Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to the Coronavirus
As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Park Royal Hospital to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Park Royal Hospital.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • We are offering visitation through telehealth services so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services are being vetted and may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit

Barbiturate Abuse & Addiction Symptoms, Causes, Signs & Side Effects

Barbiturates are a group of drugs from the sedative-hypnotic class of medications that are generally used to induce sleep for individuals with sleep-related and anxiety disorders.

Understanding Barbiturate Abuse

Learn More About Barbiturate Addiction

Popular in medicine during the 1960’s and 1970’s, barbiturates were largely replaced by benzodiazepines – another class of anxiolytic medication – in the 1970’s. Barbiturates quickly became a drug of abuse during the height of their popularity as they allowed individuals to decrease their inhibitions, reduced anxiety, and corrected unpleasant side effects of other drugs of abuse.

Named as the drug involved in the deaths of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland, physicians quickly took note of the dangers of barbiturates. It was quickly determined that barbiturates were both addictive and dangerous, as the dose required to relieve anxiety or produce sedation was very similar to a dose that caused coma and death. Physicians began to prescribe benzos rather than barbiturates to reduce the risks for fatality, although phenobarbital, an anti-seizure medication belonging to the barbiturate class is still prescribed. Known on the street as “yellow jackets,” “downers,” “goofballs,” and “reds,” barbiturates are still abused by many individuals who were not around to witness these accidental deaths in the 1960’s and 70’s.

While generally taken by mouth in the form of a pill, barbiturates can be injected into the veins or muscles of the body, which produces desired effects more quickly. Available in many different formulations, barbiturates differ primarily in the length their effects last– some cause effects for up to two days, while others last only several minutes. Barbiturates are fat-soluble drugs that can easily cross the blood-brain barrier to cause effects quickly. In addition, as barbiturates dissolve in fats, these drugs can accumulate in the body and reenter the bloodstream at a later time, which can be very dangerous.

It’s been suggested that the resurgence in popularity of barbiturates is due largely to the increased amounts of stimulants that are abused. Most notoriously, cocaine and methamphetamines are known to cause intense excitement and anxiety, which can be extremely unpleasant. Individuals may use barbiturates to counteract these unpleasant symptoms.


Statistics of Barbiturate Addiction

While most do not consider barbiturate abuse a common problem, it’s been shown that about 9% of individuals in the United States will abuse a barbiturate during their lifespan.


Causes and Risk Factors for Barbiturate Abuse

The precise cause for addiction remains unknown. It’s been suggested that individuals who develop an addiction to barbiturates or other commonly abused drugs may have a number of factors working together to create addiction potential. Causes for barbiturate addiction may include:

Genetic: It’s been well-documented that individuals who struggle with addiction often have a first degree relative who also struggles with addiction. While not a precise prognostic indicator, this does increase the chances for addiction to develop.

Brain Chemistry: It’s been suggested that individuals who abuse barbiturates may have a different structure and functionality of the brain, specifically at the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA binding sites. Individuals who have inborn defects in this area of the brain may self-medicate with barbiturates to feel more normal.

Environmental: Individuals who begin to use and abuse drugs at an early age are more prone to develop an addiction later in life. Additionally, individuals who grow up in a household where substance abuse is prevalent are more likely to develop an addiction later in life.

Psychological: Many individuals who attempt suicide do so by using barbiturates. In addition, individuals who are addicted to stimulants such as meth are more likely to abuse barbiturates as an effort to “come down” from the effects of the high.


Signs and Symptoms of Barbiturate Abuse

Barbiturates are much like alcohol and benzodiazepines in that they relax the brain, which means that the symptoms of barbiturate abuse will cause the user to look much like they are intoxicated.

The symptoms of barbiturate abuse and addiction will vary tremendously based upon the individual’s genetic makeup, the length of time an individual was addicted, as well as the dosage the person takes. Common symptoms of barbiturate abuse include:

Mood symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Decreased anxiety

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Lying and stealing to obtain money to buy barbiturates
  • “Nodding out” during conversations
  • Grogginess
  • Impaired coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Sluggishness
  • Lowered personal inhibitions
  • Impaired judgment
  • Difficulties thinking

Physical symptoms:

  • Hypotension
  • Bradycardia
  • Reduction of REM sleep
  • Respiratory depression
  • Sleepiness
  • Coma
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Death

Psychological symptoms:

  • Tolerance
  • Dependence
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Addiction


Effects of Barbiturate Abuse

The long-term effects of barbiturate addiction will differ from one individual to the next. Most common long-term effects of barbiturate abuse include:

  • Strained interpersonal relationships
  • Changes in alertness
  • Decreased functioning
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Divorce
  • Respiratory depression
  • Coma
  • Death

Co-Occurring Disorders

Learn About Co-Occurring Disorders

Many individuals who become addicted to barbiturates have a co-occurring mental illness. The most common co-occurring disorders include:

  • Depressive disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Substance abuse
  • Alcoholism
  • Conduct disorder

Effects of Withdrawal

Effects of Withdrawal for Barbiturate Abuse

If taken for even a single month, barbiturates can cause addiction and tolerance in the brain, which can lead to very serious symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal from barbiturates can be deadly. If you are addicted to barbiturates and are trying to stop taking them, it is imperative that you seek the care of a trained rehab center so a medical professional can help you safely and effectively withdrawal.

Withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Tremors
  • Hallucinations
  • Dangerously high fevers
  • Seizures

This place was wonderful. Park Royal helped me realize I don't need barbiturates to survive.

– Anonymous Patient