dried mushrooms are the cheapest option for buying shrooms, while chocolates, gummies, and edibles are slightly pricier per milligram of psilocybin.

 At the same time, since psilocybin is a Schedule 1 substance that is generally illegal and risky to sell, the laws in an area can affect its availability and cost. In areas where the penalties for selling psychedelic mushrooms are severe, the supply is likely to be lower and prices are likely to be higher.

The price of shrooms can vary widely according to many factors, including:

Legal Status and Location

Within the United States, magic mushrooms are still illegal in most places. Under the Controlled Substances Act, magic mushrooms are classified as a Schedule I substance that has no medical purpose and a high potential for abuse. The road to decriminalization and legalization is long, and the rules around magic mushrooms are very specific in scope and location. Being able to purchase magic mushrooms with relatively low risk may literally come down to the city or municipality you find yourself in at the time. In some places, including Colorado and Oregon, state and local laws override federal authority, and people can grow, possess, and consume them without fear of punishment. Other communities that have decriminalized the possession of shrooms include Santa Cruz, Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco, California; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Seattle, Washington; and Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Even in areas where shrooms are decriminalized, selling and purchasing them is generally illegal. Nevertheless, it’s usually relatively easy to buy shrooms in major cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City. By contrast, it may be difficult to buy shrooms in most parts of Texas, where penalties for possessing and selling psychedelics are extreme.

In areas where psychedelic mushrooms are decriminalized or legal, the price is likely to be lower because dealers face fewer risks and lower penalties for selling them. Where psilocybin mushrooms have been approved for medical use or are legalized or decriminalized, you may be able to buy them in person at dispensaries, in shops, or online stores. Mushrooms often cost up to 30% less in these locations.

In places where psychedelic mushrooms are relatively unregulated or laws are not strictly enforced, prices tend to vary. Since the mushrooms are relatively easy to grow, prices are not likely to be inflated in areas where buyers and sellers face a low risk of punishment.

The Law of Supply and Demand

If the supply of psychedelic mushrooms is limited in an area where demand is high, they are likely to cost more. Prices may be high at events where people gather together, like art or music festivals.

Amount of Mushrooms Purchased

Usually, the more psychedelic mushrooms you purchase, the less you’ll pay per gram.

Mushroom Variety

There are many varieties of magic mushrooms, and they each have the potential to induce different effects. Mushroom species that have a relatively high concentration of psilocybin and other psychedelic compounds may cost more than average mushrooms. A mushroom-like Penis Envy, for instance, may command a higher price because it is both more potent and less accessible than a more common strain of Psilocybe cubensis.

If you’re in the market for magic mushrooms, another strain of Psilocybe cubensis you may encounter is the Golden Teachers variety. Since Penis Envy produces more intense effects than Golden Teachers, it may cost twice as much.

Difficulty of Cultivation

If a mushroom variety is difficult to cultivate or requires specialized equipment to produce a salable product, its price is likely to reflect the time and resources needed to bring it to life. If a mushroom variety is difficult to cultivate or requires specialized equipment to produce a salable product, its price is likely to reflect the time and resources needed to bring it to life. Some mushroom varieties are regionally grown. If you are outside of the cultivation area and encounter this mushroom, it may cost more. Likewise, if you live in a place where mushrooms don’t grow, the cost of transportation may be reflected in the price.

Dealer’s Reputation

Mushroom dealers with excellent reputations can usually charge a premium since their buyers consider their products to be high-quality and authentic.

street smart

When It Comes to Magic Mushrooms, Be Smart about the Costs

As psychedelic mushrooms become more prevalent and widely used, buying them is becoming easier and more commonplace. People who purchase mushrooms should also be mindful of the expense and the physical and legal risks they are taking on. A bad trip and a prison sentence can be life-changing, and they are also avoidable. Consider purchasing mushrooms only where they are legal, from a reputable dealer who is believed to provide a product that is authentic and safe.

If you believe that consuming psychedelic mushrooms is causing difficulties in your life or taking you down the wrong path, Long Island Interventions can help. Our professional and caring staff are here to discuss the dangers of psychedelic mushrooms and help you live a happier, healthier life.

Published on: 2024-02-26
Updated on: 2024-04-11

How long does it take for low-dose Naltrexone to work

The use of low-dose naltrexone (LDN) as a therapy for many diseases is on the rise. Understanding the difference between standard naltrexone and low-dose naltrexone is vital to selecting the right treatment approach.

What Is Naltrexone?

Naltrexone is a medication that blocks the receptors in the brain that opioids bind to. Its mechanism of action involves binding to these opioid receptors, thereby preventing the euphoric effects of opioids and reducing cravings. 

Differentiating Between Standard and Low Doses

When it comes to treating alcoholism and opioid addiction, the usual dosage of Naltrexone is 50 to 100 mg. At this dose, Naltrexone reduces cravings and blocks the effects of opioids if the person has a relapse.

In contrast, low-dose naltrexone refers to doses ranging from 1.5 to 4.5 milligrams. At these lower doses, Naltrexone exhibits different effects, such as modulating the immune system and increasing endorphin production. low-dose naltrexone is increasingly recognized for its potential therapeutic benefits.

Conditions Treated with Low-Dose Naltrexone

In chronic pain management, low-dose naltrexone continues to show promise in reducing pain levels and improving the quality of life for patients. For example, some studies demonstrate its efficacy in conditions like fibromyalgia, where low-dose naltrexone may alleviate pain symptoms and enhance overall functioning.

In treating autoimmune diseases, low-dose naltrexone’s immunomodulatory effects are particularly noteworthy. In some cases, low-dose naltrexone treatment improves symptoms in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases, multiple sclerosis (MS) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Research suggests that low-dose naltrexone may help regulate the immune system’s overactivity, leading to reduced inflammation and disease progression in these conditions.

For neurological disorders, low-dose naltrexone’s neuroprotective properties gain vast attention. In diseases like Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), low-dose naltrexone may exert beneficial effects by promoting nerve cell survival and reducing neuroinflammation. While further research is necessary, preliminary findings indicate potential neuroprotective effects of low-dose naltrexone in these conditions.

In mental health conditions, low-dose naltrexone’s ability to modulate neurotransmitter activity holds promise for improving symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Studies show that low-dose naltrexone may enhance mood stabilization and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety in some patients. Additionally, low-dose naltrexone’s role in mitigating opioid cravings makes it beneficial for individuals with substance use disorders.

The effects of low-dosage naltrexone (LDN) on appetite control and weight reduction have made it an attractive candidate for use in the treatment of obesity. Similarly, preliminary research suggests low-dose naltrexone may possess anti-tumor properties, potentially inhibiting cancer cell proliferation and enhancing immune responses against cancerous cells. 

Factors Influencing Time and Efficacy

low-dose naltrexone’s effects don’t kick in for a while (about four to six weeks). Because of this, medical professionals often advise starting with a low dosage and gradually increasing it over the course of a few weeks. After 12 weeks, users usually feel the full impact of low-dose naltrexone. Individuals may respond differently to low-dose naltrexone due to variations in drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion, leading to variations in response time and efficacy. 

The severity and complexity of underlying health conditions may influence the time it takes for low-dose naltrexone to alleviate symptoms and produce therapeutic effects. For example, individuals with autoimmune diseases or chronic pain conditions may require longer treatment durations or higher doses of low-dose naltrexone to achieve desired outcomes. Conditions that affect liver function, kidney function, and gastrointestinal absorption can alter the body’s ability to metabolize and utilize low-dose naltrexone effectively as well.

It’s imperative for healthcare providers to consider potential drug interactions when prescribing low-dose naltrexone, as concurrent medications influence its absorption, metabolism, and overall efficacy in different patients. Drugs that activate or deactivate certain metabolic pathways, like cytochrome P450 enzymes, can change how low-dose naltrexone works and how it moves in the body, which can affect how well it works as a medicine. Taking medicines that interact with low-dose naltrexone requires close monitoring and dose adjustments to enhance treatment results.

How Long Does Naltrexone Remain in the Body?

A drug’s half-life is the duration it takes for its blood concentration to drop by 50%. Five half-lives are the typical amount of time it takes for the body to remove almost all medications.

The half-life of naltrexone varies with each formulation. Because the half-life of the pill is around four to six hours, the body needs about 20 to 30 hours to get rid of it. The injection version of naltrexone, in contrast, has a half-life of five to 10 days, which means it can stay in the body for 25 to 50 days.

Does Low-Dose Naltrexone Show Up on Drug Tests?

Naltrexone typically does not show up on standard drug tests because it is not an opioid and does not produce psychoactive effects. However, specialized tests designed specifically to detect naltrexone may identify its presence in the body. If you have to take a drug test and you have a prescription for naltrexone, make sure to provide a copy of it to the test provider. 

Potential Side Effects and Considerations

Common side effects associated with low-dose naltrexone include headaches, nausea, dizziness, insomnia, and vivid dreams. These side effects are typically mild and transient, resolving with continued use or dose adjustment.

One possible approach to side effect management is to begin with a lower dosage and titrate it up gradually. Other side effect improvement strategies include drinking enough water, taking low-dose naltrexone before bed to lessen its impact throughout the day, and treating any underlying health issues that might make side effects worse.

Regular monitoring for adverse reactions is essential, especially during the initial stages of low-dose naltrexone therapy. Healthcare practitioners should regularly monitor patients for allergic responses, significant mood changes, and other problematic symptoms. The physician can determine whether it’s best to alter the patient’s dosage. Open communication between patients and healthcare providers is crucial for addressing any side effects or adverse reactions promptly and effectively.


Tailoring low-dose naltrexone treatment plans to each patient allows for adjustments in dosage, administration schedules, and supportive interventions. More importantly, it allows patients to receive targeted and effective care, leading to improved symptom management, enhanced treatment adherence, and overall better treatment outcomes. 

Long Island Interventions is here to answer any questions you have about low-dose naltrexone. Contact us today to learn more.

Published on: 2024-02-22
Updated on: 2024-06-21

What is Delta-11?

Cannabinoids refer to substances that are naturally found in the cannabis plant. These would include cannabidiol (CBD) and any and all of the known substances, psychoactive or not, found within the hemp and marijuana plants, such as delta-8, delta-9, delta-10 and delta-11.


As of this writing, cannabis products remain federally illegal, even though many states (about half) have completely decriminalized it for personal recreational use. CBD is federally legal as long it’s derived from hemp plants containing less than 0.3 percent THC, but the substance remains illegal in some states, such as Alabama and Arkansas.

What is Delta-11 THC?

Delta-11 THC is a minor cannabinoid found in trace amounts in certain strains of the cannabis plant. It can also be (and usually is) produced from CBD. Because it’s a new cannabinoid, not that much is known about it or its potential benefits. It appears to be stronger than delta-9 by about threefold and may offer a more mellow high than delta-9. It may compare more to delta-8 in that way, but individual response to any substance can vary greatly from person to person.

Is Delta-11 THC Legal?

Because federal laws only specifically mention delta-9 THC, other cannabinoids like delta-8, 9 and 10 are not technically illegal at the federal level. However, their legal status remains a grey area. Individual states can still prohibit it, and you can be arrested and charged with a crime in those areas where it’s not legal at the state level. The same is true of all the other cannabinoids, including CBD. Be careful with these substances in the following states:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Utah
  • Washington

It’s always wise to double check on local cannabis laws before traveling.

An Introduction to the ECS

The ECS is the endocannabinoid system. This system is a network of receptor sites found throughout the human body. Most animals have an ECS, too. The body produces its own cannabinoids just like the hemp and marijuana plants do. In fact, the word endocannabinoid means “the cannabinoid within.”

These cannabinoids in the body bind to ECS receptors and are thought to be involved in certain critical body functions:

  • the immune system
  • appetite
  • blood pressure
  • pain response and inflammation
  • memory and learning
  • energy levels
  • development of an embryo

The ECS is also a feedback system, restoring and maintaining balance in certain body systems.

There are two known main types of ECS receptors, the CB1 and the CB2. The CB1 is mainly found in the central nervous system, meaning the brain and spinal cord. The CB2 is primarily found in the peripheral body areas (meaning other than the brain and spinal cord), the skin and in immune cells.

Cannabinoids from cannabis also bind to the same receptor sites that the body’s endocannabinoids do. This is also how opiates and opioids work, too. The body produces its own opiate-like compounds called endorphins that bind to opiate receptors found in the brain and gut. These endorphins are chemically very similar to the morphine found in the opium poppy, and both endorphins and morphine bind to these same opiate receptors.

Endorphins are thought to be involved with mood and pain relief. They probably also play a strong role in the withdrawal side effects that occur when opioids are suddenly stopped.

The Entourage Effect

The marijuana plant contains at least 100 different compounds, besides CBD and delta-8, 9, 10 and 11. It also contains substances called terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic (smelly) compounds found in many plants. For example, terpenes are why an orange smells like an orange. They also give the marijuana plant its characteristic odor. In addition, terpenes are thought to have beneficial anti-inflammatory effects within the body. This may help to support the immune system.

Taken all together, the compounds in marijuana and its terpenes are called an entourage. This is important because these substances are meant to work together for the best effect. Using a single substance by itself, for example, just CBD or just delta-8, may not give the overall optimal effect of the marijuana plant because this entourage effect will have been lost.

CBD: Is it Intoxicating?

No, CBD cannot make anyone feel high. This is because it mostly binds only to the CB2 ECS receptor, which isn’t located in the brain. It’s the CB1 receptor in the brain that produces the typical cannabis intoxication, including relaxation, euphoria, hunger, red eyes and sometimes psychoactive effects, like hallucinations. Since CBD cannot access this CB1 receptor, there will be no intoxicating effect from its use.

What is THC?

THC is the abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol. This is the main psychoactive substance found in both marijuana and hemp plants. There are several known forms of THC:

  • Delta-9
  • Delta-8
  • Delta-10
  • Delta-11

All variants are found naturally in the marijuana plant, but delta-9 is by far the most prevalent. The others are considered minor cannabinoids, found in much lower concentrations than delta-9.

All are what are known as isomers. In chemistry, isomers share the same chemical formula (C₂₁H₃₀O₂ for THC) but not the same exact structure in their actual molecules.

