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Alcohol And Aging: Does Alcohol Age Your Appearance?

How alcohol ages your skin is an important question to know the answer to. While a drink with friends once in a while isn’t going to hurt, data suggests that alcohol and aging are linked. 

Too much alcohol can result in:

  • Wrinkled skin
  • Redness
  • Dry complexion

The Link Between Alcohol And Aging

Alcohol can cause your body to be overworked in a variety of ways. It stimulates the release of additional stress hormones in the body, hastening the aging process. Alcohol also affects the proper working of your digestive system, making it more difficult for you to absorb essential nutrients. 

Vitamins A, B, D, and E and minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, proteins, and carbs are included. Heavy drinkers frequently become malnourished due to alcohol’s overall poor impact on nutrition. This reduces the body’s ability to maintain itself, causing it to age more quickly.

Rapid aging, of course, has a big impact on your physical appearance. According to a recent study focused on aging symptoms, men who drank more than 35 beers per week were 35 percent more predisposed to develop “arcus corneae,” a gray ring in the eye that commonly appears old. Women who drank 28 drinks per week had a 33% increased risk of getting the syndrome. 

It speeds up the aging process and alters your appearance by putting your body under more stress and denying it the necessary nutrients to regenerate. Alcohol and aging are very connected to each other so it’s essential to be aware of how detrimental alcohol consumption is.

Alcohol Can Make You Feel Older, Too

Alcohol has more than a surface effect on you. It can also impact your physical, emotional, and spiritual health, making you appear and feel older than you are.

Although alcohol may make you feel calmer in the short term, it can cause anxiety and despair, in the long run, perpetuating a negative cycle. Then there are the hangovers that come with binge drinking. The less alcohol you consume, the more energized and youthful you will feel. This, in turn, will have an impact on your appearance. When you’re feeling better on the inside, it’s practically impossible not to appear better on the outside.

Drink Less, Look And Feel Better

Drinking less alcohol is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and attractiveness. However, at Chapel Hill Detox, we understand that this is easier said than done. Many people suffer from alcoholism, and it can be challenging to know where to start.

Effects Of Alcohol On The Skin And How To Repair The Damage

Alcohol abuse hurts all aspects of your body, including your skin. As previously mentioned, alcohol and aging are very related to each other and there are a lot of negative effects. 

These effects are numerous, ranging from:

  • Dullness
  • Enlarged pores
  • Blotchiness
  • Increased redness
  • Puffiness

Excessive use of alcoholic beverages can cause a severe hangover the next day. Alcohol has various side effects, including pounding temples, feeling bad in the morning, and poor sleep quality, but what are the results of alcohol on the skin, and how does alcohol age your skin?

Most likely, it’s challenging to receive an adequate amount of sleep if you drink a lot of alcohol, which can contribute to dark circles under your eyes. 

How Does Alcohol Age Your Skin?

When you consume alcohol, two things occur. Inflammation and dehydration are two of the most common symptoms. 

The Consequences Of Alcohol-Induced Dehydration

  • Wrinkles and sagging skin result from a loss of flexibility
  • Dullness
  • Dryness
  • Enlarged pores

Alcohol is known to dry the skin, depriving it of the moisture and nutrients it needs to keep the complexion looking vibrant, supple, and youthful.

Alcohol dehydrates the skin, causing wrinkles, dryness, and sagging to become more visible. It’s a diuretic, which means it actively sucks water out of the body, producing dehydration by substantially reducing the body’s water content. In terms of color and texture, dehydrated skin might appear dry and unhealthy.

Dehydration due to alcohol can also enlarge the skin’s pores, increasing blackheads and whiteheads. This prematurely ages the skin and may result in permanent scarring. It can progress to acne and rosacea if not treated appropriately.

The Effects Of Inflammation From Alcohol

  • Increased redness or flushing of the skin
  • Acne
  • Blotchiness
  • Puffiness
  • Rosacea

Alcoholic drinks, especially cocktails and wine, are high in sugar, and consuming more than the recommended amount will show up on your skin. Sugar has been demonstrated to increase the likelihood of breakouts or acne by causing the face to produce too much oil. If you have rosacea, drinking alcohol will likely exacerbate your symptoms. 

Rosacea is an inflammatory condition that is made worse by drinking alcohol, particularly red wine. Drinking alcohol raises the chances of a flare-up because it is an inflammatory disorder.

Because of its vasodilatory action (it opens up the blood vessels and raises blood flow above normal levels). 

The Worst Alcoholic Drinks For Your Skin 

According to studies on various types of alcoholic beverages on the skin, some are worse than others. Doctors explain that the more the alcohol level, the worse the effect on the skin is, so it’s critical to stay under the acceptable drinking limits.

Dark Spirits 

If you have a few whiskey and Cokes on a night out, you may wake up the next day with nasty hangovers. Dark spirits are known for giving people the worst hangovers and giving them lousy skin.

Dark spirits like whiskey and brandy contain compounds created during fermentation, such as tannings and methanol, and aggravate hangovers.

They have a higher alcohol content, or ABV (alcohol by volume), and dark liquors have the highest alcohol content, which means their effect on the skin could be significantly worse than others.

Dark spirits include: 

  • Whiskey
  • Scotch
  • Brandy
  • Cognac
  • Dark rum

Red Wine

Red wine is one of the most skin-damaging alcohols while being hailed as the “healthiest” choice of alcohol due to its antioxidant content. This is because red wine is frequently unfiltered. Unfiltered red wine necessitates more processing by the body.

Because red wine is unfiltered, it requires more effort from the liver and kidneys to process, and it’s the most likely drink to induce flushing, redness, and blotchy skin – which is bad news if you already have rosacea or another skin condition that produces redness.


Most people enjoy having a nice cocktail glass. However, martinis aren’t great if you want to maintain a clear complexion since the high sugar level in most drinks can induce inflammation, which leads to cell damage and acne. Cocktails have exceptionally high sugar levels, which leads to glycation. As a result, the skin loses suppleness and wrinkles appear.

Cocktails’ high sugar content can also make skin appear lifeless and sallow. So, the next time you’re on a night out, remember that a Margarita is the greatest offender because it contains both sugar and salt, both of which can cause puffiness in the skin.

White Wine

Unfortunately, white wine, like cocktails, has high sugar content. White wine’s high sugar content causes a drop in GAGs (Glycosaminoglycans), which sustain our cells’ proteins levels, which break down collagen and elastin. White wines can cause a dull, sallow complexion and puffiness.


Beer is one of the least irritating alcohols for your skin. It has a destructive impact on your skin’s quality, looks, and aging. Beer is complete, so amounts tend to be limited, and it has some antioxidant benefits, even though it isn’t great for the skin. Beer contains several chemicals that give both recognized sensory features and health benefits, according to a study. 

Vodka, Gin, Tequila, White Rum, Sake

Lighter-colored drinks, such as vodka, gin, and tequila, have fewer ingredients and are digested more quickly by the body. This implies they should have the least amount of influence on your skin, reducing the risk of harm.

Clear spirits can also be classified as the ‘better’ alcoholic beverages for your skin. Gin is made from juniper berries, which are considered “superfoods” and can enhance blood circulation to the face, giving some people a more youthful appearance. On the other hand, vodka has been linked to reducing the appearance of blackheads, tightening pores, and cleaning the skin.

The bottom line is that alcohol in the major cases, ages your skin, and below we have mentioned some tips on how to reduce the alcohol aging your appearance.

How To Lessen The Negative Effects Of Alcohol On The Skin

Keep yourself hydrated. It may seem obvious, but it is one of the most important things you can do to help your skin.

After a night out, dehydrated skin has to be addressed from the inside out, and the best solution is plain and vital water. So, before you go to bed, drink plenty of water and stay as hydrated as possible the next day. For an added antioxidant boost the next day, consider infusing your water with cucumber, citrus, or mint.

When you drink alcohol, your kidneys work overtime to clear out the excess liquids, dehydrating your skin. To counteract the dehydration that alcohol might cause, it is recommended that you consume plenty of water and limit your alcohol intake. As a result, it’s critical to begin rehydrating as soon as possible.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise is one of the most effective strategies to boost your overall well-being. Exercise promotes blood flow throughout the skin, keeping it looking healthy, juicy, and plump. In addition to keeping your body in shape and caring for your inner wellness, this can help to enhance blood flow throughout the skin, allowing it to seem silky. Sweat it out with a fun workout, which will also help to clear your pores.

Include Supplements Into Your Diet

Alcohol depletes the body of vitamin A, the vitamin responsible for cell turnover, taking a daily supplement can aid to promote the cell regeneration process that alcohol has slowed. You can also take a supplement designed to maintain your skin, hair, and nails, which can aid in the effective repair of skin damage. Other nutrients that may help restore your skin’s balance are vitamins C, E, B1, B6, B2, B3, and Omega 3.

Including vitamins in your diet will help promote cell regeneration, which is commonly inhibited by excessive drinking. Skinade solutions are liquid skincare supplements that provide critical nutrients delivered directly to your skin to prevent the harm that alcohol can cause. Taking such supplements can help restore vitamin levels and balance to your skin.

Drink Non-Alcoholic Alternatives

Most pubs and restaurants will provide non-alcoholic equivalents to the drinks on their menu, referred to as a “mocktail.” There are also many non-alcoholic beers and wines available, so if you’re serious about reducing your alcohol use but still want something more interesting than H20, you’ll have plenty of options.

