Las Encinas Recovery Center in Pasadena, CA

Call (877) 579-8140 to Contact Las Encinas Recovery Center

Overall Rating

(3.2 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
2900 East Del Mar Boulevard
Pasadena CA 91107

Las Encinas Recovery Center Philosophy

Aurora Behavioral Health’s Las Encinas Hospital offers comprehensive residential and intensive outpatient addiction treatment services to chemically dependent individuals struggling with substance abuse. Services provided include assessment and detoxification, individualized treatment planning, individual and group therapy, family counseling, and life skills training featuring topics such as healthy coping, relaxation techniques, stress management, and assertiveness. Aftercare services are provided upon discharge as needed.

Areas of Specialization

  • Chemical Dependency
    The Chemical Dependency Program offers medically monitored hospital inpatient detoxification. Continued treatment and rehabilitation is available through our residential treatment center and intensive outpatient programs.

  • Psychiatric Treatment
    The quality of the environment and the clinical staff is the foundation of our mental health treatment. Las Encinas Hospital’s treatment is provided in a warm and friendly environment by well-trained, highly motivated staff that takes pride in delivering quality care.

Facility Highlights

Intensive inpatient program

Assistance with the transition back to the community


Meet the Staff

Daniel Thomas Suzuki, M.D.

Medical Director

Photo of Daniel Thomas Suzuki, M.D.

Certifications: Psychiatry and Neurology
Specialties: Adult Psychiatry

Dr. Suzuki is the Medical Director of Aurora Las Encinas Hospital. He joined the medical staff of the hospital in 1988, and also is a partner at San Marino Psychiatric Associates in San Marino. Dr. Suzuki received his undergraduate degree at Stanford University, attended medical school at Northwestern University Medical School and completed his residency at the UCLA San Fernando Valley Program in Psychiatry. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the USC Keck School of Medicine. Dr. Suzuki was selected by his fellow physicians as a “Top Doc”, as published in the June 2009 edition of Pasadena Magazine.

Warren "Beau" Christenson, DO

Co-Director of Aurora Las Encinas Hospital Chemical Dependency Services

Photo of Warren

Board Certification: Adult Psychiatry
Specialty: Addiction

Dr. Christenson, affectionately known as “Dr. Beau”, is Co-Director of Aurora Las Encinas Hospital Chemical Dependency Services. He joined Las Encinas Hospital in 2011, after completion of an Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. Dr. Christenson’s academic career includes a Psychiatry Residency at University of Southern California. He has significant experience at the Houston/DeBakey Veterans Administration Hospital and the prestigious Menninger Clinic in Houston, Texas. He earned his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Touro University in Nevada and holds a B.S in Biology from Pacific Union College in Napa Valley, California. 360 Guide

Review by Contributors


Set on 27 acres in Pasadena, Calif., La Encinas Hospital provides residential and outpatient treatment for substance abuse issues, as well as being one of the state's 620 (54.9 percent) facilities with treatment tracks for co-occurring mental health disorders. The facility offers both voluntary and involuntary units, as well as providing amongst the only 28 (2.1 percent) on-site detoxification services in California.


All clients undergo medical and psychiatric evaluations within 24 hours of admission. Participants of the residential program receive individualized treatment plans that feature four therapy groups a day, including psychoeducational, process, chemical dependency, and recreational activity groups.

The partial hospitalization (PHP) and intensive outpatient (IOP) programs are each designed as step-down options for those who’ve completed residential treatment and those unable to commit to residential treatment due to prior obligations. Most clients are scheduled to attend treatment three days a week.

Designed similarly to the PHP and IOP tracks, the Student Restore to Wellness Program offers outpatient services for college students facing bipolar/mood disorders, thought disorders, anxiety, substance abuse and dependence, self-harm behaviors, suicidal/homicidal ideations, or personality disorders.

Also unique to the hospital is itsspecialized track for LGBT clients, along with an extended care unit called the Briar Program. A year of free weekly aftercare groups is also available to program graduates.


Led by a psychiatrist and addictionologist, the treatment team includes licensed therapists, psychiatric nurses, clinical social workers, chemical dependency counselors, mental health workers, and recreational therapists.


The hospital’s website features images of a well-landscaped campus and modest shared bedrooms (private rooms are available at an extra fee). In total, the psychiatric hospital has 140 licensed beds (22 of which are designated for residential treatment).

Clients in the extended-stay Briar Program are encouraged to take advantage of the facility’s on-site swimming pool, tennis court, and fitness room.


The nine alumni who provided feedback to to date shared extremely mixed to negative experiences here. One alum, T.S., gave the facility a four-star rating for level of staff support, but two stars for exercise opportunities and just one star for holistic offerings. “The facility has undergone ownership and Dr. changes affecting patient care,” he added.

Another alum, who chose to remain anonymous, had a more critical view of the hospital. They provided one-star ratings for holistic offerings and the level of staff support, commenting, “Had classes twice a day. Rest of the time you just sat around talking, smoking cigarettes.” This alum also expressed concern with the treatment program in general complaining that it was “not individualized” and that there was “no one on one.”