In the case of THC, delta-9 is called such because a double bond is found on its ninth carbon chain. Delta-8 has its double bond on the eighth carbon chain, delta-10 THC on the tenth and delta-11 on the eleventh. For THC, this double bond affects both potency and effect. For example, delta-8 THC is about half the strength of delta-9 and tends to also be less likely to produce the anxiety that delta-9 can. Delta-11’s different double bond placement gives it an estimated potency about 3 times that of delta-9. There is some controversy about this, though. Some studies suggest delta-11 THC is less potent than delta-9; others peg it at being stronger.

All the THC isomers can be either smoked, vaped or eaten. When smoked through joints or vapes, the effect is nearly immediate but relatively short-acting. THC edibles or THC gummies take longer to kick in, but the effect is typically both stronger and longer-lasting.

What is 11 Hydroxy THC?

11 hydroxy THC is the major active metabolite of delta-9 THC. It is not the same as delta-11-tetrahydrocannabinol, and there is often confusion about this because the names look similar.

When someone ingests delta-9 THC, the body converts the substance into other compounds called metabolites. So, 11 hydroxy THC is a metabolite formed when delta-9 breaks down in the body. This is important to know because 11 hydroxy THC then converts into THC COOH, which is what cannabis urine drug tests are looking for. Whether or not your state allows THC use, you can still lose a job if you test positive in certain occupations. You can lose your freedom, too, if you’re on probation or parole and get caught with THC in your system.

Effects of Delta-11 THC

Although all THC compounds share similar intoxicating effects, not all are exactly the same. First discovered in the 1970s, delta-11 THC is often described as producing a more mellow high, similar to that of delta-8, along with feelings of:

  • Relaxation
  • Euphoric happiness
  • Enhanced sensory experience
  • Less anxiety
  • Lower potential for paranoia compared to delta 9 THC

Is Cannabis Addictive?

Yes, no and maybe. THC isn’t as addictive as opioids or alcohol, no, and likely won’t produce a serious withdrawal syndrome when suddenly stopped. However, a certain group of people are at risk of developing marijuana use disorder (MUD). This means that these people will continue to use cannabis in spite of clear physical, emotional, financial and professional risks and harm. Some people do develop at least a powerful psychological addiction to THC. As with addictions to all drugs in general, teens are at a higher risk than adults.

Cannabis Withdrawal Symptoms

When heavy or daily use of THC is suddenly stopped, some individuals may notice the following symptoms:

  • Insomnia
  • Mood changes
  • Cravings
  • Anxiety
  • Dry mouth
  • General discomfort

These symptoms are self-limiting, peaking and easing within a week or two as the brain adjusts to the absence of the large amounts of THC it’s become used to. As the user moves through the withdrawal process, the brain will ramp up its production of its own natural endocannabinoids, and at that time, the withdrawal symptoms will stop.

Long Island Interventions

Here at Long Island Interventions, we understand. If a substance use problem has overtaken your life, we know how to help you get your life back. Addiction is a treatable brain disease, not a character flaw. Please contact us today. We look forward to helping you.



Published on: 2024-01-29
Updated on: 2024-06-21

How Long Do Shrooms Take to Hit?

Psychedelic mushrooms are a controversial topic, but many people seek them out to experience an altered state of consciousness. Shrooms have been used in some cultures for thousands of years, and the potential benefits and risks of using mushrooms continue to be important conversations today.

Magic Mushroom

If you’re considering taking mushrooms, it’s vital that you understand how they work and how long they last. Taking any psychoactive substance without being fully informed on what to expect can have dangerous consequences for both your mental and physical health. Knowing how long shrooms take to kick in is particularly important because it helps you plan for a safe and comfortable trip. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to this question. However, knowing the factors that affect the onset and length of a mushroom trip can help you prepare as effectively as possible.

Understanding Psilocybin Mushrooms

Psilocybin mushrooms are also known as psychedelic mushrooms, magic mushrooms, or shrooms. When ingested and processed by your body, psilocybin produces psilocin, a compound that activates certain serotonin receptors in your brain. This leads to a number of psychoactive effects, including hallucinations, altered perceptions, and a distorted sense of time. Psilocybin mushrooms can also increase your introspection, so some users report gaining a new understanding of themselves and their life experiences during their trip.

Psilocybin mushrooms grow naturally and have been used throughout history for religious and spiritual purposes. In some cultures, magic mushrooms are used regularly for rituals and ceremonies. Some research suggests that taking mushrooms under the guidance of a healthcare professional can be beneficial for people struggling with anxiety, depression, or substance use disorders. There are always risks to taking psychoactive substances, though, especially when not taking them under medical supervision.

Factors Influencing Onset Time

The effects of psychedelic mushrooms usually start to set in within 20 minutes to an hour of taking them. You might experience a faster or slower onset depending on several factors, though. The following are some key factors that may affect how quickly the mushrooms hit your system:


A higher dose of shrooms typically means a faster onset and a more powerful peak experience. Lower doses will usually take longer to kick in and hit their peak. However, this does not mean you should take a high dose just to feel the effects faster. Taking too large of a dose can make your experience uncomfortable or even dangerous. It’s normal to feel impatient when waiting for the mushrooms to kick in, but it’s better to wait for the effects to start than to take an extra dose due to impatience.

Body Weight and Metabolism

Your weight and metabolism may slightly affect your experience with psychedelic mushrooms. If you have a fast metabolism, your body will process the shrooms more quickly, so the trip will kick in sooner. Your weight can play a small role as well. Those with a higher body weight may feel a more gradual onset and a less intense peak than those at a lower weight.

Stomach Contents

The content of your stomach is one of the most important factors when predicting the onset time of a shroom trip. When taking shrooms on an empty stomach, your body will process the substance faster. Your entire trip may be shorter and more powerful because your digestive system is focusing all of its energy on processing the mushrooms.

Mushrooms eaten on a full stomach will take longer to kick in. Your body is digesting your food alongside the shrooms, so the psychoactive compounds will enter your system more gradually. You may also find that the trip takes longer to peak when you eat mushrooms on a full stomach. It’s generally recommended that you eat shortly before or while you take shrooms because you’ll achieve a longer and more gradual trip experience. Most people lose their appetite while on mushrooms, too, so eating beforehand will help to protect your health.

Method of Consumption

Users consume mushrooms in many different ways. One of the simplest ways is to eat the mushrooms raw. You can consume them on their own or chop them up and mix them in with your food. When you eat mushrooms along with other food, the onset may take longer.

Because the taste of raw mushrooms can be very unpleasant, many users opt instead for dried mushrooms mixed into food or made into tea. Dried mushrooms are more highly concentrated, so they may hit your system faster. The effects can set in especially quickly when you consume mushroom tea.

Some users also put powdered mushrooms into gel capsules, which allows them to fine-tune the dosage. Like mushroom teas, capsules can hit your system very quickly, especially if you take them on an empty stomach.

Stages of a Shroom Trip

A mushroom trip occurs in several stages. The length of each stage can vary depending on the size of the dose, your metabolism, what you’ve eaten, and other factors. The following are the three main stages and what users can expect from each:


The onset of a psychedelic shroom trip occurs when the compounds start to take effect on your brain. During the onset, you’ll start to feel the first changes in your mood and perception. The changes will be subtle at the onset, but they’ll grow into a more intense experience. Most people feel the onset of the trip between 20 minutes to an hour after taking mushrooms. The onset sometimes takes longer to kick in, though, so patience is key.


After the onset, the effects gradually increase in intensity until they reach their peak. The trip usually hits its peak within one to three hours of taking the shrooms, and the peak itself typically lasts about an hour. During the peak, you may experience hallucinations and lose your sense of time. Some users also become very introspective, emotional, and sensitive. After the peak, these effects continue with less intensity for around two to four hours.


The comedown occurs as the mushrooms leave your system and you slowly return to your baseline. As the effects of the trip wear off, you can process your experience. On average, an entire shroom trip from beginning to end lasts about six hours. You may feel an enhanced sense of well-being for a few days after taking mushrooms.

Safety Precautions When Taking Mushrooms

Safety is the most important consideration when taking any drug. There are always risks when using a psychoactive substance, but you can take precautions to reduce your risk of a bad trip. First, you should know exactly what you’re taking and how much you’re taking. Don’t accept mushrooms from someone you don’t know or trust, and don’t take an unknown dose. You should always feel fully in control and aware of what you’re taking. If you’re taking mushrooms for the first time, start with a low dose. Also, you should never mix psychedelic mushrooms with other drugs.

A mushroom trip makes you emotionally vulnerable. To have a safe experience, you should take them in a comfortable and familiar environment. If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable before taking mushrooms, the trip may only amplify those negative feelings. It’s also helpful to take shrooms in the presence of a trusted, sober friend who will look out for your safety.

Risks of Taking Shrooms

Although many people enjoy taking shrooms and report positive effects, you must be aware of the risks. For instance, there are legal considerations to keep in mind if you’re thinking about taking mushrooms. The legal status of psilocybin mushrooms varies by location. Mushrooms are decriminalized in some cities, and their supervised non-medical use is legal in Oregon and Colorado. However, shrooms are federally classified in the United States as a Schedule 1 drug, and their sale, possession, and use are still illegal under federal law.

Psychedelic mushrooms can have health risks, too. Some users experience uncomfortable physical side effects, especially around the onset of the trip. These effects include nausea, vomiting, increased heart rate, and high blood pressure. You could also experience anxiety, panic attacks, confusion, and intrusive thoughts. This is why it’s so important to take mushrooms in a comfortable environment and when you’re in a calm, centered state of mind. If you have a history of mental health issues, particularly psychosis, you should be extremely cautious of taking mushrooms without professional supervision.

Knowing what to expect from a mushroom trip increases your chances of having a positive experience. Shrooms typically kick in within an hour of consuming them, and the entire trip lasts around six hours. Your experience may vary based on your individual circumstances, though.

All psychoactive substances can be abused, and all can put your health and safety at risk. Long Island Interventions supports individuals struggling with substance use disorders. If you or a loved one is experiencing addiction, call us today to learn more about our services.

Published on: 2024-01-27
Updated on: 2024-06-21

Painkiller Rehab

The world is experiencing a surge in painkiller addiction. More and more doctors are giving prescription drugs for pain relief, which are types of medications to overcome discomfort from surgery or other injuries. Although many people believe that they are safe, opioids are very addictive. They release endorphins or feel-good hormones, so many people keep taking them to experience euphoric sensations. Unfortunately, long-term use can bring fatal results. To overcome a misuse problem, a professional treatment option is best. A person receives care during detox and participates in various therapies so that sobriety can be restored.

Painkiller Rehab

Understanding Painkiller Addiction

Painkiller addiction is the misuse of drugs like opioids. These medicines are used to curb discomfort after surgical procedures or bodily injury. After taking a painkiller, a person may get used to the pleasant effects. Eventually, this individual may keep using the drug for longer periods without the ability to stop. Desires to use may cause a person to obtain these drugs illegally.[1]

Addiction can occur from taking OTC pain relievers like NSAIDS as well. These nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used to relieve headaches, stiffness, and body aches. Although they are available on store shelves, a person can develop a tolerance.

Most painkillers change the brain’s chemistry. With steady use, dependence develops. This means that when the drug is stopped, a person suffers from physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal. For example, the individual may experience anxiety, diarrhea, insomnia, depression, or headaches.

Signs and Symptoms of Painkiller Addiction

Commonly, an addict is good at hiding his or her habit. However, there are behavioral, physical, and cognitive symptoms that may result from painkiller misuse or its side effects.

Behavioral Signs

  • Hampered work performance
  • Low impulse control
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Shopping for doctors
  • Heightened irritation and agitation
  • Mood changes

Physical Signs

  • Poor appetite
  • Slowed respiration
  • Heart problems

Cognitive Signs

  • Confusion
  • Poor memory
  • Inability to make good decisions

After a person admits that a problem exists, early intervention is essential. Swift intervention may keep an individual from experiencing full-blown addiction that causes devastating health effects. Long-term use of these drugs may harm organs like the heart and liver. Many studies have shown that early substance abuse treatment and aftercare increase the chance of successful recovery and wellness of the patient.

Choosing the Right Rehab Program

When selecting a rehab program, there are many things to consider. Every person has unique needs. There is not one guaranteed drug addiction treatment service, however, there is an evidence-based drug rehab program for drug abuse. The right addiction treatment program depends on the drug use, the length of time that the drug has been used, and a person’s home situation.

The first decision is choosing between inpatient and outpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment is quite intensive. A patient lives in an addiction treatment center provider and receives constant healthcare and monitoring. This is best for a person with a severe painkiller addiction. A partial hospitalization program is a bit less intensive. Usually, a person spends the day receiving treatment and returns home at night. This is a good option for a person with a family at home. Outpatient rehab is the least intensive. A person attends therapy sessions but keeps a job and lives at home.

Despite the rehab center, it is vital to have a personalized treatment plan. To repeat, no two people have the same situation. A personalized plan addresses an individual’s mental, physical, and emotional needs, and behavioral health. Matching a person which could be you or your loved one with the most appropriate therapy options is key and the improvement of their well-being. Many times, individualized therapies include individual, family, and group counseling sessions.

Detoxification Process

During detox, a person’s body is rid of the drug that is being misused. It is the first step of the recovery process. As a person starts detoxification, withdrawal symptoms occur. In the beginning, an individual may be irritable or anxious, sweat excessively, and experience muscle aches. Later, a person may have abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and increased breathing. He or she may have extreme chills as well. Along with the physical symptoms of detox, cravings may take hold.

Detoxification can be dangerous. Seizures and other health complications can develop. Therefore, it is best to have medical supervision. This provides constant monitoring and keeps a patient comfortable. In certain cases, medication may be given to help with the transition away from painkillers.

Therapeutic Approaches in Rehab

Behavioral therapy is very effective for treating drug addiction. It helps a person uncover the reasons behind the misuse. Also, it teaches tools that help manage situations that may lead to relapse.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This therapy lowers behaviors that are linked to substance misuse. The patient is taught how to anticipate circumstances that place him or her at risk for use. Also, an individual identifies the underlying reasons behind the problem.

Motivational Therapy

This treatment helps a patient become motivated to begin treatment and attain long-term recovery. It lowers doubts and worries about quitting the drugs and encourages positive changes.

Group Therapy

Assembling as a group of individuals who suffer from similar painkiller misuse issues brings several benefits. In particular, it offers community support, which decreases isolation. It becomes a team effort and allows a person to watch others gain successful outcomes.

