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Substance Profile: Heroin

March 24, 2017 Posted in: Press Release

Heroin is a highly addictive opiate. It is a derivative of morphine and acts as a depressant. Heroin varies in appearance depending on type. It comes in white and brown powder forms and as a brown, tar-like paste. It can be smoked, injected, or snorted.

Heroin produces an intense high that initially lasts a few hours, though heavy users may build up tolerance to the drug such that the high lasts only minutes. After the initial high, a period of sleepiness and slow mental functioning sets in. With short-term use, heroin causes vomiting, constipation, and slurred speech. Long-term use causes collapsed veins, cardiac infections, abscesses, and liver problems. Heroin users are also at increased risk of communicable diseases when they share needles.

Kicking heroin on your own is... Continue reading →

Can You Inherit Alcoholism?

March 24, 2017 Posted in: Press Release

Does alcoholism run in families? Doctors and scientists have long suspected that there is a genetic component to alcoholism, and a growing body of work suggests that they are right. Scientists have yet to identify the specific gene, but it is important to note that having a genetic risk for becoming an alcoholic does not mean that you will become one. In fact, knowing that you have an increased risk can help you make informed decisions about drinking.

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, children of alcoholics are four times more likely to become alcoholics themselves. A landmark study in Sweden chronicled alcohol use in twins who were raised in separate adoptive families. The twins born to alcoholic fathers had much greater incidents of... Continue reading →

The Epidemic of Prescription Drug Abuse in America

March 24, 2017 Posted in: Press Release

Drug abuse doesn’t exclusively involve illegal narcotics. Millions of Americans are using prescription drugs for non-medical reasons, and 40 Americans die every day from prescription drug overdoses. How bad is the problem? This video explains.

In this video, you’ll hear how prescription drug abuse is running rampant through all segments of American society. Some users find themselves coping with addiction after being prescribed painkillers to aid in recovery from an injury or surgery. Other users begin abusing prescription drugs recreationally. No matter the entry point, prescription drug abuse is a very real and dangerous problem.

Las Encinas Hospital can help you or someone you love overcome prescription drug abuse at our residential treatment facility in Pasadena. Get... Continue reading →

What Happens to Your Body and Brain When You Drink?

March 24, 2017 Posted in: Press Release

Drinking has an enormous ability to alter the way you think and feel, but what makes alcohol so powerful? The way your brain reacts to alcohol causes the characteristic feelings of intoxication. Alcohol affects your neurotransmitters, which causes changes in the way you think and feel. This video explains how alcohol impacts your neurotransmitters to trigger changes in your mind and body.

Alcohol impacts two neurotransmitters: glutamate, which causes excitability, and gaba, which inhibits excitement and organizes thoughts. Consumption decreases glutamate but increases gaba. This causes total information slowdown in your brain. Watch the full clip for additional insight.

When drinking becomes an addiction, we are here to help. Las Encinas Hospital and Aurora Behavioral... Continue reading →

Signs of Alcohol Abuse in Women

March 24, 2017 Posted in: Press Release

Alcoholism is an equal-opportunity disease. Over five million American women are alcoholics. Could alcoholism be affecting you or a woman you care about it? This video explains some of the signs.

Any woman who consumes three drinks in one day, or seven drinks in a week, is at risk for becoming an alcoholic. Women tend to progress from problem drinking to alcoholism more quickly than men, and they are more likely to suffer adverse health effects. Mothers in particular are less likely to ask for help with their drinking problems than men.

If alcohol abuse has become a problem in your life or the life of a woman you love, Las Encinas Hospital can help. Our addiction treatment programs are successful because of our dual-diagnosis approach. Explore our substance abuse treatment... Continue reading →

Health Problems Associated with Alcohol Abuse

March 24, 2017 Posted in: Press Release

When most people think of health problems triggered by alcohol abuse, they think of liver damage. However, while the threat of liver disease is very real, alcohol abuse is linked to more than 60 conditions. Avoiding these health risks is all the more reason to seek addiction treatment if alcohol abuse is an issue in your life. Here are some of the health problems that are tied to this kind of substance abuse:


Alcohol abuse is associated with an increased risk of several kinds of cancer. This may be because the body converts alcohol into a substance called acetaldehyde, which doctors believe could be a carcinogen. Alcoholism is linked to... Continue reading →

A Family’s Role in Substance Abuse Treatment

March 24, 2017 Posted in: Press Release

The effects of drug or alcohol abuse are never isolated to the person with the addiction. The families of addicts are tremendously affected by their loved ones’substance abuse. Inadvertently, families can even help extend the cycle of addiction by failing to confront the problem. Just as families play a role when their loved ones are abusing drugs and alcohol, they also figure prominently in rehab and recovery. If someone in your family is getting help for addiction, here are some ways you may be called on to help:

Behavior Evaluation

When your loved one is in a residential substance abuse treatment program, it allows your family time for self-assessment of your own behaviors. Were there things you were doing that enabled the addiction to continue? Can you see any... Continue reading →

Ways to Stop Being an Enabler to Your Loved One

March 24, 2017 Posted in: Press Release

Addiction is not a solitary disease. When you love someone who is struggling with chemical dependency, you also carry the burden. One of the hardest things to face may be the fact that your support may be worsening your loved one’s addiction. If you’ve been enabling your loved one to continue with his or her addiction, stopping can be difficult. However, changing your enabling behavior may force your loved one to change as well. Here are ways in which you can ease your enabling tendencies and instead urge your loved one to face his or her substance abuseproblem.

Recognize Your Behavior

Just as your loved one may not be able to see his or her own addiction, you may not be able to see that you have been an... Continue reading →

What You Need to Know About Preparing for Substance Abuse Treatment

March 24, 2017 Posted in: Press Release

Entering a substance abuse program is the first step on your journey to regaining health and control. It takes tremendous courage to face chemical dependency head-on, but the rewards can be great. If you are considering seeking help for your addiction, here are some tips to help you prepare.

Learn the Clinic’s Approach

You’ll be more successful with substance abuse treatment when you are comfortable with the approach the center takes. Ask questions about subjects such as group therapy sessions versus one-on-one treatment, and make sure that the facility you choose offers programs that seem like a good fit for you. One important thing to consider is whether dual-diagnosis treatment is... Continue reading →

What Is Barbiturate Intoxication and Overdose?

March 24, 2017 Posted in: Press Release

Barbiturates are depressant drugs that are sometimes prescribed for seizure disorders. However, they have a high potential for abuse; those with a substance abuse problem may take the drugs inappropriately to attain the feeling of relaxation they cause. Unfortunately, an overdose of barbiturates can be a life-threatening situation. Keep reading to learn how to identify the differences between barbiturate intoxication and overdose, and what substance abuse treatmentoptions are available.

Acute Symptoms

Barbiturate use causes both acute symptoms and long-term effects. If your loved one has inappropriately used barbiturates, he or she may display poor judgment, slow speech, and slurred speech. He or she may move differently because of sluggishness and problems with... Continue reading →