Another former client expressed concerns for medication mismanagement and the center's inability to account for other medical conditions, and reviewer Robert simply wrote “Gross!”

A few, more positive reviews, noted that treatment was effective. Former client D.M. considered, "I have read the reviews on this site and it sounds like a lot has changed since I was here."

Feedback on Yelp at the time of this writing was similarly critical, with 74 users producing a low average rating of two out of five stars.[1] "The staff allow abuse and participate in it themselves," C.D. wrote in a comment that was echoed by several other users.


Response from five friends and family members is similarly negative. One reviewer celebrated the “location, attractiveness and comfort” of the facility, but claimed that their loved one was overmedicated while in treatment. When surveyed if they would recommend the facility, they gave a lukewarm three-star rating, but also noted feeling “disappointed in the outcome” for their family member.

Another reviewer shared their family’s disappointment with the treatment their loved one received. “We were extremely dissatisfied with virtually all aspects of her hospitalization,” J.S.D. explained to “The nurses at Las Encinas were typically too busy to talk to us... There were no sessions to ty to help her particular problems, and she never met with a psychologist.”

A parent shared a story about poor communication within the facility and badly run discharge procedures. Another simply commented, "Do not leave your love one there they are horrible."

Loved ones reported similarly negative experiences on Google, where the center was given a 2.7-star rating based on 48 reviews to date.[2] Critical commentary noted poor supervision, poor living conditions, and mishandled discharge procedures.


Cindy, an employee of Las Encinas Hospital, indicated in her that she’d recommend the facility for its complete continuum of care and compassionate staff; however, she also noted that the doctors are often overloaded with patients and that the program does not focus on the 12-Steps.

On Glassdoor at the time of this writing, 21 current and former employees produced a 2.7-star average rating.[3] Short-staffing was the predominant criticism noted.


There is currently no information provided on the hospital’s website or otherwise regarding its treatment costs. It does accept Medicaid (accepted at 35.2 percent of California facilities), Medicare (accepted at 20.8 percent of), and most private insurance plans.

[2] GoogleReviews

Published on December 2018

User Reviews

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  • Treatment Effectiveness
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I have read the reviews on this site and it sounds like a lot has changed since I was here. My experience was a lifesaver! I am Dualdiagnose alcoholic/drug addiction/bipolar/ diabetic. I spent 17 days in this facility and wanted to stay longer as I was scared and did not trust myself out in the world. I attend meetings AA and Dual diagnoses AA meetings inside the facility . I worked with a Dr Manning and he finally got me dial in and on the correct medication and would keep Communication open with my outside Dr. I am sill on this exact medication he put me on. I attended there out patient program 5 days a week 9-5 and counselor for 6 weeks. I will have 10 years sober on 11/22/18 no Manic/ depression Episodes . I am so grateful for and to Las Encinas I would not have the life I have today without them. They gave me the tools to be able to stay sober and sain. Now I attend AA got a sponsor and did the 12 steps I would not have understand how viral this would be without the help of Las Encinas Rehab. All I can say is when you get clean it’s uncomfortable It’s not pretty remember that. It’s not a Vocation and you did not have control over your life before you walked into there doors. So let go and just listen just do your great thinking is not so great and that is why you are there. I am so great full I hope you get it!

My daughter was admitted there on July 25 under Coroner admit. Hospital not in her network. Social worker asked her for 3,000.00 to cover admission. A list of hospitals were emailed to social services and asked not to send her to her sisters address. She did not follow up, sent her to her sisters address and she was dead less than 24 hours after discharge.

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This is the worst place you can imagine. It needs to get shut down! Please do not send anyone you love to this place. My experience - I meet my roommate and he is on his way out the room. He shakes my hand and tells me to "play the game". Freeky way to start but he was right! I'm still traumatized and its a year later - Freezing Cold Showers with nurses checking in every 5 min - A patient got in argument with a nurse. Later when that patient asked for pretzels or anything to eat, the nurse said no, then gave snacks to other patients right in front of her. - I was completely quiet the whole time I was there only answering to what they asked and playing "the game" to get the hell out. One day when I was just sitting there, the nurses looked at me and said "look at that quiet little mouse behaving so well". I couldn't believe it! If I was to speak up I knew from experience from other patients It could get messy with these nurses and you end up with no phone calls, - Water is not accessible to patients bc they might try to "drown" themselves. You need to find a nurse when they are ready they will go open up their office and give you a little 2 inch cup filled with water. They get super annoyed if you ask for a refill. - I had my blood drawn every day for a week. They messed up on something which they never gave me answers about and I had no say in it! My one damn fear is needles. I can do almost anything else but damn they would wake you up at 4am every morning because its the perfect time your body has no food or water and they take a ton of blood. I swear both of my arms the veins were disgusting and you could see a hole on where they kept sticking the needles. They switched arms bc one was done. I'm cringing and laughing writing this. I can't believe it was real. - I was on a 51/50 and the doctor didn't come to see me for the first 3 days because he was busy with his other practice in "Burbank", so I was there for nothing those days until he came. NO JOKE! -The beds were wood with a tiny thin so called mattress, tiny thin blanket and a itty bitty tiny thin pillow in the freezing cold. "NO you may not get extra bankets or pillows". I made it work with my sweatshirt and the towels. - A patient came in and they put her in the patient gown, but it was too small. The patient was ill, so she didn't know whats going on. The gown went down to right below her waist. We could see everything and she would sit on the cold chairs with nothing on and the nurses did nothing! - Food was a joke go and see for yourself what they bring up to the psych ward patients. - You have a very small room for all the patients to hang out in. Cages on the windows. - Every family that came to visit their loved one in this place went crazy on the staff. They couldn't believe the environment, how they are treated, blah blah blah etc. etc. - We went outside once whole week I was there. The "outside" was a cage about 20ft by 15ft and you get 15 minutes -I grew alot there bc I got to help patients but I never got help getting medicated for my bipolar disorder