Family Therapy

Any type of drug addiction, including a problem with painkillers, affects the user and his or her family. Family therapy can help every member understand the situation and learn ways to help. This support system plays a key role in recovery.

Holistic Therapies

Taking a holistic treatment approach can help with sobriety. While other therapies treat symptoms of addiction, this focuses on the whole person. In other words, it allows a patient to improve his or her habits and make positive lifestyle changes. When an individual’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are met, stress and anxiety are decreased. Forms of holistic treatment include yoga and mindfulness.

Addressing Underlying Issues

In certain cases, a person may experience a painkiller addiction and a mental disorder. For successful recovery and effective treatment, the underlying psychological condition must be diagnosed. Co-occurring disorders complicate the situation. However, both problems must be addressed. When a mental health issue is not treated, the misuse problem can become worse. An experienced and trained medical professional can identify a dual diagnosis and work to create a plan of treatment. In painkiller rehab, cognitive behavioral therapy is often a helpful tool. Medication management is utilized as well.[2]

Relapse Prevention and Long-Term Recovery

Painkiller rehab teaches a patient how to avoid temptations. Triggers are identified, and a relapse prevention plan is formed. For example, a person may feel that certain friends encourage use. During recovery, it is important to enter different social groups. Inpatient treatment makes it easy to avoid triggers from the outside world. Returning home can be difficult. To remain on a straight path, certain individuals choose to enter a sober house setting. Others may continue individual or group therapy on an outpatient basis. Ongoing support is the basis of long-term sobriety.

Pain Management Post-Rehab

Although people may still experience pain after rehab, there are alternatives to manage the discomfort. Some individuals enter physical therapy programs that include exercise. This improves bodily function and lowers pain. Acupuncture is another option. This Chinese method uses tiny noodles to interrupt pain signals. People with severe and chronic pain may use nerve blocks to stop discomfort.

Practicing regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and receiving adequate amounts of sleep are lifestyle modifications that can alleviate pain. All of these activities keep hormones balanced and decrease inflammation.[3]

Legal and Social Considerations

Many states have tried to enforce laws that address the drug addiction problem that faces the nation. Unfortunately, when a person is incarcerated with charges that stem from a painkiller addiction, it brings negative social stigma. After release, many people find that it is impossible to gain employment. Luckily, some programs help people rebuild personal and professional relationships. It is possible to become a productive citizen after recovery.[4]

Success Stories

Even though many people feel that painkiller addiction is impossible to overcome, facts tell a different tale. Dr. John, Kelly, a professor at Harvard Medical School, explains that most people recover and live healthy lives. One woman explains that her addiction was extremely bad. Despite various relapses, treatment helped her gain long-term sobriety. This information displays hope for people in similar circumstances. During times of deep depression and sadness, a life of sobriety can be achieved. Also, it is possible to manage pain without medication.[5]

Resources and Support Systems

Support groups and community resources are vital parts of addiction recovery. Centers like Long Island Intervention provide care. Also, local “12-Step” meetings are offered. After a person admits that a problem exists, it is possible to receive help. Families of addicts can find solace in groups as well. When a strong support system is in place, the chances of recovery are heightened.[6]

Importance of Rehab for Painkiller Addiction

Painkillers can cause terrible health consequences. They are quite addictive as well. When a person becomes dependent, help is available. Treatment provides care during detox and sets a patient on a positive path. An individualized plan delivers therapy that targets personal issues. Identifying triggers, learning coping mechanisms, and uncovering healthy ways to alleviate pain can lead to long-term recovery. If you want support for your addiction issues, call us today.



Published on: 2023-12-27
Updated on: 2024-06-21

Weed and Tylenol (Codeine)

Mixing any two drugs together can lead to dangerous interactions that cause harmful side effects. There are also times, however, when two drugs can be combined without considerable risk. Two drugs that are regularly taken together are weed and Tylenol with codeine.

Tylenol is commonly used to treat such ailments as muscle aches, headaches, and mild pain. Marijuana is also capable of easing pain symptoms, which is why some people combine weed and Tylenol that contains codeine.

Tylenol (Codeine)

To understand just how often these drugs are used, over 60 million Americans take Tylenol every week. In 2019, more than 48 million people took weed in some manner. Even though cannabis and Tylenol are often taken together, there’s always the possibility of an unexpected interaction. In this guide, you’ll discover what these interactions might be.

Basic Pharmacology

A. Weed (Cannabis)
Weed is comprised of more than 480 constituents. The primary ingredient that causes psychoactive effects is THC, which is taken directly from the Cannabis sativa plant. Cannabis is often taken as medical marijuana because of its many therapeutic uses. The most common uses include pain relief and anti-nausea. However, marijuana can also combat seizures, epilepsy, eating disorders, and cancer.

B. Tylenol with Codeine
Codeine is a type of opioid pain reliever that’s part of a class of medications known as opiate analgesics. The primary purpose of prescribing codeine is to treat pain. The drug works by altering how the nervous system and brain respond to pain.

Let’s say that codeine is taken to relieve a bout of coughing. In this scenario, the drug will limit the activity that occurs in the area of the brain that promotes coughing. Tylenol (acetaminophen) is often combined with codeine to boost the pain-relieving effects. Tylenol is able to change how a person’s body senses pain.

The primary uses of Tylenol with codeine include minor pains and aches, which extend to everything from arthritis and toothaches to menstrual cramps. There are three medications that shouldn’t be used when taking Tylenol with codeine, which include lonafarnib, pexidartinib, and pretomanid.

Interactions Between Cannabis and Codeine

Tylenol with codeine is often prescribed to reduce pain and other health issues that people might be suffering from. While codeine is able to relieve pain, it’s commonly used by itself as an ingredient in prescription-grade cough syrups. Tylenol cools the body and changes how the body feels pain. Codeine is also able to change how your body responds to pain, which is why these two medications are often put together.


If you take weed without any other drugs, you’ll experience various effects within your brain. The THC ingredient is capable of reacting with certain cell receptors to create a “high” sensation. The primary effects you’ll experience include:

  • An altered sense of time
  • Impaired memory
  • Impaired body movement
  • Mood changes
  • Issues with problem-solving and thinking

There are also certain physiological and psychological risks that occur when you take a high amount of Tylenol with codeine or cannabis. High doses of marijuana have the potential to cause hallucinations, delusions, or psychosis. You might also encounter an increased heart rate or vomiting.

Taking weed and Tylenol together is meant to produce a stronger pain-relieving effect. While there are no known harmful interactions between the two drugs, taking a high dose can lead to effects that you might not be ready for. Risks are present with nearly any medication a person can take, which is why it’s important to exercise caution when consuming all types of drugs.

Potential Risks and Side Effects

While it’s believed that taking weed and Tylenol with codeine together is relatively harmless, there are some potential risks and side effects that you should be on the lookout for, the primary of which include the following:

  • Impaired judgment and coordination
  • Respiratory depression
  • Drowsiness and decreased alertness
  • Risk of dependency or addiction

The most obvious concern is the risk of dependency or addiction. Because these drugs are designed to reduce pain, the potency of the pain reliever may cause the body to become more dependent on the drug over time. Eventually, you may need to take a higher dose to obtain the same effects.

Case Studies or Real-Life Examples

In 2017, a cross-sectional study was performed in Canada titled “Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drugs Survey”. The purpose of this study was to identify the association between cannabis and Tylenol with codeine.

Of the more than 15,000 respondents, around 3,338 used some amount of cannabis over the past 12 months. Among the people who took cannabis, more than 36% stated that they were using the drug for medical purposes. Respondents who took cannabis for medical reasons were around three times more likely to use codeine alongside it.

Cannabis test

Only a small number of studies have been performed on the effects of taking weed and Tylenol at the same time. None of these studies have tested the long-term effects. However, the 2017 survey found that many of the people who were taking cannabis for medical reasons were doing so to relieve substantial pain. Respondents who combined the two drugs were more likely to state that they were in fair or poor health.

A literature review that was taken in 2021 studied how weed interacts with acetaminophen. It was found that cannabidiol, which doesn’t contain THC, can boost the health of a person’s liver. In the years to come, additional studies will likely be performed to test how these two drugs interact with one another. For now, the interactions appear to be mild.

Medical Recommendations

Some healthcare professionals advise that people should be mindful of the various risks associated with mixing cannabis and Tylenol together. Since both of these drugs are processed in the liver, their effects can be combined to produce a more potent reaction, which is why caution is necessary.

If you have a liver condition or are currently breastfeeding, speak to your doctor before you mix these drugs together. You should also ask your doctor about mixing these drugs with any other medications you might be taking. Keep in mind that 393 drugs are capable of interacting with cannabis. Around 114 drugs can interact with Tylenol.

The combination of weed and Tylenol is legal in every state where weed is legal. Currently, 24 states have fully legalized weed, which means that combining these two drugs is legal.

There are also states that allow weed to be used for medicinal purposes or only allow CBD oil. For instance, weed can only be taken as CBD oil in Iowa and Indiana. There are only six states where this combination would be illegal because of the full illegality of weed, which include Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wyoming.

Legal Implications

Safe Use and Harm Reduction

If you have too much weed and Tylenol in your body, you may experience a type of poisoning. However, the overdose must be very large. The majority of these overdoses don’t cause immediate symptoms. There are four stages that occur during an overdose or negative interaction.

During stage one, you might not have symptoms. This stage lasts for several hours. Stage two occurs after 24-72 hours and can involve everything from vomiting to abdominal pain. In stage three, your vomiting could worsen. This stage occurs after a few days. Any test of your liver will show that the liver isn’t functioning properly. You might also notice jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin.

The fourth and final stage occurs after five days. You could either fully recover or experience failure of your liver, which could prove fatal. In the event of an emergency, call 911 immediately. To safely and responsibly use these drugs together, only take small doses and ask your doctor for advice. It’s highly recommended that you discuss any substance use with your healthcare providers.


Weed and Tylenol with codeine are two of the most widely used drugs in the world, which is largely the result of both being relatively safe to use. In fact, many states have already legalized weed use. It’s possible, however, to become dependent on these drugs if you take large doses or consume them more often than you should. Substance use should always occur in a safe manner. If you notice any symptoms of an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Call Long Island Interventions for more information.

References and Sources


Published on: 2023-08-30
Updated on: 2024-06-21

Shroom Bars

Although recreational drugs pose many risks and are generally unlawful, the use of psychedelic drugs, such as magic mushrooms, remains popular in the United States.

To help you understand those drugs, we’ll explain how shroom bars work and their dangers. We’ll also discuss the medical uses of those hallucinogens and different types of mushrooms. So, stick around!

shroom bars
Polkadot Chocolates

Types of Mushrooms

Mushrooms come in various shapes and sizes, each with its own unique features. The most common one is Lion’s Mane, known for its shaggy appearance and believed to be good for your brain. Then there’s the everyday Agaricus bisporus, with white button and portobello varieties, commonly found in kitchens.

Meanwhile, there are psilocybin mushrooms, famous for their mind-altering effects. Shiitake mushrooms not only taste good but might have some health perks, too. Reishi mushrooms, shiny and known in Eastern medicine, are also getting attention for possible health benefits when turned into extracts.

Speaking of extracts, some people are into mushroom extracts like the ones from Lion’s Mane, Chaga, and Reishi. They think these extracts can be used as a supplement to boost your immune system and keep you feeling good. Oyster mushrooms are said to be delicious and may be good for you, add to the mix. Maitake mushrooms are said to be good for your immune system, too.

But, you gotta be careful, especially with those psilocybin mushrooms. Research on them needs to be super careful, thinking about both the good and not-so-good stuff. Also, there are Enoki mushrooms, those skinny ones in Asian dishes, adding even more variety to the mushroom world.

There are also toxic or poisonous mushrooms like amanita, death cap, funeral bell, fly agaric, false morel, Cortinarius, and others.

It’s crucial to note that while mushrooms offer intriguing possibilities for health and wellness, caution should be exercised, especially concerning psychedelic mushrooms like psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, mescaline, and DMT, as they give a consumer a psychedelic experience a temporary altered state of consciousness.

The exploration of these substances for medical purposes should adhere to rigorous research standards and consider the potential risks and benefits associated with their use when involving medical conditions.

magic mushrooms chocolate

What Are Shroom Bars?

As the name implies, shroom bars or shroom chocolates are a food product consisting of chocolate and magic mushrooms (also known as psychedelic mushroom chocolate bars or magic mushroom chocolate bars). The latter contains an active ingredient, psilocybin, a psychoactive compound.

Typically, the mushrooms contain around 0.2 to 0.4% of the hallucinogenic substance, depending on the variety.

Additionally, those fungi contain a trace amount of psilocin, another psychedelic substance. Both of these compounds are responsible for the mind-altering effects of the mushrooms, which can vary from one person to another.

Now, you might wonder: why do people add chocolate to the mushrooms? Well, that’s to make the shrooms taste better. Of course, chocolate and mushrooms aren’t particularly delectable. However, the fungus alone is unpleasant.

As a result, many recipes, like shroom bars, mushroom gummies, candy bars, and other mushroom blends, were created to make the substance taste better.

Aside from physical and mental side effects, those shrooms pose other health risks thanks to their large number of varieties. You see, there are more than 200 species of magic mushrooms. The problem is that most fungi look alike, with long whitish-gray stems and brown caps.

Consequently, people can often mistake poisonous shrooms for psilocybin-containing mushrooms or edible mushrooms. In fact, around 7,500 mushroom poisoning incidents occur annually in the USA because of misidentification.

psychoactive compounds

How Do Shroom Bars Work?

Shroom bars are hallucinogenic drugs. Those drugs contain natural psychoactive compounds, such as psilocybin and psilocin, that act on the nervous system and alter perception.

When ingested, the chemicals cause the person to hear, feel, and see stuff that isn’t real, which is known as “getting high” or “experiencing a trip.”

How Do Shroom Bars Affect the Brain?

Psilocybin and psilocin have a similar structure to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, including happiness and anxiety. It also plays a significant role in other physiological processes, such as cognition, sleep, digestion, and reward.

Since those chemicals resemble the neurotransmitter, they activate the corresponding receptors in the brain. One particular serotonin receptor those chemicals bind to is the 5-HT2A receptor. The former is present in brain areas responsible for cognition and memory.

Additionally, research suggests that the 5-HT2A receptor plays a role in mental disorders such as schizophrenia. That explains why the mushroom mimics schizophrenia symptoms, including delusions and a distorted sense of reality.