Do Your Skincare Before Bed

This applies to everyone, whether they are inebriated or sober. We’ve all been there, but this is crucial when it comes to taking care of your skin.

“We know your typical skincare routine may go out the window after a night out, so if you do one thing after cleansing, apply a rich moisturizer that contains antioxidants and elements that help soothe and hydrate.

It should be a top priority to use relaxing and ultra-nourishing substances! Look for humectants, which suck moisture from the air into your skin to replenish the water levels in your cells and work best when applied to damp skin. On the ingredients list of your products, look for hyaluronic acid, glycerine, and panthenol (Vitamin B5).

Sleep With An Extra Pillow

Sleeping with two pillows in bed, slightly raised, is one of the most effective strategies to reduce eye and face puffiness. This is because fluids pool in the under-eye area when your head is sitting flat might develop dark circles. Ensuring a good night’s sleep and avoiding feeling worn down can be helpful. Sleeping with your head propped up will also assist in minimizing fluid collection and puffiness in the facial tissues, especially around the eyes.

Choose Your Cover-Up Carefully

If you insist on wearing make-up, go for a light, moisturizing foundation. Before wearing any make-up, try using a green-tinted primer to help neutralize any redness in your face.

Powders should be avoided if you’re seeking to improve your skin because they can be drying.

What Happens To Your Skin When You Stop Drinking Alcohol?

Whether you opt to cut back or entirely quit drinking, avoiding alcohol will undoubtedly benefit your skin and ultimately your life. When a person wants to stop drinking or reduce their alcohol use in general, it can have a big impact on their complexion.

The skin will appear plumper, moisturized, and brighter. Your body is an extraordinary regenerator, and if you act quickly enough, the harmful effects of alcohol can be reversed.  

When you stop drinking, here’s what happens to your skin:

  • Hydrated, plumper skin
  • Fewer wrinkles
  • Brighter skin
  • Smaller pores
  • Excessive redness will disappear
  • Acne may improve
  • Skin tone becomes even
  • Puffiness subsides
  • Flare-ups of rosacea become more infrequent

Recovery Awaits At Chapel Hill Detox

It is critical to seek help if a person feels they have an alcohol issue. It is possible to return to a sober lifestyle and a more youthful appearance with the right help and support. When a person’s body is free of toxins caused by alcohol, they will have healthier skin, hair, nails, as well as a youthful appearance. 

At Chapel Hill Detox, we provide a variety of therapy to help patients recover from alcoholism. When a person gets clean and learns how to live a healthier lifestyle, they will notice a difference in their look. To take the first step in the right direction, contact us today.


binge drinking facts

Binge Drinking Facts: Signs and Symptoms of Binge Drinking

It’s your 21st birthday and your eager friends aren’t the type to “read up” on binge drinking facts. Alcohol is one of the most popular controlled substances, exceeding sales across the globe annually. Beer is the most commonly consumed alcoholic beverage for binge drinkers. The legal drinking age in the United States is 21, however, underage drinking has always been a constant.

Binge drinking can be characterized as when a person has a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) over 0.08.  Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, which causes your body to have slowed responses. Alcohol manipulates the GABA receptors in the brain, which are responsible for pleasure. 

Alcoholic beverages come in standard units:

  • One standard can of beer (12-oz.)
  • One glass of wine (5-oz.)
  • One shot of spirits (1.5-oz.)

Addiction is classified as a brain disease. The reward system in the brain is filtered through chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters are responsible for the communication between neurons. 

A tolerance can develop when you binge drink alcohol, resulting in the rewiring of the brain to meet the higher demands. The brain can become dependent on substances when there’s an absence of overstimulation of these neurotransmitters. 

What is Binge Drinking?

Binge drinking can be defined as a pattern of excessive consumption of alcohol, resulting in a BAC over 0.08. Binge drinking typically indicates an alcohol use disorder, if a dependence forms from the substance. This practice is common in individuals aged 18-34, with over 90% of U.S. adults who drink excessively report drinking in the past 30 days.

Binge drinking, within 2 hours, consists of:

  • More than 5 drinks for men,
  • More than 4 drinks for women.

Why Do People Binge Drink? 

Binge drinking is recognized as a recreational activity in social environments. In fact, binge drinking is more common in household incomes of $75,000 or more, including education levels. Despite binge drinking being a pastime, binge drinking is not alcoholism or dependence. 

People drink to self-medicate, usually from underlying mental health issues. This can create a never-ending cycle of diminishing returns, as they attempt to reach the same euphoria. 

Men are four times more likely to binge drink than women. Binge drinking could be a result of you testing your tolerance. Young adults are constantly exposed to peer pressure and isolation, which can influence them to rebel with binge drinking.

What are Some Statistics Related to Binge Drinking?

According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 66 million people in the United States, reported binge drinking during the past month. The rates of binge drinking in preteens and young adults have decreased. Binge drinking is on the rise among older adults, with more than 10% of older adults having a drink in the past month (2019).

The number of women who binge drink has increased as well. In fact, 2019 studies have demonstrated that 1 in 4 women have participated in binge drinking during the past month. This can increase the risk of long-term health issues related to alcohol, particularly with pregnancy.

Binge drinking can present long-term developmental issues in children. Adolescent brains are still developing, where alcohol can diminish growth in the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for social growth, decision-making, and emotional rationalization. Binge drinking can increase the risk of accidents and other behavioral issues if addiction is developed.

What are the Signs & Symptoms of Binge Drinking?

Binge drinking over long periods can introduce health complications, from liver disease to potential cancers. The symptoms of binge drinking will depend on what you drink, how long in between drinks, weight, gender, and even genetic history. Alcohol slows the absorption in the stomach, drying it out.

The side effects of binge drink could include:

  • Impaired coordination
  • Blackouts
  • Dehydration
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Memory loss
  • Impaired decision making
  • Shakiness
  • Blurred vision

Binge drinking may not always feel as though you’re growing into an addiction. If you feel guilt about your drinking, chances are you’re developing a dependence on alcohol. Your close friends could have made comments about your binge drinking.

Blackouts can be defined as a lapse in memory after excessive drinking. Persistent blackouts can affect your memory. Blackouts can potentially increase your risk of binge drinking-related accidents. One period of binge drinking can increase inflammation of the pancreas.

You could find yourself spending more time/money on binge drinking. After a look at your bank account, you begin to question how to quit binge drinking.

What Sort of Treatment Options Are Used to Quit Binge Drinking?


Detoxification is the first phase of the addiction recovery process. After an initial evaluation from the trained medical staff, you’ll undergo detoxification to remove toxic substances from your body. This allows a chance for the chemical balances in the brain to readjust without alcohol in its presence. Detox lasts between 7-10 days, longer if needed.

Depending on the severity of your addiction, the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms can cause your cravings to intensify. This is why relapse is a recurring element in addiction recovery. Medications are available to help ease the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. 

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment can be described as a residential treatment, where a patient will have 24/7 access to medical staff. This form of treatment focuses on providing you with a distraction-free environment to fully experience the program. Inpatient treatment can be delivered through a hospital, private facility, or residential home. The average length of time a patient spends at inpatient treatment is 30-90 days (90 days is considered the most effective).

Psychotherapy is a fundamental feature of inpatient treatment. From there, you’ll participate in group and individual therapy sessions to discover the root causes of your binge drinking. This could provide insight into the connection between the mind and how compulsive behaviors develop over time.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment programs are discrete options for individuals who seek to quit binge drinking. Certain recovering individuals won’t be able to make the time commitment to inpatient addiction treatment. Outpatient treatment programs provide a less intensive but effective form of addiction treatment. 

A patient can expect to spend 4-6 hours, 5 days a week at a facility. The average length of time a patient spends in outpatient treatment is 30 days. Individual and group therapy are typically provided, among other therapies and approaches. Outpatient treatment programs offer intensive programs that would be suited for those with moderate to severe cases.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

An overwhelming percentage of recovering individuals have a combination of mental health and substance use disorders. This is known as co-occurring disorders. Dual diagnosis treatment is a promising approach toward recovery. Until recently, mental health and substance use disorders were treated separately. 

However, the side effects of mental health disorders can influence substance use and vice versa. Treating both disorders is invaluable to ensure a thorough treatment process. Chronic relapse is potentially lethal to individuals who have not received adequate treatment. Dual diagnosis treatment gives you the skills on how to quit binge drinking.

Sober Living

Sober living homes are similar to outpatient treatment programs. The recovering individuals are typically required to have a job in order to live on the premises. Sober living homes can function as a transitional living option for those who finished inpatient rehabilitation. Sober living homes offer treatment, through counseling and support groups. 

The 12-Step Program is a resource embedded in the addiction recovery community. Developing a sense of community can provide you with insights into the addiction recovery process. Others ahead in their journey could guide you through difficult periods; such as cravings and adjusting to a new lifestyle.

Discover a New Beginning at Chapel Hill

Alcoholism can pose draining effects on your daily functioning. Chapel Hill provides options on how to quit binge drinking through evidence-based therapy. Quality addiction treatment for alcohol can make a significant difference. 