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The Briar program is different from the rest. I was treated like a a real person. I've been to other facilities that seem to focus more on the type of insurance I have or the amount I can pay up front. I felt like the staff at Las Encinas Briar program really focused on me individually. The hospital itself was aging and in need of some updates. But the staff in the detox unit were also very good. Shout out to those for helping me through my journey to sobriety. I also appreciated the nursing staff. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone that is looking for real help, and not just the most plush accommodations available.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
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This facility has helped my family a great deal. The Briar program put me on the path to recovery. I appreciated going to a facility in Pasadena that actually taught me about life skills and not just the 12 step program dressed up as treatment.

i cannot even begin to express my disdain for this hospital. If you are a diabetic....STOP and rethink your decision of coming here. I am a 30 year type one diabetic and have a great knowledge and handle on my disease. This hospitals doctors are extremely undereducated the disease and treat each diabetic as a textbook case. All the same and have no concept of a case by case client. That doesn't even begin to bridge the issues. There were countless promises made to me that were revoked once payment was received. Many staff members were unknowledgeable on many levels and said yes to questions asked, they were soon taken back by others. Doctor patient relations are laughable. Doctors make appointments and dont show up. They also make promises that are not kept. Many issues are just passed off to another doctor and they are never resolved....Just a continuous loop of, "this person will take care of this for you." Not to mention, your doctor visits last no more than 5 minutes. (That is being generous). The food is terrible and terribly unhealthy. Especially for a diabetic. The only snack i have to eat that is fit for a diabetic is peanuts and peanut butter. There is not enough time in the week to finish my concerns and complaints. Just heed my warnings

Do not leave your love one there they are horrible

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  • Treatment Effectiveness
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A family member a patient at Las Encinas for 17 days; she was there to get stabilized on her medications so that she could go to a residential treatment center. We were extremely dissatisfied with virtually all aspects of her hospitalization. The nurses at Las Encinas were typically too busy to talk to us. The only staff that took time to communicate with us were the social worker, and one male nurse. During the entire 17 days our family member was there, despite almost daily requests/calls from us, we did not talk once to her assigned the psychiatrist. After she was there several weeks he did leave us a couple of phone messages, but not at the numbers we had requested (e.g., calling our home number during the work day when we had requested a call on our cell phones). The messages were extremely difficult to understand and, worse, they didn’t give us any information about her condition or when or at what number to reach him. The only time we EVER talked to him was the day our family member was discharged because he happened to walk by while she was on the phone with us. Furthermore, even though the staff at Las Encinas took away our family member’s cell phone, she had unfettered access to phones at the hospital and called us repeatedly and at all hours of the day and night, e.g., at 3 am. It was not unusual for one of us to receive up to 60 phone calls from her in a single day. While at Las Encinas our family member was encouraged to attend group sessions that were not at all related to her issues and were not helpful. There were no sessions to try to help her with her particular problems, and she never met with a psychologist. There were few activities to keep her busy, so she spent the majority of her time calling us – making her 17 days at Las Encinas extremely stressful and unproductive for everyone. We made several calls to the administrative offices at Las Encinas to voice our concerns (and request a different psychiatrist), but no one at Las Encinas had the courtesy to call us back. Even the person in charge of intake at a residential facility we wanted to send our family member to after Las Encinas complained to us that her numerous calls to Las Encinas were not being returned. All of this resulted in a much longer (and more expensive) stay for our famiy member at Las Encinas than should have been the case.

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Strength: location, attractiveness and comfort. Weaknesses: overmedicate .disappointed in the outcome for my family member

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The facility has undergone a change in ownership affecting patient care.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
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Las Encinas is one of the rare facilities that takes Medicare for Detox. They also have a Dual Diagnosis outpatient program which is great because many addicts have a mental illness diagnosis in addition to their addiction. Again, if they have Medicare they can attend the Dual Diagnosis program. Las Encinas also takes private insurance, but not every insurance so they would have to call first. For many private insurance patients, there is residential treatment available as well as PHP and IOP chemical dependency programs. Also have a program specifically for Seniors and one for LGBT's. The nursing staff and the counselors are knowledgable and caring. It's a good rehab. The person can go through the entire process there from detox to inpatient to outpatient.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
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Had classes twice a day. Rest of the time you just sat around talking, smoking cigarettes.

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