Aside from the receptors, those hallucinogenic compounds also affect the Default Mode Network (DMN). The former is a neural network in the brain that’s active during internal cognitive processing.

That means DMN is at its highest activity level during self-reflection and daydreaming. Those brain portions also allow us to think back to the past as they compile day-to-day information and play different roles in memory.

In contrast, DMN is less active when performing externally goal-directed activities and tasks that require attention to detail.

Psychedelic drugs decrease the activity of DMN, causing the brain to resort to other new connections. That might play a role in the creativity-enhancing effects some people experience with psychedelics.


Dangers of Shroom Bars

From the above, you can see that shroom bars alter the brain’s natural functions, which can lead to several risks, including:

Side Effects

Magic mushrooms can cause negative mental and physical effects. Some of the unpleasant mental side effects include:

  • Mood changes
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Disorientation
  • Paranoia
  • Mood changes
  • Psychosis

As for the physical side effects, those include:

  • Numbness
  • Nausea
  • Muscle weakness and convulsions
  • Increased blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature
  • Headaches
  • Dilated pupils
  • Drowsiness

Tolerance and Dependency

Like most drugs, long-term use of shroom bars develops tolerance and drug dependency within the body.

The problem with psychedelic addiction is that it can result in a withdrawal syndrome. Sure, shroom bars aren’t as dangerous as CNS depressant drugs, stimulants, or opioids.

However, the former can also cause unpleasant experiences, such as memory loss, fatigue, irritability, and hallucination flashbacks, when quitting cold turkey.

Even worse, tolerance could lead to consuming large amounts to achieve the same effects, resulting in overdose symptoms. Those include:

  • Longer, intense trips
  • Agitation
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Panic and psychosis
  • Seizures
  • Potential death

Bad Trips

Bad trips are a common side effect of magic mushrooms. Instead of experiencing euphoria, bad trips result in frightening hallucinations and upsetting thoughts. Consequently, people become more anxious and paranoid.

Not to mention, the shrooms can cause people to attempt self-harm as they alter mood and perception.

For instance, individuals under the influence of hallucinogens can do actions they’d never attempt when sober, such as jumping off a building.

Additionally, there’s the risk of accidental poisoning. Since psychedelics alter consciousness, people can ingest alcohol or other substances that can interact with psilocybin and cause drug toxicity.

increased self-awareness

What Are the Uses of Shroom Bars?

As mentioned earlier, shroom bars affect the DMN, which is associated with increased self-awareness. High activity of those brain portions is linked with schizophrenia patients with impaired cognitive function. Additionally, increased DMN activity is associated with depression.

So, shutting down DMN can improve cognition and help schizophrenic patients perform their daily tasks better. It can also elevate the mood and stop negative rumination cycles in severe depression.

What’s more, according to John Hopkins research, psilocybin might be effective in treating addictions such as nicotine, alcohol, and opioids. It might also help treat other disorders, including anorexia and PTSD.

That said, it’s important to note that the consumption of psilocybin-containing substances is illegal in many countries.

The former compounds are classified as schedule I drugs. Substances that fall into that category have a high potential for misuse. Plus, they have no currently accepted medical use in the US.

Even in places where it may be legal, it should only be done under the guidance of a qualified healthcare provider and not for recreational purposes. That’s because psilocybin can have powerful effects on the mind and cause intense experiences that can be life-threatening.


As you can see, shroom bars could cause several mental and physical side effects on someone’s well-being. Additionally, long-term use of the chocolate mushroom mix can cause tolerance and dependency, which can lead to overdose symptoms. There’s also the potential for bad trips and accidental poisoning.

However, some research suggests that shroom bars could have therapeutic benefits, particularly for treating mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.

That said, the use of shroom bars remains illegal, and people shouldn’t consume them for health benefits unless under the supervision of an experienced doctor.

Published on: 2023-02-24
Updated on: 2024-04-07

Halcion vs. Xanax: What Are the Differences and Similarities?

Halcion and Xanax are well-known prescription drugs that pose a high risk of addiction. While both drugs are used for short-term treatments of some medical conditions and have a similar mechanism of action, they still have several differences.

Continue reading this Halcion vs. Xanax article to learn more about their side effects, precautions, and more!

What Is Halcion Drug?

Halcion, also known as triazolam, is a medication belonging to benzodiazepines. The latter is an anti-depressant drug class commonly used as sedatives to treat various medical conditions.

In the case of Halcion, doctors prescribe this medication to treat insomnia, a sleeping disorder. Triazolam acts on the nervous system and produces a calming effect. The former state might help patients fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer during the night without waking up.

As a result, those diagnosed with insomnia can get quality sleep.

Halcion comes as tablets. They’re usually taken before bedtime, but not with a meal or shortly after eating. That’s because food digestion can impair the effects of triazolam. Additionally, the drug might interact with food and cause unavoidable side effects.

That said, doctors prescribe the benzodiazepine drug for short-term use, about 7 to 10 days, as long-term use can cause life-threatening complications and risk addiction.


What Is Xanax Drug?

Xanax, also known as alprazolam, is also a benzodiazepine drug. Doctors prescribe the former substance to ease panic disorder symptoms, such as unexpected attacks of fear and anxiety.

Alprazolam can also be used to treat other disorders. Those include depression, agoraphobia (fear of open spaces), and premenstrual syndrome.

Xanax comes as immediate-release or extended-release pills. The drug is also available in the form of dissolving tablets or solutions. Each of the former forms has different prescriptions. Usually, doctors divide disintegrating tablets and concentrated liquid dosages throughout the day.

As for the immediate- and extended-release pills, they’re taken once daily, usually in the morning.

Similar to Halcion, Xanax acts on the nervous system and risks addiction as well as other serious side effects. For that reason, doctors usually give the lowest effective dosage of alprazolam and prescribe it for short-term usage.

Halcion vs. Xanax: What Are the Similarities?

From the above, you can see that Halcion and Xanax belong to the same class of antidepressant drugs, benzodiazepines. On that note, both substances have a similar mechanism of action, side effects, and precautions.

Let’s discuss each similarity in further detail!

Mechanism of Action

Generally, benzodiazepines produce a calming effect. They do so by enhancing the function of GABA, a neurotransmitter with inhibitory action on the nervous system. GABA reduces the excitability of neurons by binding to three cell receptors: GABA-A, GABA-B, and GABA-C.

Once the neurotransmitter binds to the receptors, it changes the ionic concentration of chloride in the cells.

Naturally, the negatively charged ion concentration is much higher outside the cell than inside. However, GABA reverses the former process. It increases the influx of chloride ions inside the cells, causing hyperpolarization.

Hyperpolarized cells have more negative membrane potential. That causes the cells to be less responsive and lowers their ability to send chemical messages. Consequently, your body enters a state of relaxation.

Now, you might wonder: what do benzodiazepines have to do with GABA?

The antidepressant drug changes the conformation of receptor A only. As a result, it increases the binding ability between GABA and the former receptor, enhancing the neurotransmitter’s inhibitory effects.

Side Effects

Both Halcion and Xanax pose similar side effects. Those include:

  • Drowsiness and dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Coordination problems
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea, vomiting, and change in appetite
  • Dry mouth and increased salivation
  • Numbness

Some of the side effects are more serious than others and require immediate medical treatment. Such symptoms include:

  • Rashes and itchiness
  • Eyes, face, lips, tongue, or throat swelling
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Memory loss and confusion
  • Change in speech pattern

Withdrawal Symptoms

As you can see, Halcion and Xanax alter the nervous system’s function. The problem with such drugs is that they can cause physiological dependency and develop tolerance in the body.

So, your body’s nervous system stops functioning normally and depends on drugs to relax or sleep. Unfortunately, benzodiazepine dependency can occur after using the medication for several days or weeks—even as prescribed!

Consequently, quitting the medications cold turkey can lead to withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Sleep disturbance
  • Irritability, increased tension, and anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Hand tremor
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Nausea and dry retching and nausea, some weight loss
  • Palpitations
  • Muscular pain and stiffness
  • Perceptual changes
  • Seizures
  • Psychosis


Both triazolam and alprazolam have similar precautions, including avoiding alcohol and other central nervous system depressants, as the former substances can make the side effects even more severe.

Additionally, Xanax and Halcion pose health risks when combined with grapefruit juice. The latter doesn’t interact with the drugs.

However, it binds to an enzyme, cytochrome P450, making it less available in the body. This enzyme plays a significant role in metabolizing drugs in the liver and eliminating them.

With lower enzyme concentrations available, drugs build up in the blood, reaching abnormal levels, which can be dangerous.

Likewise, antifungal drugs belonging to the azole group bind to the cytochrome enzyme, risking high levels of benzodiazepines in the blood.

Halcion vs. Xanax: What Are the Differences?

Although triazolam and alprazolam have several similarities, they still possess many differences. Those include:


As mentioned earlier, Halcion treats sleeping disorders, while Xanax is indicated to treat panic disorders.

Aside from those effects, both drugs can be used as sedatives for pre-anesthesia in surgeries. However, lower dosages of triazolam reduce preoperative anxiety better than alprazolam.


Both drugs are high-potency benzodiazepines. However, triazolam is slightly more powerful than alprazolam. For that reason, the starting dosage of Halcion is 0.125 mg, and the maximum dosage is 0.5 mg.

As for Xanax, 0.25 mg is the starting dosage, and the maximum dosage is 4 mg, which is more than triazolam.

Onset of Action and Duration

Onset of action refers to the duration a drug takes to be effective after administration. Halcion has a faster onset of action, reaching peak levels in the blood after 2 hours of ingestion.

Xanax’s onset action is similar to triazolam, reaching peak plasma levels in 1 to 2.1 hours. However, the latter concentrations occur at higher dosages of 0.5 to 3 mg compared with the lower doses of Halcion.

As for the duration of action, Xanax stays longer in the body. Halcion’s effects last 6-7 hours, while alprazolam wears off after 12 hours or more.

Addiction Risks

As you can see, Halcion has a higher onset of action and a shorter life within the body. That’s why it’s recommended for short-term use only. Extended periods can cause the body to crave the drug more and result in addiction.

Xanax, on the other hand, also risks addiction. However, it’s less potent than triazolam, which is why patients can take the medication for longer periods than Halcion.


When comparing Halcion vs. Xanax, you can see both drugs have various similarities and differences. Aside from belonging to the same drug family, they have similar modes of action, side effects, and precautions. Plus, they cause withdrawal symptoms.

However, Halcion is used to treat insomnia, while Xanax is indicated for panic disorders. Both drugs.

That said, benzodiazepine drugs risk addiction and can produce life-threatening complications, even with short-term usage. For that reason, patients must seek medical attention immediately when experiencing any side effects to ensure their safety.

Published on: 2023-02-23
Updated on: 2024-06-21

Does Suboxone Affect Male Fertility?

People who are recovering from opioid addictions often undergo medication-assisted treatment. Suboxone, or its generic, buprenorphine, is an alternative that is often prescribed instead of methadone to people who are recovering from heroin addiction or addiction to other opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and others. While Suboxone can help to reduce withdrawal symptoms and facilitate recovery from opioid addiction, some people worry that it could interfere with fertility in males. Here’s some information about Suboxone and its potential impact on male fertility.

Male Fertility

What Is Suboxone?

Suboxone combines buprenorphine and naloxone. These two drugs work together to reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms and an individual’s long-term opioid dependence. Suboxone is an opioid antagonist, which means that it works in the opposite way as heroin and other opioids. When people ingest heroin or other opioids, they bind to pain-blocking receptors and cause the brain to release endorphins that make them experience a pleasurable sensation. As an opioid antagonist, Suboxone prevents opioids from activating these receptors and negates the effects of opioids. This effect can help people by reducing withdrawal symptoms and helping them manage their cravings. Suboxone also has a lower risk of drug dependency than methadone, and its side effects tend to be less severe.

Suboxone Side Effects

While Suboxone is effective in the treatment of opioid dependence by preventing and reducing withdrawal symptoms, it can also cause side effects, especially during the beginning of treatment. The following side effects are common:

  • Pain or numbness of the mouth
  • Redness of the mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Numbness
  • Headache
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Stomach pain

Rarely, some people might experience more severe side effects of Suboxone, including the following:

  • Arrythmia
  • Fainting
  • Trouble waking up
  • Dizziness
  • Breathing problems
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations

There have been anecdotal reports of fertility problems in both men and women who take Suboxone. Here is some information from research on the effects of Suboxone on male fertility.

Suboxone and Male Fertility

Overall, the evidence that Suboxone might affect male fertility is limited, and researchers currently don’t believe that the medication has a large impact. By contrast, long-term abuse of opioids can affect fertility, although the mechanisms for this effect are unclear. Taking Suboxone is less likely to impact fertility than being dependent on opioids such as heroin, methadone, oxycodone, or others.

Limited studies into the relationship between Suboxone and male fertility have been conducted. In one study, researchers found that buprenorphine can suppress the production of testosterone in mice, which could impact fertility. However, since this study was conducted on mice, it is unclear whether the results would also be the same in men. In a few rare cases, Suboxone has been associated with male erectile dysfunction and loss of libido, however.

Researchers are also unsure whether Suboxone has an impact on hormones. More research needs to be completed before scientists can determine whether this medication might affect fertility, but it is not generally believed to have a significant impact.

While a few small studies have indicated that buprenorphine might cause a reduction in sperm count, this effect has not been definitively proven. Since the known side effects are relatively mild, most doctors recommend that men continue following their Suboxone regimen when they are trying to conceive children with their partners.

If you are prescribed Suboxone to help with recovering from opioid addiction, you should continue taking it even if you are hoping to have children. Your doctor can help you understand the potential side effects. While there might be a small effect on fertility, it has not been proven. Since Suboxone might help to prevent a relapse, the benefits of this drug are much more significant than any potential drawbacks. Relapsing on opioids could cause an even greater impact on your fertility than Suboxone.


  • Does suboxone affect fertility?
  • What drugs can cause infertility?

Published on: 2023-01-28
Updated on: 2024-06-21

The Spiritual Principles of Narcotics Anonymous

For many people who are fighting drug abuse or addiction, spirituality is a source of strength. It involves turning to something bigger than yourself for guidance and support. Whether or not you’re religious, you can develop greater resilience through following spiritual principles and forging a more meaningful path through life.