Addiction recovery requires the most out of you to rewrite the actions of your compulsive behaviors. Our addiction treatment specialists can help you find a program that will work best for you.  If you or a loved one are battling an alcohol use disorder, contact us today.


drugs that cause memory loss

Drugs That Cause Memory Loss

Drug use can present a great variety of health consequences on an individual’s brain and body:

  • Changes in appetite and weight loss
  • A weakened immune system 
  • Heart, lung, and liver conditions 
  • Seizures, stroke, and brain damage
  • Issues in memory, attention, and decision making 

What Drugs Cause Memory Loss?

Recreational illegal drugs that cause memory loss or lapses in memory that can sometimes not be reversible include:

  • Marijuana
  • Ecstasy 
  • Cocaine
  • Opioids

Cannabis (Marijuana, Weed)

Cannabis, commonly known as marijuana, weed, or pot, is a collection of dried-up greenish-grayish leaves from a variety of cannabis plants. Different strains of cannabis are known to derive from different plants, therefore presenting varying side effects. The permanent effects of weed have been thoroughly debated due to it being usually used recreationally. 

Studies indicate that marijuana has been known to cause memory loss because of the psychoactive component known as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol is the chemical compound in weed that causes the high effect that the majority of users experience. It is said that THC attaches itself to receptors in the following areas of the brain:

  • Amygdala regions
  • Cerebral cortex
  • Hippocampus 

The cerebral cortex plays a role in consciousness, the amygdala is the body’s core fear system, and the hippocampus plays a role in learning and memory. By the weed attaching to the above-mentioned brain regions and therefore considering their functions, someone can experience memory loss and reduced cognitive function. 

GHB (Also Known As Liquid X)

GHB is an odorless, bitter or salty, and colorless liquid central nervous system depressant that is often utilized as a date rape drug or for recreational purposes. This drug is also frequently illegally sold as crystal powder. GHB (Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid) can also be prescribed under the drug brand name Xyrem. 

Due to this drug’s side effects such as unconsciousness, memory loss, and extreme sedation, it is a well-known club drug. Therefore, it is commonly used to facilitate sexual assault. The individuals engaging in sexual assault typically mix GHB liquid into the drinks of their victims who are unsuspecting of their actions. 

A recent study was found that indicated GHB abuse was linked to altered brain verbal working memory, long-term memory, and lower IQ. Though there isn’t much research on this drug, it is known for a fact that it causes cognitive function impairment and memory loss. 

MDMA (Molly/Ecstasy)

MDMA, also known as 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, ecstasy, or molly, is a psychoactive drug fundamentally utilized for recreational purposes. The perception of this drug makes it a popular drug to abuse in the following areas:

  • Music festivals
  • Raves, clubs

Ecstasy is chemically similar to both hallucinogens and stimulants, which means it can produce:

  • Distorted perception of hearing, 
    • Smell
    • Sight
    • Taste
    • Touch
    • Time
  • Increased alertness and energy
  • Hallucinations 

One study found that individuals who used MDMA over two years showed issues with memory, working memory, and processing speed. The researchers attributed the above-mentioned side effects to the hippocampus, which plays a role in memory and learning. 

PCP (Also Known As Angel Dust)

PCP is also known as phenyl cyclohexyl piperidine, phencyclidine, or angel dust. It’s a mind-altering drug that causes:

  • Distorted perception of sound
  • Hallucinations, agression
  • Delusions 

It can be taken orally, snorted, injected, or smoked. One of the most common side effects that PCP presents is memory loss. Angel dust works similarly to other club drugs such as GHB and molly. Therefore, it can cause difficulties in speech and learning, as well as problems with memory loss that can occur from long-term use. PCP is well-known as being one of the drugs that cause memory loss when mixed with CNS depressants as a way to enhance the overall side effects.

Cocaine (Coke, Crack)

Cocaine is a central nervous system stimulant that increases energy, alertness, and nerve activity in the brain. It also inhibits the brain from the absorption of excess dopamine. Dopamine is known for bringing intense feelings of self-confidence, well-being, and euphoria. 

In a recent study, cocaine was linked to memory loss. In the study, 48 non-users and 57 cocaine users were compared and followed for a year. At the beginning and end of this particular study, both groups were given cognitive tests to measure their performance. At the end of the year when the results were thoroughly compared, researchers discovered that the group who used cocaine showed worse performance scores in all the areas mentioned, especially in working memory. 

Crack cocaine is another highly habit-forming drug that can cause memory loss. However, it has been discovered that a huge percentage of memory loss that is caused by cocaine can be reversed if an individual is willing to engage in abstinence from the drug. Because the substance is so addictive, the majority of users need the help of a cocaine treatment facility to be able to quit using

Ketamine (Also Known As Special K)

Ketamine is an estranged drug that is generally utilized as an anesthetic in veterinary practices. It is also commonly used as an illicit drug. As an estranged drug, ketamine, or “Special K” acts on various chemicals in the brain to produce the following:

  • Auditory and visual distortions and hallucinations
  • Detachment from reality 

It typically comes in the form of an off-white or white powder that can be dissolved as a liquid or transformed into pills. Ketamine is known for inhibiting the function of the parahippocampal gyrus (or hippocampal gyrus) which results in memory impairment or the function of the hippocampus. Small doses of ketamine do not affect memory, especially when used in medical practices correctly. However, research suggests that long-term ketamine abuse can end up causing memory loss in an individual. 

Psilocybin (Also Known As Magic Mushrooms)

Psilocybin, also called shrooms or magic mushrooms, is a naturally occurring psychedelic drug frequently produced by fungi. It produces a modified perception of time. The mechanism of action is linked to 5-HT2A receptor activities which are generated by hallucinogenic episodes. Magic mushrooms have been found to impair an individual’s working memory, which is an aspect of short-term memory that’s concentrated on instant memories such as keeping a particular address in mind while also listening to directions on how to get there. 

Many individuals engage in drugs that cause memory loss because they can temporarily escape underlying issues, such as:

  • Drug-induced memory loss
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma

What Is Behind Drugs That Cause Memory Loss?

Drugs have the capability of altering numerous areas of an individual’s brain. This can range from parts of the brain that perform life-sustaining functions to affect how individuals feel. It is also responsible for affecting the parts of the brain that are responsible for how an individual thinks. 

Research published in the academic journal Addiction Science & Clinical Practice stated, “The brain regions and processes that underlie addiction overlap extensively with those that are involved in essential cognitive functions, including learning, memory, attention, reasoning, and impulse control.” When changes occur to normal brain function and structure, it also results in abnormal learning that interferes with the journey to recovery and abstinence. 

In a Psych Central article, clinical psychologist Ben Martin explains how aspects learned during periods of substance abuse can become difficult to recollect when an individual isn’t currently under the influence. He explains, “Many people can learn and perform in the drug state and do quite well as long as their routine and drug level don’t change. If there is a change, trouble can result.” 

Can You Get Your Memory Back If You Stop Using Illegal Drugs? 

The process of becoming sober takes dedicated time and unwavering patience. It can also become extremely frustrating. Martin stated, “Your difficulty recalling events or behaviors does not mean that you are going crazy. Nor does it mean that you have destroyed all your brain cells. It is, instead, a normal process that is part of recovery…Returning to drug use is not the answer. You can and will relearn the skills in the same ways that you learned them in the first place.”

Additionally, according to a CBS Miami report, numerous items can be utilized to assist in moving the process right along. 

How To Boost Your Memory Back

  • Practicing mindful meditation 
  • Embracing physical activity 
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Exploring creative pursuits such as:
    • Dancing
    • Writing
    • Music
    • Art
  • Playing brain training games
  • Establishing and maintaining social connections

By embracing the above-suggested strategies, it can provide a great boost to an individual’s cognitive function while also reducing an individual’s risk of relapse and addiction while improving and recovering it. Martin suggests, “Recovery takes time, but as you unlearn the habits of addiction, you will relearn the skills and behaviors that you acquired earlier.” It will be found that patience is crucial during the addiction recovery process. 

Illegal drugs that cause memory loss pose an actual concern. Long-term addiction and drug use can affect various facets of an individual’s brain including memory loss to a person’s ability to breathe. 

Recovery Awaits At Chapel Hill Today

It can be challenging to adopt the strategies mentioned here in a real-world setting especially if you are not surrounded by a supportive community. Here at Chapel Hill Detox, we offer a clinical program that combines daily primary process groups, daily individual therapy sessions, and psychoeducational groups. Contact us today to begin a healthy lifestyle free from addiction. 

Is Luxury Drug Rehab Worth It?

There are many luxury drug and alcohol rehab facilities that provide accommodations that cater to the wealthy. At Chapel Hill Medical Detox, we are proud to be a Joint Commission-certified facility. We provide high-quality care for you or your family member in an environment that is focused on your specific needs.

It is important to note that the price tag of the “stay” does not always reflect the success rate of the facility. There are many other factors to consider when deciding on the best choice for drug or alcohol rehabilitation. Consideration should not only be given to the success rate of the facility, but also to things like:

  • Service
  • Therapies
  • Amenities

The steps that lead to learning how to live a sober lifestyle require hard work from you and our medical and support staff. Our goal at Chapel Hill Detox is to provide a comfortable environment where you or your loved one are given the opportunity, support, and tools necessary to rebuild your life. Care and support continue from start to finish — starting with medical detox to the support necessary in care after rehab. We believe that this is what can be the difference between making a full recovery versus facing a possible relapse.