Narcotics Anonymous is one example of an effective program that’s rooted in spirituality. The principles of the program have helped many drug-addicted people resist relapse, overcome setbacks, and experience personal growth.


What Is Narcotics Anonymous?

Founded in the 1950s, this nonprofit organization models itself after Alcoholics Anonymous. However, it offers support to people struggling with the misuse of any drug, not just alcohol.

People participating in Narcotics Anonymous attend peer-led support groups and work with a sponsor. They also follow the 12 Steps as a fundamental part of their recovery from drug addiction.

Although Narcotics Anonymous isn’t a religious organization, it does have a spiritual foundation. You’re asked to focus on a Higher Power, which you define for yourself. Spiritual principles are also woven into the program. These principles encourage reflection and help build strength and character.

Exploring the Spiritual Principles of Narcotics Anonymous

As part of Narcotics Anonymous, you can think about and act on a large number of spiritual principles. The program also focuses on 12 core principles that serve as a foundation for recovery and correspond to the 12 Steps. As you attend group meetings and work your way through the 12 Steps, you’re meant to apply these foundational principles to your life.

An in-depth discussion of each principle is beyond the scope of this article, and the following explanations are meant only as a quick introduction. Also, keep in mind that different groups may have some variations on the core principles.


With acceptance, you resist denying reality or being evasive. Even if you’re experiencing something painful, you don’t struggle against the fact that it’s happening or pretend it isn’t real. An accepting attitude also applies to joyful experiences that drug addiction may have blocked out.


Hope encourages you to look towards a future that’s more fulfilling. It helps give you motivation to continue working on yourself and supporting others in the recovery journey. Even if you’re facing setbacks, hope can keep you going through times of great stress and pain.

faith-based drug rehab


Regardless of which religion you practice, and even if you don’t practice any religion at all, you can direct faith at something larger than yourself. You can place trust in something that transcends you. Prayers and meditations help strengthen faith.


Fighting addiction is often a frightening process, and making changes in your life can provoke strong fear or anxiety. Cultivating courage helps you stick to healthier habits, set boundaries, and confront new situations.


Honesty with yourself and with other people is a critical part of fighting addiction and building a more purposeful life. One aspect of living more honestly involves letting go of flimsy excuses and taking responsibility for your actions.


At the heart of patience, you’ll find the truth that you can’t control everything around you. Things won’t always move at the pace you want them to, and that includes your own healing process.


Humility doesn’t mean degrading or hating yourself. It means acknowledging your limitations as a human being, admitting when you’re at fault, and asking for help. It helps you curb arrogance or a tendency to cater too much to your ego.


With willingness, you’re showing a commitment to stick to recovery and make a variety of helpful changes to your thoughts and behaviors. Willingness pushes you to follow through on promises you make to yourself and others.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)


The kind of love emphasized in Narcotics Anonymous isn’t romantic. Instead, it’s a feeling of fellowship or brotherly love. It encourages you to help others and care about their well-being.


When you live with integrity, you’re making efforts to ensure that your behavior aligns with your values. These values can include benevolence, honesty, and a strong work ethic. For example, even if you’re given the opportunity to sneak out of work early without anyone noticing, you choose to remain at your job and finish what you set out to do for the day.


Discipline involves building better habits and holding yourself to higher standards, even when you’re feeling lazy or bored. It can also help you resist the temptation to use drugs again.


Although spiritual growth involves introspection, it also pushes you to look outwards. There are many ways to perform acts of service in your community and for the people in your life. For example, as you progress in your recovery journey, you may want to help other drug-addicted people by offering them advice on staying sober.

How Do Spiritual Principles Help?

Spiritual principles remind you that you’re more than your impulses or temptations. You have higher ideals that you can reflect on and follow. You have the capacity to grow in ways that you may not even currently envision. And it’s a lifelong process, because you can keep revisiting these principles with fresh insights and newly gained wisdom.

Evening IOP Program

These principles also remind you that you’re not alone. You’re connected to other people and to larger things. Your life has a greater purpose than just existing each day. Instead of drifting through your days or following whims, you develop greater awareness and a sense of direction.

Ultimately, these principles help guide you. When you reflect on them, and when you focus on them in daily life, they remind you about the best decisions to make in different situations. They remind you about who you want to be, and they help you live more meaningfully and with more respect for yourself and other people.

Contact Long Island Interventions

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for more information about treatments for drug addiction. There are a variety of effective approaches, and you’ll often find that combining more than one treatment method will help. For compassionate and personalized advice, contact us today by phone or email.

Published on: 2022-12-30
Updated on: 2024-06-21

Best Defense for a Positive Drug Test

Testing positive for illicit substances can mean several unpleasant things. For example, if you have to submit to a drug test before an employer will hire you, a positive test will keep you from getting a new job. If you are on a sports team and test positive for substances, it could prevent you from playing in the next big game. Every once in a while, you have to be concerned about taking a drug test, but the best thing that you can do is get help for your substance use disorder so that you never have to worry about drug tests again.

drug tests

What Is the Best Defense for a Positive Drug Test?

If you sincerely believe that your test results are false positives, you can dispute them. You may have eaten something that is known to cause false positives on drug tests, or your prescription medications may be the reason for a positive drug test. If this is the case, you must inform your employer so that you can repeat the test.

On the other hand, your drug tests may have positive results because you used illicit substances. It is important that you do not try to come up with unreasonable or illogical reasons for the positive results. Some schools and workplaces must be open about their zero-tolerance drug policies, so if you are in this type of environment, you may have been aware of the policy before you ingested the substance. You will not be able to create an excuse that will absolve you of responsibility, so you will have to accept it.

The Best Option

Your employer may be willing to help you if you admit that you have been struggling with substances. Under the Family Medical Leave Act, you have the right to receive up to 12 weeks of treatment at a drug treatment center. During this time, your employer will not be able to fire you or eliminate your position or your benefits. Even so, your employer will not be required to continue paying your salary during this time.

If you take the initiative and show your employer that you are willing to get help for your addiction, he or she may show leniency. This will require that you take responsibility for your issues. You will have to acknowledge the fact that you are in a difficult situation and that you need help. This would be the first step in the process. The second step would be to get treatment at Long Island Interventions.

Can an Employer Fire an Employee for a Positive Drug Test?

If it was a pre-employment screening, the employer will be able to refuse to hire you if your drug test is positive. In some states, your employer will not be able to fire you if you fail a drug test and agree to obtain treatment for a substance use disorder. If you are a federal contractor, your employer may require that you pass a specific type of drug test, and if you don’t pass this test, your employer can fire you. An employer can also fire you if your job is related to safety.

Keep in mind that an employer may fire you if he or she believes that you are not capable of performing your duties. This may occur whether you have a positive drug test or not.

Drug Testing

Employers use drug testing as a tool to prevent the problems that drug use typically causes in workplaces. However, employers must follow all of the rules and regulations that their local, state and federal governments set up for them. On the day of the test, a trained professional may come to your place of work to take samples, or you will be directed to a certified laboratory.

Saliva Test

Drug testing is used to detect the following categories of substances:

What Types of Drug Tests Are There?

The type of drug test that you will be required to take will depend on the substance that the test will need to detect. It also depends on the type of specimen that will be collected.

Specimens for drug testing include the following:

  • Sweat
  • Saliva
  • Hair
  • Urine

Drug tests may be able to detect additional substances, including ethanol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, hydrocodone, ecstasy, methadone, methaqualone and propoxyphene.

Employers may require drug tests for the following occasions:

Screening before Hiring

Before an employer hires an employee, he or she will have to pass an interview and a background check. Some employers also require potential hires to pass a drug test before they will be offered the job. If you have used substances in the past, an employer cannot refuse to hire you because of it, but employers are allowed to require you to pass a drug test before they offer you a job. If you fail the test, an employer can refuse to hire you, and he or she will not be guilty of discrimination.

Screening of Current Employees

In some instances, employers will require their current employees to submit to drug testing. This may be because the employee is demonstrating behavior that makes the employer believe that the employee is using substances. It can also be because the drug tests are required during annual physical exams. If a drug test is part of your employer’s physical examination, your employer must inform you of that fact before you submit to the exam.

Screening that Occurs Randomly

Employers use random drug testing to prevent their employees from engaging in drug use. This type of drug testing isn’t necessarily illegal, but some employees have sued their employers for wrongful discharge, discrimination, defamation and invasion of privacy. You are not required by law to submit to your employers’ drug tests, and each state has its own rules and regulations for how and when employers may use drug testing in the workplace.

Screening after an Accident Has Occurred

After an employee has been involved in a workplace accident, employers must determine the cause of the accident. In this case, the accident may have been caused by unsafe practices, but intoxication at work may have been a contributing factor. Therefore, the employer must ask the employee to submit to a drug test.

urine test

Screening after Treatment at a Drug Treatment Center

After an employee completes treatment at a drug treatment center, the employer may opt to test this person to ensure that he or she remains free of substances, and it helps employees remain on their treatment programs.

Medical Marijuana and Drug Tests

People often are concerned about their use of medical marijuana and the requirement to submit to a drug test. Medical marijuana is legal in some states, and other states allow their citizens to use marijuana on a recreational basis. In this case, if you are having difficulties completing your job duties and your employer requires you to submit to a drug test, your employer will have the right to terminate your employment if you test positive.

If you have a medical marijuana card in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, your employer is not allowed to fire you for this reason. If you have a medical marijuana card in New York, your employer is required to treat you like any other employee with a disability. Even so, no state in the union is required to make accommodations for you to use marijuana while you are working.

False Positives

False positive drug tests occur, and one reason may be the medications you took before the test. It can be as innocent as an over-the-counter cough medicine that causes you to test positive for PCP. Over-the-counter allergy medications contain diphenhydramine, and it results in positive drug tests for opiates and PCP. Sudafed contains pseudoephedrine, and this may cause a positive result for amphetamine or methamphetamine. Advil, Aleve and Motrin may produce false positive results for barbiturates or THC.

Prescription medications can also present false positive results for illicit substances. Antidepressants, antibiotics, antipsychotic medications and proton pump inhibitors have resulted in false positives on drug tests.


According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA, the health provider is required to keep your medical information confidential. This makes relaying the results of drug tests to employers a tricky situation for laboratories. HIPAA doesn’t allow your employer to have access to your complete drug screening results, but they are required to keep the information they do receive confidential.

In most cases, a limited number of people can have access to the results of your drug tests, and they may be supervisors, human resources and your direct managers. These people must maintain the confidentiality of this information. So, if you tested positive for substances, this information must remain private.


Rather than wait for a positive drug test to completely disrupt your life, contact us at Long Island Interventions. We will put you on a path toward living a life without substances so that you never have to be concerned about testing positive for substances again. Contact us today.


  • What happens if your drug test comes out positive?

Published on: 2022-12-30
Updated on: 2024-06-21

Ambien and Xanax: Can You Combine Them?


Whenever you meet with your doctor, you need to provide a list of all of the medications you are currently taking, including both prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Certain drugs can have dangerous interactions with other medications. Two commonly prescribed drugs, Xanax and Ambien, are prescription drugs that are both central nervous system (CNS) depressants. People might be prescribed Xanax for the treatment of anxiety and panic disorders. They might also be prescribed Ambien for help with sleep. Here is what you should know about these drugs before you take them together.

Can You Take Xanax and Ambien Together?

If you are prescribed Xanax and Ambien, you should generally not take them together. When these drugs are combined, they can interact with each other and cause more side effects of one or both drugs.

As CNS depressants, both Xanax and Ambien work to increase the effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This substance is a neurotransmitter that is naturally produced in the body. It works by slowing certain brain functions by blocking signals from certain brain regions. GABA is believed to relieve stress and anxiety while also improving sleep. Since both Xanax and Ambien encourage the brain to release more of this substance, combining them can compound the following side effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Motor coordination impairment
  • Depressed respiration

Since a combination of these medications can depress the respiratory system, taking these drugs together could cause a cessation of breathing, coma, and death.

If you are prescribed both of these medications, you should not engage in any activity that involves decision-making or alertness, including driving or operating machinery. Both of these drugs also have the potential to cause drug dependence and abuse and are Schedule IV controlled substances. Combining them can increase the risk of addiction as compared to taking either drug by itself. If you suddenly stop taking these drugs, you might also experience withdrawal symptoms because of the potential of becoming physically dependent.

Similarities and Differences of Xanax vs. Ambien

The generic for Ambien is zolpidem, which is a drug classed as a sedative-hypnotic medication to facilitate sleep. This medication facilitates sleep by targeting certain neural receptors in your brain. When you take Ambien, the drug slows the activity of your brain so that you can fall asleep faster. It is also available in an extended-release version, Ambien CR, which includes two layers of medication with one that helps you fall asleep while the second layer helps you remain asleep.

If you are prescribed Ambien, you should take it immediately before you go to bed. You should only take this medication when you will have enough time to get at least seven to eight hours of rest. You should take Ambien on an empty stomach because food can reduce your body’s ability to absorb it. Women generally start with a dose of 5 mg once per day at bedtime. Men start at a dose ranging from 5 mg to 10 mg once per day at bedtime. Patients with mild to moderate liver issues and those who are elderly start with doses of 5 mg regardless of gender. Ambien is contraindicated for those with serious liver conditions.

Ambien is approved to treat insomnia in people who have trouble falling asleep. People who have trouble both falling and remaining asleep might be prescribed Ambien CR.

The generic for Xanax is alprazolam, which is classed as a benzodiazepine drug. It also works within the CNS by facilitating the receptivity of neural receptors to GABA. This helps to produce a feeling of calm and relaxation. After you take a dose of this drug, you will begin experiencing its effects within about an hour, and they will last for around five hours. There is also an extended-release version of Xanax for which the effects will last for up to 11 hours.

Ambien is prescribed to people who suffer from anxiety disorders and might also be prescribed for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms associated with depression. It can also be prescribed for people who suffer from panic disorder.

IndicationsInsomniaAnxiety/Panic DO
FormsImmediate release/extended releaseImmediate release/extended release/oral concentrate

Ambien and Xanax are used for different purposes and are different drugs, so there aren’t any studies comparing these two medications. If you struggle to fall asleep, your doctor might prescribe Ambien to you. If you struggle with anxiety disorder, your doctor might prescribe Xanax to you. Your doctor has the education and experience to choose the right medication for you based on your underlying medical conditions, symptoms, medical history, and any other medications you might take that could have potentially dangerous interactions. Make sure you tell your doctor about all of the drugs, medications, and supplements you take so that you can avoid being prescribed something that could cause dangerous side effects.