What Is the Cost of Luxury Rehab?

The average cost of a month’s stay at a luxury rehabilitation facility can range from $30,000 to $100,000. In comparison, the average cost of other standard rehabilitation facilities is between $5,000 to $20,000 per month. Some insurance companies will cover a portion of the cost for a luxury rehab facility. Standard rehab facility costs may also be covered partially by health insurance, but may also have the option of the cost being based on a sliding scale.

A luxury drug rehab facility will offer higher-end or many more amenities than a standard facility. This is one factor that can influence the overall cost of the rehab center. If the focus of the luxury rehab facility is based on high-end accommodations and extravagant amenities it is possible that this is not the type of rehabilitation center that will provide a treatment plan to help you for the long term.

Treatment for any type of addiction needs to be carefully planned out. The plan that offers medically supported detox, behavioral therapies, and support after treatment are over are important factors in any treatment program. The end goal is to get sober and remain sober.

What Are the Benefits of Attending A Luxury Rehab Facility?

Privacy and Confidentiality

Your privacy is a very important priority at a luxury rehab facility. Many times a luxury facility will require its employees to sign a confidentiality contract. If you are the type of clientele that is looking for this sort of facility then you may live your life under a microscope. The benefit of added privacy is especially important to you.


Many luxury alcohol or drug rehab facilities are located on beautiful properties surrounded by mountains or water. The accommodations may include extras such as a masseuse or a personal trainer. The added benefit of having a private room can also be very appealing. If such comforts are a part of your everyday world, then it’s believed that they should also carry over during your time in rehabilitation.

Meals Prepared By A Gourmet Chef

Maintaining a balanced diet is a key ingredient to regaining a healthy lifestyle. One benefit of a luxury rehab facility is the addition of meals that are prepared by top-rated chefs. Meals can be specifically planned and prepared for your dietary needs and requests.

Personal Therapist

One bonus of luxury rehab centers is the option of attending one-on-one therapy sessions with a therapist who is assigned to attend to your needs and only your needs. Some luxury alcohol or drug facilities have personal therapists who are available to you around the clock, 24/7. This personal attention allows for a highly personalized treatment plan.

Fewer Beds

It is typical for luxury rehab centers to accommodate fewer clients than a standard rehab facility. The smaller number of clients allows for increased privacy for you or your loved one. It also creates an atmosphere that is more personal.

Why Should You Choose A Luxury Drug Rehab Program?

Luxury drug rehab facilities have many advantages. If you or your loved one are looking for a treatment center that allows flexibility then this may be a good choice. If you have a career that requires you to continue to work while you undergo rehabilitation then a luxury drug rehab program may be just what you’re looking for.

Facilities that offer luxury amenities are a good fit for high-profile professionals. This type of facility and program offers:

  • Private rooms
  • Exercise facilities
  • Access to computers
  • Private conference rooms with access to phone
  • Support for those who need to travel for business reasons
  • Seclusion
  • Discretion

Offering these various types of amenities entices high-end professionals to reach out and get the help that they need. In an executive’s fast-paced world of business, it is easy to make excuses for not taking care of themselves. If it is possible to be treated for drug or alcohol addiction while also conducting their necessary daily business tasks, then a luxury rehab facility may be the right choice. It is this first step of accepting help to overcome an addiction that is sometimes the hardest.

What Are Some Features of Luxury Rehab Programs?

The amenities that are offered at a luxury rehab facility are of a higher quality than those at a standard rehab facility. The goal is to provide accommodations and activities that create a vacation/resort-like atmosphere. Treatment plans can include such extra amenities as:

  • Acupuncture
  • Aromatherapy
  • Equine therapy
  • Golf
  • Spa treatments
  • Pools and hot tubs
  • Massage therapy
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Yoga
  • Large exercise facilities
  • Reiki
  • Meditation
  • Paddleboarding
  • Expressive arts therapy

The purpose of any activity at a rehab center is to provide a way for you to relax and discover a new way — other than drugs or alcohol — to keep your mind busy. These amenities are combined with a therapy treatment plan that is created specifically for you. The overall process is created to help you choose a healthier lifestyle. 

Is the Quality of Care Better In A Luxury Rehab Facility?

A higher price tag does not always guarantee a better quality of care from a rehab facility. The type of care in a luxury drug or alcohol facility may include more holistic or alternative approaches to medicine. The facility may also choose to combine traditional treatment methods with these other approaches.

You may feel that the quality of care may be increased because of the smaller client-to-staff ratio. It is also possible that a luxury drug and alcohol rehab facility may offer the option of one-on-one medical staff and patient care. This type of care does allow for more intense treatment and therapy, which should increase the quality of care.

When researching the best drug or alcohol rehab facility for you or your loved one you want to consider all of the details. It is important to note the following things:

  • Therapy and support services
  • Track record of treatment for your specific addiction
  • Types of therapy provided (group therapy, individual therapy, etc)
  • Available medical detox services offered
  • Types of treatments available: research-based treatment as well as holistic methods

There Is No Price Tag For Quality Care

There are many options for the type of drug or alcohol rehab that is available to you or your loved one. Facility staff can increase your odds of a successful rehab. It is important to find the facility that feels most comfortable and offers the treatment options that meet your needs.

A treatment plan needs to start with an option to detoxify and end with follow-up care that provides support to prevent a relapse. Our staff at Chapel Hill Detox can provide the quality care necessary. We have many combined years of experience which creates an environment of better care.

Chapel Hill Detox offers the best quality care in South Florida. Please contact us today to find out how we can help you or your loved one begin the journey to a lifestyle free of drugs or alcohol. We look forward to answering your questions.

Advantages of Inpatient (Residential) Treatment

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment for Addiction: What’s the Difference?

There are many decisions to make when you or a loved one are faced with the life-changing challenge of entering rehabilitation. With this in mind, it is important to consider many factors before committing. One of the most important factors is deciding on “inpatient” vs. “outpatient” treatment options. 

Inpatient treatment generally refers to a drug or alcohol treatment program consisting of an intensive, residential experience that is designed to treat a more serious level of addiction. 

Outpatient treatment refers to a “part-time” program that is more like going to class or a doctor’s appointment before heading home for the day. Outpatient programs allow for the flexibility to live at home and generally can allow for patients to continue working or attending school. 

It is important for addicts as well as their loved ones to understand the pros and cons of different types of treatment before selecting a program. Finding the best treatment program can be the key to achieving lost-lasting sobriety.   

Understanding Addiction Recovery

It is important to understand some of the fundamentals of addiction recovery before making a final decision about which type to jump into. Rehab must address not only the addiction at hand but also several underlying factors (such as mental health) as well. 

While every rehab facility may have different ideas and strategies, there are some similarities that can apply across the board. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are several factors that all successful rehab programs should address. 

Physical Well-Being

Many addiction patients come into treatment with serious health issues. One of the main goals of every rehab program is to reverse the negative health effects caused by drug or alcohol abuse. This will include easing withdrawal symptoms through medically supervised detox and using other methods (such as physical therapy techniques) to increase physical comfort and reduce pain. 

Mental Health

Over half of addiction cases have an underlying or accompanying mental health issue. These issues range from depression to anxiety or bipolar disorder. Any successful rehab program must address accompanying mental health disorders. If someone struggling with an addiction has a serious mental health disorder, that is known as a “dual diagnosis” or co-occurring condition. There are special treatment programs just for co-occurring conditions but the majority of rehabilitation programs offer mental health care in addition to addiction care. 

Social Skills

Drug and alcohol abuse can take a serious toll on a person’s social life. Addicts often use substance use as a crutch to mask social anxiety or a crutch to help them avoid social situations. Successful treatment programs will integrate therapy that helps patients rebuild and improve social skills.  

Environmental Triggers

Most drug or alcohol addicts have social or environmental triggers that will make sobriety difficult to obtain without a controlled environment. Whether it is stress, unhealthy relationships, or trauma, these triggers can lead back to substance abuse over and over. Addiction therapy must address the issues that cause patients to keep returning to the harmful behaviors of addiction.

Primary Differences Between Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment

At first glance, it may appear the only difference between inpatient and outpatient treatment is the ability to return home at the end of the day. However, this is only part of the equation. 

Inpatient (also known as residential treatment) is designed to remove distractions, environmental triggers, and temptations that can be present in our day-to-day lives. One main benefit of an inpatient program is the guarantee of a drug or alcohol-free environment. This cannot be said for the home lives of many people struggling with addiction. 

Those in inpatient treatment are constantly surrounded by people who have the same goals and intentions as them and will be there to hold them accountable. Inpatient treatment can be jarring but can also provide the structure and accountability necessary to make lasting changes.    

Outpatient treatment allows significantly more freedom than inpatient treatment, but with that freedom comes increased temptation. While they are more flexible, most outpatient treatment programs require a minimum number of hours spent in treatment per week. This can be done on campus or virtually. An outpatient approach to treatment will allow for a patient to maintain some normalcy with home and work life. Outpatient options can be great for those struggling with less intense levels of addiction or more demanding home lives but many of the environmental and societal triggers will still be present. 

Advantages of Inpatient (Residential) Treatment

Beating any bad habit requires limiting exposure to the triggers that cause the habit in the first place. If someone is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it makes sense to remove drugs and alcohol from their proximity as much as possible. If someone is trying to lose weight, it would not be a great idea to be constantly surrounded by cake and cheeseburgers. 

This theory provides the backbone of inpatient rehab treatment and why it is generally the best course of action for someone with a severe or long-term addiction. Inpatient treatment specializes in providing a consistent, trigger-free environment where someone can focus solely on their recovery. Inpatient recovery allows a patient to be held accountable 24/7 and gives a support system that may not be present at home. 

The immersive nature of residential treatment also allows rehab facilities to offer a variety of different treatment and therapy options including one-on-one counseling, group therapy, recreation therapy, and even specialized opportunities like equine therapy. 

Many inpatient treatment centers also provide 24hr on-call medical care that can aid in some of the more difficult stages of treatment, such as detox. For some of the more habit-forming substances, like cocaine or heroin, this medical treatment can be an invaluable addition to a treatment repertoire. 

Inpatient treatment can be especially beneficial for dual diagnosis patients. The inpatient experience will allow these patients to have the best mental health and drug rehabilitation care in an environment that is supportive, understanding, and consistent. 

Advantages of Outpatient Treatment

inpatient vs outpatientWhile inpatient treatment can be extremely effective, not every patient requires that level of supervision and care. Inpatient addiction treatment can offer a high level of care while still allowing for the freedom to maintain some level of normalcy at home, work, or school. Not everyone has a level of addiction that requires a one- to three-month break from life. Many folks do not have the financial flexibility to take several weeks or months away from their job or family.  This is where an outpatient treatment program can offer a level of convenience that can allow for successful treatment without upending someone’s life. 

The price difference in the different treatment experiences is also something to consider. While an inpatient treatment experience certainly offers “more” in terms of care options, it can also be anywhere from 5 to 10 times the cost. Inpatient treatment can vary in cost from $5000 to $60,000 a month. While insurance can cover a portion of this, an inpatient option will still almost always be the more affordable path.

While price and obligation are certainly factors, inpatient rehab is generally best for patients who are seeking care for more mild forms of addiction. Generally, detox must happen in a supervised, residential treatment setting. Inpatient treatment can offer a flexible, effective environment for the right patients. 

Questions to Ask to Help Decide Which Treatment is Right

While we have discussed some of the pros and cons of inpatient and outpatient treatment, it is important to look at every situation individually and weigh the benefits and obligations carefully. There are some important questions to ask before you or your loved one commits to a treatment plan:

  • How long can I realistically step away from my life?
  • Do I need child care?
  • How serious is my addiction?
  • Are there serious environmental triggers in my home?
  • Will I be around drug or alcohol use often?
  • Is Transportation an issue?
  • What type of treatment does my insurance cover?
  • What type of treatment can I afford?

While there are certainly other factors to consider, this is a helpful checklist to push you towards the best treatment options for you. 

Start Your Treatment Journey with Chapel Hill Detox Today

Treating drug and alcohol addiction can be difficult and complex. Making the best treatment decision for your situation is an important step to successful sobriety. Treatment is a long-term investment that requires work and hardship before success can be achieved. Whether you decide on inpatient or outpatient treatment, our facilities and our team are here to guide you every step of the way.

If you or someone you love are dealing with the effects of drug or alcohol addiction, contact Chapel Hill Detox today. Our beautiful facilities feature professional and compassionate staff, various treatment options, and board-certified physicians. Let us help you begin the journey to recovery.

Medicinal Marijuana Use

Is Marijuana a Stimulant or a Depressant?

Marijuana tends to affect each individual differently. Because of the different forms of marijuana and its various potential effects, many users could find themselves wondering, “Is marijuana a stimulant or a depressant?” The legalization of medical and recreational use of marijuana is becoming extremely prevalent. It is essential people understand the implications of using cannabis products. 

Marijuana and Its Effects

Marijuana affects users in unique ways, but most report a sense of pleasant euphoria and relaxation when smoked or consumed. Other reported effects include:

  • Laughter
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased sensory perception – for example, brighter colors 
  • Altered sense of the passing of time 

Adverse Effects

Many individuals who use marijuana may experience unpleasant effects. Each person may have a different experience when using marijuana. Instead of feeling the pleasant effects mentioned above, some people may experience:

Users who experience unpleasant effects may have consumed too much marijuana. It’s not uncommon for someone to feel undesirable effects if they have taken too much. Potency can often be hard to judge in marijuana. It is reported that large doses of marijuana can cause people to experience sudden psychosis, which could include delusions, a loss of personal identity, or hallucinations. 

Adverse effects related to marijuana are temporary. However, individuals prone to psychotic disorders like schizophrenia may be more likely to experience sudden psychosis after using marijuana. Research suggests a link between psychiatric disorders and marijuana in vulnerable people. 

Drug Classifications

Each drug is classified according to its properties and effects. Most drugs fall into one of the following categories:


Stimulants elevate your mood, energy levels, and alertness. These are known to be highly addictive. Examples of stimulants include methamphetamine, cocaine, and prescription drugs for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), such as Adderall.


Depressants slow down brain function. They have a beneficial use medically but are sometimes abused. Some examples of depressants include Xanax, barbiturates, and alcohol. 


Hallucinogens change the way nerve cells communicate in the brain. This typically causes an alteration in the individual’s perception of reality. Examples of hallucinogens include MDMA and LSD.


Opiates and opioids are painkillers that produce feelings of euphoria. These can have severe long-term consequences on the brain. Opiates are highly addictive but play a significant role in the medical field. Examples of opiates include morphine, prescription painkillers, and heroin. 

Where Does Marijuana Fit?

The effects of marijuana tend to vary from person to person. It is not completely clear where marijuana fits in the classifications. Aside from how it can vary from person to person, different strains and types of marijuana produce different effects. 

Is Marijuana a Depressant?

Marijuana can be considered a depressant since it affects the nervous system and slows down brain activity. This effect can result in calmed nerves and relaxed muscles. Since you can build a tolerance to marijuana, people tend to increase usage to acquire its desired effects. 

Is Marijuana a Stimulant?

Marijuana can also be considered a stimulant for a few reasons. Right after using marijuana, you may feel energetic and alert, similar to stimulants. Some individuals become dependent on marijuana for the mood effects it causes.

Is Marijuana a Hallucinogen?

Though some people stereotype marijuana as a hallucinogen, it’s rare for someone to experience a hallucination while under the influence of marijuana. Hallucinations are viewed as false perceptions of senses, objects, and events. That being said, the altered sense of time could be considered a part of a hallucination.

Risks of Marijuana Use

is marijuana a stimulantMarijuana is an extremely popular drug. It is often considered the most commonly used illicit drug. Mental health advocates often worry about the potential risks of using marijuana. Some risks associated with short and long-term use include:

  • Decreased motor function: Driving within three hours of marijuana use can be dangerous. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, marijuana is the second most common substance found in drivers. Even with the use of medical marijuana, medical professionals suggest not to operate a vehicle until they can conduct motor tasks successfully. 
  • Schizophrenia relapse: The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has reported that marijuana use can trigger schizophrenia symptoms. 
  • Hallucinations: Though it is scarce, a small portion of people may experience hallucinations. These hallucinations may cause delusions or change your thought processes.
  • Anxiety: Uncontrollable uneasiness
  • Memory: Recall issues 

Youth Marijuana Use

Risks associated with younger users are generally more severe than older users. Marijuana can cause long-term issues for younger people. Research suggests that it may alter the process of normal brain development. Some side effects for younger users of marijuana include:

  • Cognition issues (affecting the ability to understand)
  • Memory loss
  • Decrease in IQ

A University of Montreal study found that early marijuana use can physically and emotionally affect teens. Individuals that started smoking marijuana at around 14 years old scored worse than non-smokers on cognitive tests. The smoking group also had a higher school dropout rate. The study shows that people who waited until age 17 to start using marijuana did not score worse on cognitive tests. 

How Does Marijuana Work?

Marijuana is most commonly smoked. When smoked, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other chemicals enter the lungs and the bloodstream. THC is then carried through the body and eventually to the brain. It stimulates cells in the brain, causing them to release dopamine, which produces a euphoric feeling. THC interferes with how the hippocampus works, sometimes interfering with how it processes new information.

Individuals do not only smoke marijuana to experience its effects. Cannabis can be infused in beverages or food. When consuming edible marijuana, the effects are delayed. This is mainly because the drug must pass through the digestive system. Effects of edible marijuana typically take 30 minutes to one hour to kick in. Because of this, many individuals accidentally consume more THC than they originally intended.

Medicinal Marijuana Use

By 2017, almost half of the United States had legalized medical marijuana. People have been using marijuana for medical purposes for much longer than that, though. Several states have even legalized recreational marijuana use. 

Dronabinol is an FDA-approved drug used to prevent and treat vomiting and nausea that people experience with certain cancer medications. It utilizes the medical aspects of marijuana while having the THC content removed (or synthesized). Dronabinol is also used to increase AIDS patient’s appetites. 