Possible Side Effects of Xanax and Ambien

The side effects of Xanax and Ambien can be compounded if they are taken together.

Xanax Side Effects

Xanax can be taken with or without food. However, if you are prescribed the extended-release form, you should take your medication with water. Some of the known side effects of Xanax include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Reduced libido
  • Appetite increase
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Headache
  • Blurry vision

The side effects of Xanax can increase when higher doses are taken. They can also be more severe if you take Xanax with Ambien.

Ambien Side Effects

If you are prescribed Ambien or Ambien CR, you should take your medication when your stomach is empty right before you go to bed. The medication takes about 30 minutes to take effect, but it can be delayed if you take it with food.

The following side effects have been associated with Ambien:

  • Excessive drowsiness when not desired
  • Grogginess
  • Headache
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Dry mouth
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Skin reactions
  • Thought disturbances
  • Dementia

The side effects of Ambien can be more severe if Ambien is taken at higher doses or in combination with Xanax or another CNS depressant.

Potential Interactions of Xanax and Ambien

Ambien should not be taken with other CNS depressants, including alcohol, opioids, anti-depressants, or benzodiazepines. These drug classes can have additive effects when combined. Other drugs that can interact with Ambien include rifampin, which can lower the level of Ambien, and ketoconazole, which can increase the level of Ambien.

Xanax should also not be taken with other CNS depressants. If it is taken with opioids, there will be an increased risk of respiratory depression, sedation, overdose, and death. Xanax should also not be taken with alcohol, sedative-hypnotics, anti-psychotics, anti-convulsants, or anti-depressants.

Other interactions are possible, which is why you should bring a complete list of all medications and over-the-counter substances you are taking with you to your doctor’s appointments.

Both Ambien and Xanax offer some benefits to people suffering from insomnia or anxiety disorders. However, they should not be taken together. If you are prescribed one of these medications, you should make sure to follow your dosing schedule and never take more of the medication than you are prescribed. Make sure to inform your doctor about all of your prescribed and non-prescribed medications to prevent potentially dangerous drug interactions. In general, you should avoid taking Ambien and Xanax together. If you are already prescribed one of these drugs, make sure to tell your doctor if they discuss prescribing the other one.

Drug and alcohol detox programs are not directly offered by Long Island Interventions. If you or a loved one require any services that we do not offer, we would be glad to refer you to one of our trusted affiliate providers. To learn more, contact Long Island Interventions today.


  • Can you take Benzodiazepines with Ambien?
  • Will Ambien test positive on a drug test?
  • Does Ambien make you relax?

Published on: 2022-11-17
Updated on: 2024-06-21

Tylenol and Xanax

Just like any other ativan (lorazepam), diazepam (valium), clonazepam (Klonopin and Rivotril), Xanax, an antidepressant meds which is also known as brand name alprazolam, is a benzodiazepine. Doctors commonly prescribe it to treat panic disorders and generalized anxiety disorder because it has a calming effect on the central nervous system (CNS depressant) and brain. Specifically, it is a GABA enhancer that slows down brain cell activity. Despite the approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and while it is prescribed frequently, it has psychodynamic properties that make it highly addictive. In addition, it has adverse and even serious side effects when consumed with various other medications. You may have heard that these controlled substances, Xanax, should not be taken with Tylenol and should only be taken with medical advice to avoid any side effects and possible impairment. 

Let’s take a closer look and reveal when these medications can be consumed together and the possible effects.


Side Effects of Taking Xanax and Tylenol

Tylenol, or acetaminophen, is an over-the-counter medication like codeine often used to treat fever, headaches, and other minor aches and pain relievers, just like tramadol, and this drug serves as a muscle relaxant supplement. Plain Tylenol can safely be used with Xanax, but the Tylenol dosage should not exceed 3,000 milligrams per day.

On the other hand, Tylenol PM should generally not be used with Xanax. This medication contains a sedating antihistamine known as diphenhydramine. Like Xanax, diphenhydramine depresses the central nervous system. As a result, drug interactions of the combined effects of these medications significantly impact the central nervous system. When Tylenol PM and Xanax are consumed together, drowsiness or sleepiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, dry mouth, confusion, trouble concentrating, and respiratory depression may develop. Be aware that diphenhydramine is also the main ingredient in Benadryl, an over-the-counter allergy medication. The side effects of taking Benadryl with Xanax are similar. More severe side effects of Xanax and diphenhydramine combined are a slower heart rate and reduced consciousness. Notably, respiratory depression associated with the combined use of alcohol, benzodiazepines, opioids, and other similar substances is one of the leading causes of overdose deaths.

Recommendations for Using Xanax with Tylenol

If you take plain Tylenol with Xanax, you should be careful not to mix this combination of medications with opioids, that’s why reading drug information and disclaimers should be observed. Severe and even fatal side effects may occur. In addition, this combination of drugs could increase the likelihood of developing an addiction. Some doctors may still recommend the use of Tylenol PM and Xanax from time to time for medically-necessary situations. However, consistent or frequent use of these medications together should be avoided. Be aware that taking more than the recommended or prescribed dose of either of these medications can increase your risk of developing an addiction and of experiencing more severe side effects. You should always consult with your doctor before taking a new over-the-counter or prescription medication for the first time with Xanax. In addition, driving and using heavy machinery should be avoided whether you take Xanax and Tylenol PM together or separately.


Treatments for Xanax Abuse

Because of how addictive Xanax is, dependence, abuse, and addiction are significant issues. Generally, prescribing this drug–Xanax, for a short period of time made by doctors to minimize these risks. Those who have been taking Xanax for a more extended period of time may need to taper down their dose to reduce the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, individuals can successfully wean themselves off of Xanax through a tapering effort under their doctor’s supervision. However, many people who have been taking high doses, who have been using Xanax for a long time, or who have mixed the use of different substances may find it more challenging to get clean.

Addiction treatment centers offer programs that are specifically designed for prescription drug abuse. Depending on the program, a person with an addiction may benefit from medically assisted detox followed by inpatient or outpatient treatment. Counseling, group and family counseling, and other services may also be provided. While breaking an addiction to prescription medications is not easy, getting the support you need can help you achieve your goal more successfully.

Learn About Your Treatment Options Today

Xanax abuse and addiction are significant problems in the United States, impacting physical and mental health, professional lives, finances, personal relationships, and more. While your Xanax addiction may negatively impact your life in many ways today, rest assured that it is possible to break your addiction. Our compassionate addiction experts at Long Island Interventions are committed to helping each of our clients live a healthy, sober life. To learn more about your treatment options and about us, a healthcare provider for Xanax addiction, contact us today.


  • Can you take Tylenol and Xanax?
  • How long after taking Xanax can I take Tylenol PM?
  • Can you take Xanax with Tylenol extra strength?

Published on: 2022-11-17
Updated on: 2024-06-21

How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your Saliva?

There are many reasons why an individual might have to undergo a drug test. Perhaps it is for a job interview, court-ordered as part of probation, or part of a sobriety test for drug rehab.

Saliva Test

Regardless of the reason, there are many ways that drug tests can be done. This includes testing hair, urine, and blood. However, one of the easiest and most common ways is to test saliva.

Let’s take a few moments to discuss more saliva drug testing. By the end, you will better understand how drug tests work and how accurate they are.

How Do Saliva Drug Tests Work?

A saliva drug test is about as straightforward as it comes. To perform the test, you must have the underside of your tongue or the inside of your cheek swabbed with a cotton swab.

That is the most common way to gather saliva, but the collection method of your saliva will depend greatly on where you have the test performed. Other collection methods involve spitting into a vial or gathering saliva through a suction device.

The test is typically conducted on-site, so you will quickly know the results. That said, it could still be a day or two before you are informed of the results of a saliva drug test. For a job interview, the tester usually sends drug test results to the employer first. Then, you will get the results from your boss.

Before the test, you must avoid drinking or eat for at least 10 minutes. This is because mouthwash, beverages, and some medications can hurt the accuracy of the test.

Which Drugs Can Be Detected in Saliva Testing?

Like most drug tests, a saliva drug test can check for several drugs. In fact, a test can detect one single substance or screen for a whole combination of substances. While it is impossible to list all of the drugs that can be detected in a saliva test, some of the most common ones include:

  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Opiates
  • Opioids
  • Benzodiazepines

The types of drugs for which individuals are tested will depend on their situations. For example, when individuals are tested before entering drug rehabs, the facilities will likely test for the specific drugs that they misused. They might be tested for multiple drug substances for a job interview or probation.

How Accurate Are Saliva Drug Tests?

Many people question the accuracy of a saliva drug test. Compared to other tests, it is relatively accurate when performed correctly. In most cases, it has an accuracy of over 97%. Of course, like with any drug test, the accuracy varies depending on several factors.

When it comes to testing for opiates, for instance, it can show up in a saliva drug test several days after the last dose. Codeine can be detected in a saliva drug test for up to four days after an individual has taken it. Other drugs, such as marijuana, typically only show up in saliva drug tests within 72 hours of the last dose.

Some other factors that might play a role in the accuracy of drug tests include the number of substances individuals consume, their frequency of use, and how they consume the drugs. Once again, eating or drinking can affect the accuracy of the tests too. This is why many people are asked to sit in a room where they can be monitored for several minutes before they are given saliva drug tests.

What Are Some of the Drug Detection Times?

The time that drugs stay in your system depends heavily on their type. As a result, not all drugs have the same drug detection time. This refers to the time that drug tests can detect the drugs.

Some drug tests, like for testing hair, have a much longer detection time. For example, most drugs are only present in saliva for a few hours to a few days. However, hair drug tests can detect some drugs used within the past 90 days.

As mentioned, the drug detection time on marijuana for a saliva drug test is around 72 hours. Heroin, however, has a detection time of roughly an hour. Hydrocodone has a detection time of roughly 36 hours, whereas methadone can be detected upward of 10 days after the last dose.

Many benzodiazepines, such as Librium and Valium, can be detected in saliva drug tests for close to 10 days after taking them. Of course, not all benzodiazepine drugs stay in the system that long. For instance, Ativan is only present in a saliva drug test for about 10 hours after the last dose.

The bottom line is that saliva drug tests are becoming the standard for drug testing. This has much to do with how cost-efficient they are compared to other drug tests. On top of that, saliva drug tests are easy to perform, and the specimens are very hard to tamper with.

For example, people often tamper with urine drug tests by using other people’s urine instead of their own. They get away with this because they are alone in the bathroom while taking the test. This makes it easy to switch or tamper with the specimens before handing them over to the testers. Saliva drug tests are performed right in front of the testers, so it is not possible for the tested individuals to tamper with the samples.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Saliva Drug Tests?

There are several advantages of doing a saliva drug test. As we mentioned, the test is cheap and fairly accurate. However, there are a few disadvantages, which is why other drug testing methods are still used.

As you have likely noticed from the detection time, drugs do not stay present in saliva for as long as they do in urine. In this regard, a urine test can provide a bigger window into the usage history of an individual. In contrast, a saliva test only helps if the individual has used it recently.

However, those are the only real disadvantages of using a saliva drug test. Beyond that, the tests are cheap, accurate, and easy to perform. These aspects make it the perfect option for most individuals who need a quick drug test.

Are You Ready to Take Addiction Seriously?

Drug addiction is no laughing matter. It is estimated that roughly 22 million people have some substance use disorder. As a result of this high number, experts suggest that over 45 million people are directly impacted by addiction. Thus, getting addiction treatment from a facility that you can trust is very important.

The best way to help individuals understand their addiction problems is through interventions. Here at Long Island Interventions, we can help you set up an intervention for a loved one who needs help. We can set your friend or family member on a course toward recovery.

Do not wait any longer to get the treatment you or a loved one needs. Give us a call today so that we can help you take your first step toward a new life without substance misuse.


  • How long do drugs stay in your saliva?
  • What can be detected in a saliva test?

Published on: 2022-10-31
Updated on: 2024-06-21

What Is a 12-Panel Drug Test?

Drug tests have become a standard part of life. Administered for medical, legal, or occupational reasons, these tests can significantly impact your opportunities. Whether you’re hoping to keep your job or restore lost driving privileges, they affect how you’re able to participate in society.

drug tests

Among the tests, you may be given is a 12-panel drug screening. Let’s take a closer look at it and what it covers.

What Is a 12-Panel Drug Test?

A drug test checks for the presence of various drugs in the body. Each panel refers to a different drug or drug category. If the test has 12 panels, it’s being used to screen for 12 categories of substances.

A category may have more than one drug associated with it. For example, an opioid panel may cover codeine, morphine, and heroin. An amphetamine panel may test for both amphetamines and methamphetamine, as in the five-panel screening used by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Cocaine, in contrast, would be in a panel by itself.

Which Substances Get Screened in a 12-Panel Test?

There’s some variation in what a 12-panel screening looks for. The following is only one example of the types of panels the test may cover:

PanelSubstanceCommon NamesCommon Uses/Effects
1Marijuana (THC)Cannabis, Weed, PotEuphoria, altered senses, relaxation
2CocaineCoke, CrackIncreased energy, euphoria, alertness
3AmphetaminesSpeed, Adderall, DexedrineIncreased energy, alertness, focus
4MethamphetaminesMeth, Crystal, IceIncreased energy, euphoria, alertness
5OpiatesHeroin, Morphine, CodeinePain relief, euphoria, relaxation
6Phencyclidine (PCP)Angel Dust, Hog, Love BoatHallucinations, dissociation, euphoria
7BenzodiazepinesValium, Xanax, AtivanSedation, anxiety relief, muscle relaxation
8BarbituratesPhenobarbital, Secobarbital, ButalbitalSedation, anxiety relief, sleep induction
9MethadoneDolophine, MethadosePain relief, opioid dependence treatment
10PropoxypheneDarvon, DarvocetPain relief, mild euphoria
11Ecstasy (MDMA)Molly, E, XEuphoria, increased sociability, energy
12OxycodoneOxyContin, PercocetPain relief, euphoria, relaxation

Generally, 12-panel screenings will include a particular core set of drugs that don’t change from one screening to another, such as cocaine and cannabis. But they may vary for other kinds of drugs.

For example, in some 12-panel tests, buprenorphine may be investigated instead of propoxyphene. Both of them are synthetic opioids.