Marijuana: THC and CBD

THC is responsible for the majority of the psychological effects people experience when using marijuana. It acts similarly to the cannabinoid chemicals that naturally occur in the body. THC activates receptors in certain parts of the brain. It may affect areas that are responsible for:

  • Coordination
  • Memory
  • Thinking
  • Concentration
  • Pleasure
  • Sensory and time perception

What is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is known as the second most active ingredient in marijuana. This is obtained from the hemp plant, which is a plant cousin of marijuana. CBD is not responsible for the “high” people tend to associate with marijuana. Pure CBD is available in most areas of the United States. The World Health Organization reported that “…there is no evidence of public-health related problems with the use of pure CBD.”

Cannabis and Other Drugs

Cannabis is known to have relatively mild interactions with other chemical compounds. When chemical compounds mix, interactions can range from mild to severe. This goes for all substances, including over-the-counter medications, illicit substances, and prescription drugs. Some drugs work exceptionally well with cannabis. 

Marijuana and Blood Thinners

is marijuana a stimulant or a depressantStudies show that CBD and THC may enhance the effects of certain blood-thinning drugs. Drugs that cause blood thinning like heparin or warfarin show an increased effect when combined with THC and CBD. It is worth noting that drugs with side effects resulting in blood-thinning also cause increased blood thinning when paired with marijuana, which may be dangerous for some individuals. 

Marijuana and Opioids

A team of researchers found that cannabis can boost the pain-relieving qualities of opioids. That being said, doctors may prescribe and use lower doses of opioids with their patients, reducing the risk of addiction. Lower doses also result in decreased side effects. 

Marijuana and Blood Pressure Drugs

THC is proven to activate the CB1 and CB2 brain receptors simultaneously. The effect is expressed in stress response in the cardiovascular system. The stress response reduces blood flow and can increase the effects of blood pressure-reducing drugs. 

Marijuana and Alcohol

A general rule of thumb is not to mix alcohol with any drugs. Some studies do show that people are more likely to consume less alcohol following the use of cannabis. Combining cannabis and alcohol poses a couple of different threats:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol and cannabis is extremely dangerous
  • Since cannabis is used in reducing vomiting and nausea, it poses a threat in terms of alcohol poisoning. When an individual has too much to drink, the body may not be able to purge toxins, which sets the individual at a higher risk for alcohol poisoning. 

Is It Possible to Get Addicted to Marijuana?

Marijuana use disorder is a real disorder that sometimes takes the form of addiction. Recent research shows that it is possible to develop a physical or psychological addiction to marijuana. The addiction is mainly connected to dependence, though. Some heavy marijuana users can feel withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug. These symptoms, lasting for up to two weeks, may include:

  • Sleep issues
  • Decreased appetite
  • Irritability
  • Drug cravings
  • Physical discomfort
  • Restlessness

Treatment for Marijuana Addiction

Marijuana addictions typically involve less severe long-term outcomes when compared to other substance use disorders. There are consequences to marijuana addiction, though, as it can impact an individual’s daily life. Most adults who seek treatment for marijuana addiction have used marijuana consistently for ten years without quitting. 

Marijuana treatment programs work similarly to other substance abuse programs. Aspects of the 12-step program prove beneficial. Many different therapeutic treatments have shown positive outcomes with people suffering from addiction, including:

Chapel Hill Detox Can Help You Now

Addiction brings several consequences to the suffering individual as well as their loved ones. At Chapel Hill Detox, we believe each person has the right to recover from their addiction. We offer proven programs, and our licensed staff is experienced in working with individuals from all backgrounds. If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, contact us today. 


Essential Oils

Using Essential Oils for Depression

More often, people are seeking alternative treatments for depression that can either replace or complement medication and therapy. Essential oils are growing in popularity for their healing and calming effects on the nervous system. Each essential oil has its own chemical makeup that reacts with the brain to produce different effects.

Using essential oils for depression as part of your daily routine can help to minimize the severity and frequency of this condition. Over time, it can decrease the amount of depressive episodes you experience. Chapel Hill Detox in West Palm Beach offers treatment for depression and co-occurring substance abuse.

How Does Depression Affect the Brain?

depressed womanAlthough depression is still not entirely understood, studies have shown that during episodes of depression the brain is flooded with cortisol (stress hormone) and “feel-good” neurotransmitters are significantly less active. This misfiring in the brain’s chemical makeup can be caused by a lot of different things.

In many cases, depression is genetic and passed down through generations. In other cases, depression is a result of extended exposure to stress and negative environments. The brain adjusts to its surroundings very easily. So, when stress is a constant-it likely stops feeling the need to experience more positive emotions.

The most common treatment for depression is a combination of therapy and medication. Medication for depression is intended to change the chemical makeup of the brain, shifting it back toward more positive and healthy activity. There are, however, many unwanted side effects of medication that many people are not willing to cope with. Oftentimes, medication will prove less effective overtime, therefore creating a need for an alternative method.

Whatever the reason for seeking a more holistic approach to depression, essential oils can support a depression treatment plan. They can even boost just the occasional negative emotional state.

How Do Essential Oils Improve Mental Health?

Natural healers have been aware of the healing components of plants for hundreds of years. In fact, plants were the main source of medicine for both mental and physical health prior to the rise of western pharmaceuticals.

Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts. Within these extracts are chemical compounds that, when combined with brain chemicals, can have a positive interaction. These extracts can come from flowers, stems, bark, and roots. Each part of the plant has its own benefit.

While plants can be ingested to heal the body from the inside, essential oils are usually used topically in the method of aromatherapy. Positive feed to the 6 senses can each have a positive effect on the brain. Think of when you see something beautiful, hear a favorite song, or touch someone you love — you get an instant mood boost.

Sense is actually considered one of the most influential of the senses, so inhaling these healing extracts for a duration of time has its benefits.

Top Essential Oils for Depression and Mental Health

There are hundreds of different essential oils that can be used for improving overall health. When looking for the best oils to treat depression, researchers keep the specific chemical compounds that play a part in depression in mind. The essential oils for depression that studies have shown have the biggest positive impact include:

Wild Ginger

Wild ginger oil has numerous healing properties and directly affects the serotonergic system in the body. This system correlates to “feel-good” neurotransmitters, and using oils to improve this system acts in a similar way that antidepressants would.

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is one of the more common oils used for aromatherapy. Its flowery smell and calming effects help to lower cortisol levels and regulate the nervous system. Lavender oil can be used as aromatherapy (inhaling) or massaged into the skin.

Lavender has been proven to reduce levels of anxiety and depression, and is even given to people before medical procedures (or women giving birth!)  Lavender can encourage improved mood, better sleep, and overall well being.


Chamomile is used to lower levels of anxiety and is a natural antihistamine. This means that similar to a medication like benadryl, chamomile can lower inflammation levels in the body. Inflammation has a direct link to depression, making this a great essential oil option for a nighttime routine. Chamomile is a popular tea, but can be extracted as an oil and inhaled.


Cedarwood has been used as an anti-anxiety and anti-stress supplement for people who suffer from mild daily stress. It can be used for short periods of time or as part of a daily routine. There are several types of cedarwood, each with their own healing properties. A study conducted on rats showed that the rats who were exposed to cedarwood showed less signs of anxious or depressive behavior, as compared to those who did not.


Frankincense is another popular oil for depression. Frankincense, when inhaled for a duration of time, can boost mood and decrease cortisol levels. It also activates the part of the brain known for “feel good” hormones. Frankincense is often used in hospitals to help treat the emotional aspect of chronic pain, terminal illness, and other conditions that may lead to a strong depressive reaction.

Other Oils

Other types of essential oils that have been shown to improve depression and reduce anxiety include:

  • Essential Oil HumidifierRose Oil
  • Grapefruit Oil
  • Jasmine
  • Sandalwood
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Clary Sage
  • Tangerine Oil
  • Wild Orange
  • Bergemont

You want to make sure that any essential oil you are purchasing is high quality-especially if you are going to put it directly onto your skin. Since essential oils are gaining popularity, sometimes manufacturers will mix low quality ingredients to reduce the price. To ensure you are getting a high quality oil, look for bottles less than 4 ounces that have a very potent scent.

How to Use Aromatherapy For Depression

Using essential oils for aromatherapy can be done through inhaling the oil, rubbing the oil directly onto the skin, or with the use of a diffuser. Some ways people effectively use essential oils include:

  • Adding a few drops to an oil diffuser and allowing the room to fill with the desired scent
  • Inhaling the oil directly from the bottle
  • Putting a few drops onto a cotton ball or the base of the wrist and inhaling it as desired
  • Adding drops into a bottle of massage oil/lotion and rubbing onto the skin
  • Mixing some essential oil into your favorite bath products for aromatherapy bath

Other Holistic Treatments For Depression

If you are looking for alternative methods of treatment for depression, essential oils are only one of the many ways to supplement traditional methods. Holistic treatment uses natural practices to heal the mind, body, and soul. The understanding of holistic treatment is that each part of a person affects the other- so if anything is out of balance there may be negative side effects.

If you are looking to try alternative methods of healing for your addiction or co-occurring mental health condition, a few to consider include:

  • yoga and meditationAcupuncture
  • Nutritional Therapy
  • Art Therapy
  • Energy Healing (Reiki, Meditation,etc.)
  • Dance/expression therapy
  • Yoga

Holistic treatments can be used to help treat depression, but can also be used as a part of your everyday life after treatment for numerous health benefits.