Panels of drugs may also differ by cut-off levels or thresholds determining the presence of a drug. For example, a urine-based drug screening may have an opioid panel with a threshold of 300 nanograms per milliliter. But the same screening may look for oxycodone, an opioid painkiller, at a threshold of 100 nanograms per milliliter.

The drugs included in each panel and their thresholds vary from one 12-panel test to another. These variations will depend on multiple factors, such as the purpose of the screening and the policies of the organization administering it.

What About Tests That Have Fewer Panels?

You may be given a test with fewer than 12 panels depending on the circumstances. If so, what can you expect?

A 12-panel test is an extension of drug tests with fewer panels, so you’ll see a significant overlap in the kinds of drugs you’re screened for.

For example, let’s say you’re given a 10-panel screening. There’s a possibility that it won’t test specifically for oxycodone or ecstasy, but it will otherwise overlap with a 12-panel test.

How Do 12-Panel Tests Get Administered?

There are different ways to collect samples from people and test for the presence of drugs. The following are a few standard methods for administering a drug screening:


One way to obtain a sample is through a mouth swab that collects saliva. An advantage to a saliva test is that it requires no privacy. The collector can see you the whole time, which gives them greater peace of mind about the sample being genuine; there isn’t much room for tampering.

The main disadvantage of this method is that it has a relatively short detection window. Many drugs don’t turn up in saliva 48 to 72 hours after use. That said, saliva collection can still be an effective method for a random drug test. Also, law enforcement may use mouth swabs to evaluate people during a traffic stop or in the immediate aftermath of an accident.


Urine analysis is used widely for drug testing, including millions of employees. Although urine samples are more susceptible than saliva to tampering, new technologies make it easier for organizations to detect falsified samples.

Detection windows for urine are generally longer than for saliva. For some substances, the window may last up to a few days or a week. Other times, a drug may remain detectable in urine for weeks or even months. For example, heavy users of cannabis may have the drug show up in their urine months after they last used it.


Analyzing hair follicles is a more expensive method than the use of saliva or urine samples. However, hair is easy to obtain, giving collectors the advantage of a long detection window. The range may be a few months to a year, showing possible long-term drug use patterns.


Blood has a reasonably short detection window, often measurable in hours, and it’s the most invasive drug testing method among the ones listed here. Because it relies on venipuncture, collection requires the services of somebody trained in phlebotomy. This sample collection method is generally limited to specific emergency situations.

Are Detection Windows Set in Stone?

When considering the detection windows for different sample collection methods, such as saliva or urine, it’s important to remember that these windows are just estimates. They’re affected by multiple factors, including the quantity and frequency of your drug use, the types of drugs you’ve been using, your age, your weight, and the general state of your health.

If you learn that a specific drug disappears from urine after a few days, don’t count on the absolute reliability of this estimate. Maybe the drug’s presence will last longer in your sample.

Detection Times

The approximate detection times for substances commonly tested for in a 12-panel drug test:

PanelSubstanceUrine Detection TimeBlood Detection TimeHair Detection Time
1Marijuana (THC)3-30 days2-7 daysUp to 90 days
2Cocaine2-4 days1-2 daysUp to 90 days
3Amphetamines1-3 days12 hoursUp to 90 days
4Methamphetamines2-4 days1-3 daysUp to 90 days
5Opiates2-3 days12-24 hoursUp to 90 days
6Phencyclidine (PCP)3-7 days1-3 daysUp to 90 days
7Benzodiazepines3-7 days (up to 30 days for chronic use)2-3 daysUp to 90 days
8Barbiturates2-4 days (up to 3 weeks for chronic use)1-2 daysUp to 90 days
9Methadone3-4 days24-36 hoursUp to 90 days
10Propoxyphene2-3 days1-2 daysUp to 90 days
11Ecstasy (MDMA)2-4 days1-2 daysUp to 90 days
12Oxycodone2-4 days1-2 daysUp to 90 days

These detection times can vary depending on several factors, including the individual’s metabolism, frequency of use, and the sensitivity of the test used.

When Do 12-Panel Tests Get Administered?

Drug testing crops up in a wide range of scenarios. Prospective employees may need to undergo a drug screening as part of the hiring process for an organization. Once hired, they may be subject to random drug testing or be asked to undergo testing if their behavior arouses suspicion of intoxication.

A drug test may be required as part of probation or parole, and it may be a necessary step for restoring lost driving privileges. Other scenarios for drug testing include divorce and child custody cases.

Testing also occurs in treatment contexts, such as programs for drug rehabilitation. If you’ve moved into a sober living home, you may be subject to random tests to check that you’re maintaining sobriety.

You won’t necessarily be given a 12-panel test in these contexts. Several organizations may stick to using a five-panel test or another variety. However, there will be scenarios where an organization or a court wants a more comprehensive 12-panel screening.

What Are the Consequences of a Positive Test Result?

In many situations, a positive test result for a drug leads to significant problems, including job loss or criminal penalties. Although it may be possible to contest a positive result, the best thing you can do is to try to avoid such an outcome, to begin with.

If you have a drug addiction or use illegal drugs, the likelihood of a positive test result increases considerably. Fighting your addiction or problematic drug use is the best way to give yourself more opportunities in life. You’ll be better positioned to hold down a job and receive favorable legal outcomes while enjoying an improved quality of life.

Contact Long Island Interventions

Even if you don’t have a full-blown addiction, you can benefit from interventions that tackle your drug misuse. Our program will preserve your dignity and confidentiality. You’ll work with experienced and highly skilled professionals and receive individualized treatment. We’ll treat you as a whole person with your own psychological, spiritual, social, and medical needs.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today. With our help, you’ll be more likely to pass future drug screenings and avoid the damaging consequences of positive results.


  • Does the 12 Panel Drug Test Screen for THC?
  • Do muscle relaxers show up on a drug test?

Published on: 2022-10-31
Updated on: 2024-06-21

Alcohol and Robitussin

Many people use cough remedies containing dextromethorphan, also called DXM, for quick cough relief. Its effectiveness is well known in over-the-counter medicines like Robitussin, and it is a widely used ingredient in many different cough remedies. But when DXM is combined with another strong substance like alcohol, users put themselves at great risk for harm. So what is dextromethorphan, and how does combining alcohol and Robitussin affect those with substance abuse issues? Let’s look at what you need to know if you or someone you love is using alcohol and DXM.
Many people use cough remedies containing dextromethorphan, also called DXM, for quick cough relief. Its effectiveness is well known in over-the-counter (OTC) medicines like Robitussin and is a widely used ingredient in many different prescription cough remedies. But when DXM is combined with another strong substance like alcohol, users put themselves at great risk for harm. So what is dextromethorphan, and how does combining alcohol and Robitussin affect those with substance abuse issues? Let’s look at what you need to know if you or someone you love is using alcohol and DXM.

cough syrup and alcohol

What is DXM?

Dextromethorphan is a widely used cough suppressant ingredient that has been around since the 1950s. This ingredient works by directing the brain to suppress the cough reflex, but as a synthetic derivative of morphine, its potential as an abused substance has caused it to become pulled from the shelves briefly before returning in a less potent form. More than 100 different OTC and prescription cough and cold medicines contain this ingredient in some strength like

  • Dayquil syrup and liquicaps
  • Delsym
  • Mucinex DM
  • Phenergan DM
  • Robitussin DM

Effects of DXM

When dextromethorphan is an ingredient in a cough suppressant medication, the compound’s primary expected effect is a reduction in an urge to cough. But this strong medicine does more than just tell your brain to cough less. When DXM is the key ingredient in a cough and cold medicine, users will also experience other strong effects like dizziness or lightheadedness. As a result, users are told to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery for up to six hours after ingesting a medicine with this ingredient.

Another common side effect of medicines containing this ingredient is drowsiness. But those who need cough and cold remedies often feel poorly and feeling sleepy can be a positive side effect when coughing or congestion keeps them from sleeping soundly. Along with sleepiness, those who use OTC or prescription medicines with this ingredient also may have impaired judgment or lessened mental alertness. So medical professionals encourage users to limit activities that require participation in any decision-making activities while the compound is active.

Misuse of Dextromethorphan

For some, though, the side effects of DXM are precisely why these OTC or even prescription medicines are used. Substance abuse of dextromethorphan occurs when a user seeks the side effects of the ingredient without needing it for cough suppression. By ingesting large doses of this ingredient, users report feeling an “out of body” experience that is similar to phencyclidine (PCP) or ketamine which is often called “robo-tripping,”. This floating feeling can last up to six hours or more and chronic users can have heightened effects, especially when combined with other substances like alcohol. To disguise the taste, users often mix cough syrup with soda or candy, making it difficult to detect medicine misuse.

Some of the short-term side effects of misuse can be dry mouth, fast heart rate, headache, nervousness, upset stomach, diarrhea or constipation, and the typical drowsiness and dizziness that come with the ingredient’s use. But long-term abuse of this substance can result in much more dire side effects, partially due to the fact that users build up a tolerance and need larger and larger amounts of it to produce the high effects. Over time, misuse can also lead to serious medical problems like epilepsy, psychosis or even brain lesions that can lead to memory and behavioral problems. Long-term abuse can result in many devastating side effects, such as:

  • agitation
  • difficulty speaking or confusion
  • drop in body temperature
  • face discoloration (blue or pale)
  • hallucinations
  • mania
  • nausea
  • paranoia
  • slowed breathing
  • vision and coordination problems
  • vomiting

Mixing DXM and Alcohol

A sometimes-deadly combination of abused substances is the misuse of alcohol with a product containing dextromethorphan. When two system depressants are used together, the body can slow down dangerously, creating a powerful effect on the brain. Users will experience a slowed sense of coordination and ability to make judgments while also feeling a dulling of the senses. Some users who combine these two feel nauseous and experience vomiting as well. Unlike abuse of a single substance, when alcohol and DXM are combined, the effects can last up to several days before improving.

But the most dangerous side effect of both substances is respiratory. The body’s ability to breathe is slowed down by alcohol and dextromethorphan, creating an unsafe situation for users because combining these substances puts users at risk of respiratory failure. Those that have developed a tolerance to lower quantities of the combo and therefore increase the volume they ingest are at an even higher risk of respiratory failure, which can lead to death.


Cough suppressing medicines strongly affect the body, so it is no surprise that there are many drug interactions to watch out for when using dextromethorphan. Over 300 food and drugs might affect or be affected by the use of this substance and 72 are considered major interactions. If you are taking a cough medicine with DXM, avoid taking medicine with Benadryl (diphenhydramine), gabapentin and melatonin as all of these ingredients also slow down the nervous system or depress respiration creating a potentially-deadly combination for users.

But interactions, as well as side effects of any medicine or chemical, also depend on the user’s sex, age, general health, genetics and other drugs used simultaneously. So a combination of medicines that appears safe for one person may have dangerous or deadly consequences for another person. In addition, combining the use of DXM with alcohol produces extra strain on the liver for any user. Since many cough suppressants also contain other OTC medicines like acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol), those who misuse them risk liver toxicity and liver failure since the organ will be taxed with excess use of all of the ingredients in the cough suppressant along with the physical harms alcohol abuse brings.

Alcohol, DXM and Pregnancy

Overuse of any substance while pregnant can create lasting effects on both mother and baby. And the risks associated with alcohol misuse during pregnancy are also well-documented. But overuse of cough suppressants, especially in conjunction with alcohol while pregnant, can pose extra concerns for the mom even though the effects of regular use of the substance during gestation are unclear.

Signs of Misuse

One of the ways that family members, friends, or other loved ones notice misuse of this common but sometimes deadly substance simply hears some of the slang terms for its use. In addition to robo-tripping, users may use it for a high as candy, skittles, tussin, triple C, red devil, velvet, vitamin D and dexing.

If you suspect someone you know is misusing alcohol and Robitussin-type products, you may observe behaviors like being excessively tired for long periods of time, mental fog or confusion, slowed breathing and a lack of motor skills or awareness. Other signs of misuse, in addition to the short- and long-term symptoms, can be:

  • extreme anxiety or panic attacks
  • hot flashes and agitated behavior
  • loss of rational activity or thinking
  • seizures
  • severe nausea or excessive periods of vomiting

Getting Help

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance abuse, help is right around the corner. Don’t delay in getting support for yourself or your loved one. Expert help for alcohol or drug misuse is just one call away. For help with alcohol abuse, call Long Island Interventions for information on alcohol treatment.


  • What happens if you take Robitussin and drink alcohol?
  • How long after Robitussin Can I drink alcohol?

Published on: 2022-09-30
Updated on: 2024-06-21

What Is An 8-Ball Of Cocaine?

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant with addictive properties that directly impact the brain. Because of the drug’s popularity during the ’80s and ’90s, many consider it less of an issue now. However, cocaine presents as much a problem today as it always has. In fact, it’s one of the oldest known drugs; coca leaves and the pure chemical have been abused for over a century.

8-ball cocaine

About Cocaine

There are two primary forms of cocaine: powdered and “freebase.” Powdered, or hydrochloride salt, dissolves in water and can be taken intranasally or intravenously. Freebase is a compound not yet neutralized into powder often smoked when abused.

Cocaine is sold as a fine, white powder, but street dealers commonly dilute it with inert substances like sugar, talcum powder, or cornstarch. Some may instead combine it with other stimulants, such as amphetamines, or other active drugs, such as procaine (a local anesthetic).

What is an 8-ball of cocaine?

An “8-ball” or “eight-ball” of cocaine is a measurement equal to about one-eighth of an ounce (3.5 grams). It may be purchased for multiple people to use at once or for a high dose. This name may also refer to other illicit substances and drugs, including meth or malt liquor.

Drug dealers and people abusing cocaine most often use these terms. If your loved one uses it, it could indicate a cocaine addiction.

Other Names

Cocaine has several street names to mask its use. Most of these nicknames refer to how the drug is consumed and its physical properties.

The most common slang for cocaine include:

  • C
  • Coca
  • Coke
  • Bump
  • Blow
  • Snow
  • Rock
  • Charlie

Some conversations about substance abuse may include the term “speedball,” which is cocaine combined with heroin.

Why Take This Much Cocaine?

Cocaine has euphoric effects depending on how fast it reaches the brain, which depends on the consumption method and dose. For example, the brain feels the effects of intravenous injection or smoking within seconds as levels rapidly build up in the blood. The intense onset of euphoria is known as a “rush.” By contrast, the effects from intranasal use have a slower onset and peak.