Traditional Treatment Options for Depression at Chapel HIll Detox

Chapel Hill Detox offers dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders like depression and addiction. This usually consists of:


During this first step of treatment, medical professionals remove harmful substances from the patient’s body. This usually involves the use of medication that mimics the effect of your substance of choice. In medical detox, the body becomes less physically dependent on drugs and alcohol.

Inpatient Treatment

Once detox is complete, we move our patients to inpatient treatment for a designated amount of time. Inpatient treatment is best for people with severe addiction and mental health issues. While in our inpatient rehab program, you’ll receive round-the-clock care from our dedicated staff. You’ll also have access to different therapy programs, including:

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy involves one-on-one sessions with you and a licensed mental health counselor. You’ll discover how your addiction led to your depression and vice versa.

Group Therapy

In group therapy, you’ll share your experiences with addiction and depression with several peers. A therapist will guide you in different exercises like role play.

We understand that each client has their own individual story and needs. Depression can be a difficult mental health condition and often co-occurs with substance abuse disorder. Whether you are predisposed to it or it’s a result of life circumstances, supplementing your depression treatment plan with essential oils and aromatherapy can be a great option.

Get Quality Treatment at Chapel Hill Detox

Chapel Hill Detox has medically trained staff specializing in addiction and mental health. Upon entry to our facilities, staff will be able to understand which treatment programs and services best suit you.  We take pride in our ability to offer treatment options that meet everyone’s individualized needs. If you or a loved one is interested in learning more about our treatment options for addiction and co-occurring depression, contact our staff to find out!


Staying Sober Through a Break-Up

With February 14th right around the corner, love is in the air… wait, is that love, or is that just a kind of triggering, super obnoxious and overly commercialized holiday that was originally developed by greeting card companies exclusively for profit? The truth is, Valentine’s Day does have some historical origins – it was not actually developed by Hallmark in order to boost greeting card sales. Still, it is estimated that Americans spend roughly 20 billion dollars on this day every year. So yeah – there might be a little bit of societal pressure involved. If you are currently in a relationship, you might be planning a cute little (COVID-friendly) dinner date, or expecting the same overpriced bouquet of roses you get annually. If you are currently single, you are probably dreading the holiday or expecting to violently ignore it altogether. Maybe you’re hosting a Single’s Only movie night, or simply locking yourself inside and watching The Notebook on repeat as you cry into your cat. Whatever the case may be, the reality of the situation is inevitable – Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and “relationship-centric” holidays really suck for some of us.

Romance, Valentine’s Day and Sobriety

As far as addiction recovery goes – we are told to stay out of romantic relationships for the first year of our sobriety. There are several reasons behind this sentiment. First of all, romantic relationships serve as a major distraction. Because staying sober is no small feat, we truly do need to give our recovery our full attention during (at least) the initial 12 months. Entering into a relationship takes away from our program, even if we adamantly attempt to convince ourselves that it doesn’t. There will come a day when we skip out on an AA meeting in lieu of a beach day with our sweetie, or a night when we overshoot the halfway house curfew by a solid 45 minutes because we were passionately making out in a Taco Bell parking lot. So yes, in short – romance (or whatever you want to call it) can be a distraction, and can detract from what it is we are actually trying to achieve, which is, uh… becoming a whole and functional human being. Secondly, going through a break-up can serve as a major relapse trigger. Break-ups are never fun, and they often lead to a wide variety of super uncomfortable emotions, like grief, sadness, self-pity and poor self-esteem. All of these feelings are triggering, and there is a good chance that if you are only several weeks into your recovery journey you don’t yet know how to handle them.

If you are reading this and you are both new to recovery and currently romantically involved – of course you are. Getting sober is hard, taking suggestions is even harder. We truly do think we know what’s best for us, even when our very best thinking landed us in rehab in the first place. If this is the case, however, know that all hope is not lost. We have compiled a list of ways to stay sober through anything – even through a heart-wrenching early recovery break-up.

Staying Sober Through a Break-Up

Here are several tips on how to stay sober through even the nastiest of break-ups:

  • Even though it might seem “overly dramatic,” block your ex on all forms of social media immediately. Space is crucial to healing, and taking a break from Facebook might not be enough – if you really want to move on, it’s a good idea to go through the motions and completely distance yourself. Otherwise, you can easily fall back into the pattern you are trying to avoid. Get back together, break-up again, get back together one last time – distance yourself!
  • Even if you don’t feel emotionally up to doing so, stay committed to your daily recovery routine. Go to your homegroup even if you cry through the whole meeting, call your sponsor even if you “really don’t want to talk about it,” and talk to your higher power every morning and every evening, even if it’s just to say, “Why do you hate me?” Even if you’re just going through the motions, stick to your schedule.
  • Find some creative outlets. Working through emotions is tricky, and it might be difficult to talk things out when the wounds are still fresh. Try jotting down your feelings in a journal or utilizing another form of artistic expression, like drawing, painting or collaging. If art isn’t your thing, try exercising – go for a jog on the beach (and if you feel like crying, allow yourself to cry) or take a yoga class with a close friend. Try to move the uncomfortable emotions through your body in any way that feels right, and remember to be patient with yourself while you explore what works for you.
  • Reach out for additional help and support. Maybe AA meetings aren’t enough, and you know that you would benefit from a one-on-one session with a trusted therapist or addiction counselor. Deep down you know what it is you need – listen to your gut, and reach out for additional help if you need to. Sometimes working through a break-up with an unbiased therapist can make all of the difference in the world.

More on Developing a Healthy Support System

Developing a healthy support system does not mean finding a recovery “ride or die” and relying on this person for support and encouragement. Developing a healthy support system means finding a group of men or women (it is generally a good rule of thumb to stick with people of the same gender, or at least people that you don’t run the risk of falling madly in love with) who have been sober for longer than you have. People who have something that you want – whether that be a level of self-confidence that seems entirely unattainable, the ability to open up emotionally and get vulnerable or simply a life beyond your wildest dreams. Find a group of sober role models, and stick with these people. “Stick with the winners,” as they say. A “winner” is not someone who wears the most expensive sneakers or someone who drives the fanciest whip, but someone who has managed to stay sober long-term and who is truly living his or her best life.

Chapel Hill Detox – Begin Your Personal Journey of Healing

If you have recently experienced a relapse or if you have yet to commit to a long-term program of addiction recovery, we are available to help. At Chapel Hill Detox we know exactly what it takes to get and stay sober, seeing as the majority of our staff members have overcome addiction themselves years ago. Our team of experienced medical professionals, licensed therapists and addiction specialists work together to provide the most comprehensive detox program available throughout Southern Florida. In addition to focusing on physical stabilization and a pain-free drug or alcohol withdrawal, we offer therapeutic intervention and rehab placement services geared towards helping our clients continue on in their personal recovery journeys. If you would like to learn more or get started, please feel free to reach out to us today. If you have been tempted to pick up after undergoing an unpleasant break-up or another emotionally difficult experience, we are available to offer any additional support you might need.

Call us today. 844.526.0032

The Benefits of Going Back to Work in Addiction Recovery

Early recovery is a very challenging time for a number of reasons. Not only are you adjusting to an entirely new way of life, but you are essentially starting from scratch while scrambling to pick up whatever pieces of your life still remain. Active addiction does quite a number on everyone involved. By the end of your run, you will likely have little energy for anything other than going to treatment and staying sober day-to-day. The good news is, for the first six months of your sobriety (give or take), this is all you will be responsible for. You will begin with a medical detox program – much like that provided by Chapel Hill Detox. Medical detox will last for between one and two weeks, depending on the unique medical and clinical needs of each individual client. This is a necessary first stage of every program of recovery, during which clients work towards physical stabilization as they detox from their substance of choice. Once a client has been deemed physically stabilized, he or she transfers into an inpatient treatment program, which is also known as residential care or drug and alcohol rehab. This stage of the recovery process is the most intensive and involved, and typically lasts for between three and six months – depending on the severity of the substance abuse disorder. During inpatient treatment, clients will undergo intensive therapy, 12-step program immersion and life skills training, and they will begin developing the coping mechanisms they need to stay sober for years to come.

Once inpatient treatment is complete, the client will generally transfer into a sober living home and continue on with clinical care in an outpatient treatment setting. Intensive outpatient treatment, or outpatient treatment, provides continued one-on-one and group therapy and provides a safe and supportive environment in which clients can work through the real life recovery-related challenges that they are facing. During this stage of the recovery process, vocational training will typically begin. Vocational training helps clients find an appropriate career, apply for the job they want and maintain the job long-term.

Benefits of Working in Addiction Recovery

You might be thinking to yourself, “If I have to focus all of my attention on my sobriety and prioritize my recovery, how will I have time to get anything else done?” Life is all about balance, and considering the fact that recovery is a lifelong process, it is better to get acquainted with balance sooner rather than later. Yes, recovery should remain your number one priority. But this does not mean that it will be your only priority, and that you have to dedicate all of your time and attention to staying sober. Over time, you will develop your own personal recovery routine – you will find out what works for you, and what it takes to stay sober day-to-day. This might look like meeting with an individual therapist once a week, going to a 12-step meeting every day and waking up in time for an 8 a.m. yoga class. This might look like going for a jog on the beach and meditating for 20 minutes, making five 12-step meetings every week and actively working through your stepwork with a sponsor. The point is, while recovery does need to remain your top priority, it does not need to take up every waking moment of your life. You will have time for other things. Part of the beauty of addiction recovery is your newfound ability to get to know yourself on a deep and authentic level. You will learn what you like and what you dislike, what your passions are and what goals you want to pursue. This will allow you to look into a career that has the potential for longevity and that is consistently fulfilling. Before we got sober, we struggled to make it to work on time, showed up intoxicated and got fired again and again. We worked jobs that pay the bills, but that didn’t bring any more to the table than that. While it is a good idea to find a mellow job to begin with, there is no reason why you can’t begin working towards your personal goals the moment you get out of inpatient rehab.