In all cases, tolerance to cocaine develops rapidly, prompting those addicted to the substance to take higher and higher doses. Prolonged use of high doses, such as binging, can lead to paranoia. Additionally, the crash following the excitation of euphoria is marked by depression, exhaustion, and sleep. When the crash is over, the craving to use again begins.

Side Effects of Taking an 8-Ball

Even one dose of cocaine can lead to a variety of health problems.

Effects on the Eyes

One of the most common symptoms of cocaine use includes large, dilated pupils and bloodshot eyes. This common appearance has led to the condition being known as “cocaine eyes.”

This symptom occurs because cocaine is a stimulant; pupils dilate in response to neurotransmitters, such as adrenaline, involved in the fight or flight response that cocaine triggers. It starts at different points into drug use, depending on how it’s consumed. For example, pupils dilate almost immediately after smoking freebase cocaine, but they’ll take a few minutes if a person smokes it.

Effects on the Face

There are several reasons why a person may bloat after using cocaine. The most common, facial bloating, is known as “coke bloat” among those who use the drug.

One reason bloating occurs may be due to fluid retention. In addition, after snorting cocaine, short-term inflammation and irritation can occur in the nose, which can also contribute to facial bloating.

Bloating might also indicate that another drug is mixed into the cocaine. For example, levamisole is a cattle dewormer often cut into 8-balls, leading to facial swelling.

Effects on the Nose

Snorting cocaine includes particular problems in the nasal passages, such as a frequently runny nose and regular nosebleeds.

Long-term, regularly inhaling white powder can dull a sense of smell or lead to necrosis in the nasal cavity, which may even lead to perforations in the palate as the surrounding tissue dies.

Fortunately, it is possible to treat the so-called “cocaine nose.”

Effects on the Jaw

Using an 8-ball of cocaine can also harm your teeth and gums, especially if ingested by rubbing the drug on them.

This side effect, known as “coke jaw,” happens because of muscle tension throughout the body, accelerating biological functions, sporadic twitching in the mouth, and clenching jaw muscles.

Eventually, using cocaine can lead to erratic mouth movements, teeth grinding, dental erosion, and several other oral problems.

Effects on the Digestive System

Cocaine use can cause multiple forms of gastrointestinal distress. They can occur no matter how the drug is taken, but eating it worsens exposure. They may also happen when someone tries to hide cocaine by swallowing it within a balloon or similar package.

Nausea is the most common abdominal symptom of cocaine use, but long-term use can lead to perforation, bowel decay, ulcerations, colitis, and gangrene.

Effects on Sleep

As a stimulant, cocaine impacts a person’s sleep by increasing their level of dopamine. Dopamine is essential to the sleep cycle, so disrupting it can impact a person’s physical and mental well-being.

Many people who take cocaine feel a decreased need to sleep or eat. In addition, mental alertness is a typical effect, which can also prevent a person from desiring or trying to sleep.

Many also report feeling as though they slept well while displaying signs of insomnia. Because the drug impacts memory, it’s theorized people on cocaine forget how poorly they slept.

Using cocaine at any dose can have profound short-term and long-term side effects. Unfortunately, many of these effects worsen over time and lead to more severe health risks. But with treatment, many are manageable.


If you or a loved one struggles with an addiction to cocaine, it isn’t too late to seek treatment for substance use disorder. At Long Island Interventions, we guide you through each level and what services we offer to tackle treatment for illicit substances. Treatment can include a combination of detox, inpatient care, behavioral therapies, and other services.

Rehab treatment for cocaine at a licensed facility may include:

  • Medical detox: Usually an essential first step toward recovery, medically-supervised detox can occur in several settings, such as clinics, hospitals, and inpatient and outpatient facilities. Cocaine use has been linked to several types of heart disease and can trigger chaotic rhythms, convulsions, and a coma, so recovering from addiction will often require supervised detox.
  • Residential treatment: Clients in residential treatment continue to benefit from 24/7 supervision by medical staff, creating a stable and secure space for those in recovery to find their footing.
  • Partial hospitalization: A client has more independence in this situation compared to residential treatment programs. A partial hospitalization program may work for someone highly motivated to quit using cocaine and/or who has already completed a more intensive program.
  • Intensive outpatient programs: These facilities are designed for clients to visit during the day for treatment and return home each night. It’s an optimal program for those who have proven not to require 24/7 monitoring to maintain their recovery.
  • Transitional/sober housing programs: After completing one of the above programs, some people would also benefit from a sober living environment that facilitates reintegration into society. These programs are supported by peers in similar situations and staff that can provide job opportunities and medical services.

SAMHSA recommends the following therapy in conjunction with treating cocaine addiction:

  • Motivational interviewing: Helps people recognize how addiction strains their relationships and prevents them from reaching their goals. It’s designed to help clients overcome apathy and feel optimistic about recovery.
  • Contingency management: Works to repair faulty reward circuits in the brain that were rewired by stimulants. For example, taking prescribed medication and passing drug toxicity exams are rewarded.
  • Community reinforcement: Promotes positive behaviors from contingency management and builds a support network.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: Crucial for patients with co-occurring mental health issues.

In addition to the risks associated with using cocaine at any dose, people with an addiction often struggle with the social stigma. However, addiction is never a sign of weakness or a choice; it’s a complex disease that medical professionals can treat. Many people live fulfilling lives after receiving the proper treatment.

Contact Long Island Intervention Today

At Long Island Interventions, we believe that recovery from addiction is possible when we learn from our mistakes. This process helps us emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, allowing us to become more responsible adults. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you or your loved one.


  • What Does ‘8 Ball’ Mean?
  • What Happened to Artie Lange?
  • How many 8-balls are in an ounce?
  • How many grams are there in 1 ounce of cocaine?

Published on: 2022-09-30
Updated on: 2024-06-21

The Risks and Consequences of Mixing Ibuprofen with Alcohol

Ibuprofen, also sold over-the-counter as Advil, Midol, and Motrin, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) commonly used for everyday pain relief. Because it’s so readily available, it can seem relatively harmless, but it’s a strong medication that can have unwanted side effects when mixed with alcohol. Both substances can irritate your intestinal tract and stomach, and taking ibuprofen while drinking can put you at risk for ulcers, kidney damage, and other ailments. People with preexisting liver and kidney conditions face the highest risk of harm.

ibuprofen and alcohol

Are Alcohol and Ibuprofen Safe?

People drink alcohol to unwind and relax. It’s not difficult to imagine taking a dose of ibuprofen with a glass of wine to ease your aches and pains at the end of the day, but mixing alcohol and ibuprofen is not a good idea. Although each is safe when consumed in moderation, taking them together can cause side effects that can negatively affect your health. Most people perceive alcohol and ibuprofen to be fairly harmless so long as they are not abused. Mixing alcohol and ibuprofen creates no desirable or recreational effects, and people may not associate taking them together with physical harm. Unfortunately, a lack of knowledge or intention does not mitigate risk. Although occasionally consuming ibuprofen with a small amount of alcohol is unlikely to cause serious damage in healthy people, the health risks increase with regular use or too-strong dosages. Because it’s so easy to accidentally combine and over-consume these substances, it’s best to avoid them altogether.

How Does Ibuprofen Work?

Ibuprofen works by blocking cyclooxygenase (COX), an enzyme responsible for creating prostaglandins that cause pain and swelling when the body faces an internal threat. They also protect the digestive tract’s mucous lining, help your kidneys filter out impurities, and prevent excessive bleeding. Artificially lowering your prostaglandin levels can increase your risk of gastrointestinal irritation, ulcers, bleeding problems, kidney damage, heart attack, and stroke. Alcohol can increase the intensity of ibuprofen’s side effects, including internal bleeding, drowsiness, and rapid heartbeat.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Alcohol causes your stomach to produce more acid, while ibuprofen makes your gut susceptible to irritation, also known as gastritis. Taking ibuprofen regularly in the long term or in large doses can increase and even triple the chances of stomach bleeding. Using ibuprofen occasionally (say, weekly or monthly) at the recommended dose lowers the risk of stomach ulcers. If you drink daily, have a few drinks at a time, and also take ibuprofen, the substances are likely to interact and push that risk higher.

Signs of gastrointestinal bleeding include:

  • Bloody or tar-like stools
  • Ongoing, persistent stomach pain or cramps
  • Vomit that contains brown granules that look like coffee
  • Bloody vomit
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • A racing pulse

Seek medical attention if you experience these symptoms.

Kidney Damage

Alcohol puts a strain on the kidneys, and drinking heavily regularly can lead to chronic kidney disease. As ibuprofen decreases the level of prostaglandins, it reduces blood flow to the kidneys and affects how well these organs can filter out harmful substances, including alcohol. Usually, healthy people will not experience significant harm from a temporary drop in kidney function, but ibuprofen can be dangerous for people with kidney disease. Taking alcohol and ibuprofen together can increase the incidence and severity of kidney damage and kidney failure. Drowsiness, breathing difficulties, and swollen hands and feet can all be symptoms of kidney damage. People who experience these symptoms or have kidney damage should consult a doctor to determine what levels of alcohol and ibuprofen can be consumed safely.

Heart Attack and Stroke

People who regularly consume ibuprofen experience more heart attacks and strokes than people who don’t take ibuprofen. Consuming more than three drinks a day while also taking ibuprofen increases this risk.

Drowsiness and Cognitive Impairment

When taken on their own, alcohol and ibuprofen can cause drowsiness. Combining these substances can make you feel extremely sleepy and affect your balance, concentration, and reaction time. Lack of alertness and coordination, slow movement, and confusion are impairments that can increase the risk of harmful accidents.

alcohol and ibuprofen

Who Faces the Greatest Risk of Harm From Mixing Alcohol and Ibuprofen?

Heavy drinkers and people who frequently take ibuprofen face the highest risk of harm from mixing the two substances.

High-risk populations include:

  • People who take high doses of ibuprofen
  • People with cognitive impairments that affect memory or judgment
  • Heavy drinkers
  • Teenagers who drink
  • People with kidney or liver disease
  • Older adults who metabolize alcohol slowly
  • People who are unaware of the potential side effects of ibuprofen

Older Adults

Older adults tend to take more medication than younger people, so they are situationally more susceptible to experiencing negative side effects from drug interactions. Since a person’s ability to break down alcohol decreases with age, older people who drink are more likely to experience a negative interaction when they take ibuprofen. Mixing alcohol and medications, including ibuprofen, increases the risk of falls and other accidents.

Heavy Drinkers

People who consume more than a few glasses of alcohol daily or rely on alcohol may be at greater risk for liver, kidney, and other health issues. Since overconsuming alcohol can result in stomach upset, cognitive impairment, and other symptoms, it can be tricky to recognize the combined side effects of mixing alcohol and ibuprofen. Heavy drinkers may also be more likely to forget that taking ibuprofen after drinking (or vice versa) is a bad idea. If you believe that someone in your life may be mixing ibuprofen with alcohol, it is best to mention it or otherwise intervene with kindness to prevent accidents. The side effects that may indicate the need for attention include:

  • Gastritis and vomiting
  • Frequent headaches
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Clumsiness and stumbling
  • An increase in avoidable accidents

Signs a person may need support for alcohol addiction include:

  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Personality changes
  • Seclusion
  • Missing work
  • Anxiety and fearfulness

If you notice or experience these symptoms, seek help from a medical professional immediately. The sooner you seek treatment, the better you will feel.

How to Take Ibuprofen and Alcohol Separately

Healthy people who take ibuprofen infrequently and accidentally have a drink when they do take a dose may experience few to no side effects, but it’s always best to avoid mixing these substances. Taking ibuprofen or drinking alcohol with a meal can also mitigate any problems. Health problems like substance abuse disorders and liver or kidney disease increase the risk of adverse effects. 

People should take the lowest dosage of ibuprofen as infrequently as possible. Chronic pain should not be managed with ibuprofen.

Be Aware

Mixing alcohol and ibuprofen is often unintentional. People often forget or don’t realize that common cold medicines and combination headache and flu medications contain ibuprofen. Reading labels on any medication before consumption is key to avoiding the over-consumption of ibuprofen and preventing harmful drug interactions. Moderate alcohol consumption (no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men) can prevent adverse effects. It’s important to follow the recommended guidelines for alcohol consumption based on gender and body weight. One also needs to consider the strength of a particular beverage as well as the volume of the drink.

One alcoholic drink could be characterized as:

  • 5 ounces of wine with a 12% alcohol content
  • 12 ounces of beer with a 5% alcohol content
  • A 1.5-ounce shot of 40% alcohol-content distilled spirits or liquor, such as whisky, gin, or vodka

When Can I Take Ibuprofen After Drinking Alcohol?

If you have had more than one drink, it’s best to wait until the alcohol leaves your body before taking ibuprofen. It can take about 25 hours for alcohol to completely leave a healthy person’s system, and women, older people, and heavy drinkers often metabolize alcohol more slowly. If you have a hangover, resist the urge to take ibuprofen. It’s likely the alcohol has not completely left your system, and your stomach may also be more sensitive than usual.

When Can I Drink Alcohol After Taking Ibuprofen?

Although the pain relief from alcohol can last up to six hours, it can take up to ten hours for your body to break down the drug. This means you should avoid drinking alcohol for at least ten hours after taking ibuprofen to reduce any chance of side effects.


Alternative Forms of Pain Relief

If you want to avoid taking ibuprofen altogether, you can try a different approach to pain management.
Drug-free alternatives to ibuprofen include:

  • Heating pads or a warm bath
  • Massage
  • Light exercise
  • Mentholated topical treatments
  • Acupuncture
  • Yoga

Reduce Your Reliance on Alcohol and Medication

Dependence on alcohol or medication can diminish your quality of life. Long Island Interventions can help you reduce your reliance on medication and alcohol to live a happier, healthier life. Our professional staff will create a personalized treatment plan to help you regain your physical and emotional well-being. Contact us to learn more about starting on the path to a better life.


  • Is it OK to drink alcohol with ibuprofen?
  • How long after taking ibuprofen can you have a drink of alcohol?
  • Will ibuprofen and alcohol kill you?
  • Can you drink on ibuprofen 600mg?
  • Can you mix 800 mg ibuprofen and alcohol?

Published on: 2022-09-30
Updated on: 2024-06-21