There are many benefits to getting a job in early recovery, including:

  • Working towards financial independence
  • Building self-esteem and a sense of self-worth
  • Providing a built-in social circle
  • Further honing communication skills
  • Learning how to effectively deal with high stress situations without the use of drugs or alcohol

Most inpatient treatment centers will help with vocational training, meaning that they will help clients find a job and teach them the skills they need to build a resume and interview effectively. At Chapel Hill detox, we work closely with many intensive outpatient programs that put a strong emphasis on vocational training, and we are happy to point our clients in the right direction. We focus on thorough aftercare planning, meaning that we work hard to prepare each one of our individual clients for the road ahead by placing them in the next appropriate level of clinical care.

Developing a Schedule for Success

Getting a job also helps with scheduling and structure. As the saying goes, “Idle hands are the Devil’s playthings.” This essentially means that when people are bored or have nothing to do, they are more inclined to fill their free time up with negative behavioral patterns than positive or beneficial ones. When it comes to early recovery, the saying rings particularly true. When we first get sober, it takes a while to adjust to not immediately reaching for chemical substances when we feel a little bored or restless. We need to train ourselves to do other things, like pick up a book, start in on a craft or art project or take a walk around the block. Having some kind of structured routine in place is very important, because early recovery is a vulnerable time and rates of relapse tend to be higher than they are during any other stage of the recovery process. Getting a job automatically structures the week. Doing so will also help you develop a stronger sense of self-discipline, and as you continue to show up to work on time (and not drunk or high off your rocker), you will slowly build up a stronger sense of self-esteem. Most of us feel pretty badly about how we performed in every aspect of our lives while we were active in our addictions. Not only did we struggle to show up to work at all, but we consistently let people down and often pretended like we didn’t care. Of course, deep down we did care. It feels good to do good.

Chapel Hill Detox

At Chapel Hill Detox we offer a safe withdrawal experience and a luxury style setting, complete with around the clock medical care and a thorough introduction to the remainder of the recovery process. While medical detox is the first step of every single journey of addiction recovery, it is never a standalone solution for substance abuse or dependence. In order to be effective long-term, detox must be followed up by a more intensive program of clinical care. For this reason, we offer rehab placement services to each of our clients, helping them plan for the road ahead. For more information on our detox program or to learn more about the benefits that go hand-in-hand with working in early recovery, feel free to reach out to us at any point in time.

Call us today. 844.526.0032

Detoxing At Home

What is Medically Monitored Detox?

Medically monitored detox is the initial stage of every long-term program of addiction recovery. It involves facilitating a safe and pain-free withdrawal process in a structured and closely monitored environment. As clients undergo drug or alcohol withdrawal, all associated symptoms are professionally treated the moment they arise. In most instances (depending on the type of substance that was being abused and the severity of abuse) medical detox lasts for between several days and two weeks. Most reputable detox facilities pay special attention to aftercare planning, and clients transition from detox into a higher level of clinical care (like inpatient rehab) as soon as they are deemed physically stabilized and given the “all clear.” Because some people remain unaware of the resources that are readily available to them, and because some people think that they can effectively undergo withdrawal in an at-home setting, many men and women who desperately need detox fail to seek professional help. It is important to understand just how severe the symptoms of withdrawal can be, and how crucial it is that professional treatment is sought in order to avoid severe medical complications. If you or someone you love has been struggling with substance abuse or dependence and you are unsure as to whether or not professional treatment is necessary, reach out to Chapel Hill Detox today. Our team of experienced specialists is standing by to answer any additional questions you might have regarding the early recovery process, or to start on your own personal journey of lifelong healing.

Can I Safely Detox in an At-Home Setting?

Can you safely detox in an at-home setting after using chemical substances for an extended period of time? Well, it really depends on what chemical substances you were using and for how long. Generally speaking, the answer is no – drug and alcohol withdrawal can be extremely unpredictable, and the symptoms vary significantly on a person-to-person basis. If these symptoms are not adequately treated in a medical detox facility they can even be life-threatening, because they can lead to seizures, heart palpitations, stroke and coma (among many other serious symptoms). Some people will obtain a medication like Suboxone – a medication that was designed to help with opioid withdrawal – and attempt to administer this medication on their own. This is never a good idea, seeing as medications like Suboxone should always be administered by a medical professional. Not only is the dosage extremely important, but Suboxone can be habit forming in and of itself if it is not taken properly. Below we have broken down the withdrawal symptoms that tend to go hand in hand with certain chemical substances. If you or someone close to you has been struggling with substance abuse or dependence and has attempted to quit without help, and has not been successful in doing so, reach out to us today.

Withdrawal Symptoms – A Substance-By-Substance Breakdown

Alcohol – Alcohol is responsible for some of the most severe and potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. The very first signs of alcohol withdrawal typically begin within several hours after the last drink was taken, and intensify until they peak at between 24 and 48 hours. Individuals who drink an excessive amount of alcohol for an extended period of time are at a high risk of seizures, and this risk can remain high from the first day up to the first three days of withdrawal. men and women who struggled with severe alcoholism are also at a high risk of developing delirium tremens, an alcohol withdrawal disorder that includes very serious symptoms, ranging from body tremors and seizures to hallucinations and paranoid delusions.

Benzodiazepines – Benzodiazepines, like alcohol, can result in very serious and sometimes life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Benzodiazepines are a type of prescription medication generally taken for anxiety or sleep disorders. Some common name brand benzodiazepines include Xanax, Valium, Clonazepam, Ativan and Klonopin. In most instances, benzodiazepine withdrawal begins within the first 24 hours to the first four days after the last use, and usually peaks in severity sometime during the first two weeks of detox. However, if benzodiazepine withdrawal is not immediately treated by a team of medical professionals, protracted or Post acute withdrawal symptoms can last for several months up to a year or more.

Some of the more severe symptoms associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal include extreme anxiety, panic attacks, seizures, severe stomach cramping, insomnia, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Short and Long-Acting Opioid Narcotics – While the symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal are rarely life-threatening, they can be extremely uncomfortable, and the psychological cravings that go hand-in-hand with opioid detox often lead to relapse. Short-acting opioids like heroin and certain prescription painkillers generally cause withdrawal symptoms within the first 8 to 24 hours after the final dose. Individuals who were actively abusing heroin and prescription painkillers like codeine and morphine well typically experience withdrawal symptoms that last for between three days and two full weeks. Longer-acting opioid narcotics, like methadone, cause a range of withdrawal symptoms within two to four days after the final dose, which can last for up to two weeks.

Withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid abuse often mimic the symptoms associated with a severe cold or flu, and include nausea, diarrhea, hot and cold flashes, profuse sweating, runny nose, insomnia and extreme anxiety.

Stimulants – Illicit stimulant drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine, and prescription stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin also result in withdrawal symptoms that are not typically life-threatening. Depending on the type of drug that was being abused, withdrawal symptoms begin within the first 24 hours to the first two days, and typically completely resolve within the first two weeks. Most stimulant drugs result in more severe psychological withdrawal symptoms than physical withdrawal symptoms, the most common which can include severe depression, anxiety and nervousness, irritation and mood swings, hallucinations, suicidal ideation and psychotic episodes.

The Dangers Involved in Detoxing at Home

There are many risks involved in detoxing at home – or attempting to do so. Even if you were abusing a chemical substance for a very short period of time, there is no way of knowing how the detox process will impact you and what symptoms you are going to experience. While the physical symptoms might not be too severe, the psychological symptoms can lead to serious consequences. For example, if you attempt to detox at home and you experience a panic attack, you might not be able to catch your breath or calm yourself down, and you might begin to hyperventilate. Medical detox facilities provide a combination of effective clinical care and psychological intervention, providing clients with the medication they need to overcome all symptoms, no matter how severe.

Chapel Hill Detox – Comprehensive Medical Detox

At Chapel Hill Detox we offer comprehensive medical and psychological care in a professionally run, state-of-the-art facility. Are detox facility was carefully designed with client comfort in mind, and the 12-step model of Alcoholics Anonymous. Because medically monitored detox is only the very first step on the long-term road to recovery, we also help our clients with rehab placement. We work very closely with many reputable, gender specific treatment centers throughout New Jersey and all surrounding areas. Before you attempt to detox in an at-home setting, reach out to a detox facility like Chapel Hill and thoroughly research your options. If you are concerned about covering the cost of medical detox, rest assured that we work very closely with most major health insurance providers. Even if you are currently uninsured, we will help you develop a reasonable plan and get you into treatment as soon as physically possible. We understand that when it comes to seeking professional medical care for the physical and psychological symptoms associated with drug and alcohol withdrawal, there is truly no time to wait.

Call us today. 844.526.0032