LITTLETON, Colo. (KDVR) — A local treatment facility is now offering a groundbreaking method to help more people get treatment for addiction to fentanyl. It helps people detox from the drug with fewer withdrawal symptoms.
Gallus Medical Detox Centers announced the launch of a new inpatient medical detox program called accelerated micro induction. According to the company, patients using the new protocol for opioid use disorder with fentanyl reported a significantly lower severity of withdrawal. Patient treatment time was also reduced by 15%.
Laura Herrmann is the chief marketing officer for Gallus Medical Detox Centers. She knows personally how difficult detox can be.
“I’ve been in recovery 15 years. Before this was available, I decided to detox at home. I thought I was dying. I had the sweats, heart palpitations, the worst flu I ever had. Had I known there was a place there was a way to do it where I could be somewhere for three days for alcohol, feel comfortable through it all, then start my recovery, it would’ve been life changing for me,” Herrmann said. “Gallus has created a way to do micro-dosing of certain substances so we are getting people into withdrawal a lot sooner, a lot safer and a lot more comfortable than any other detox.”
Gallus Executive Clinical Director Steve Carleton said, “We pride ourselves on patient care, making sure people are getting care to start recovery. All of our providers are medical acute care providers. That way we can more safely use medications to keep patients comfortable. Detox is probably the single biggest reason people don’t start recovery. It is an extraordinarily painful experience to go through detox. When people arrive, we use IV medications and fluids, that enables us to get ahead of withdrawal symptoms. We are proactive about that process.”
The FOX31 digital data team pulled the stats showing the explosion of fentanyl overdose deaths in Colorado – there were 540 overdose deaths in 2020. That’s more than double the 2019 total. In 2016, it was 49 deaths.
“Within the last year, it has really exploded. Seventy-five percent of patients that come in here using opiates have fentanyl in their system. Many do not know they have fentanyl in their system,” Carleton said. “What is happening on the streets is people selling these drugs are pressing these drugs. Sophisticated pill press so look like other types of drugs. What people think are Xanax, oxycodone are actually pressed fentanyl. It is more addictive and more cost effective. With fentanyl, it’s a thousand times stronger than heroin. You don’t need as much to get high off.”
The main goal at Gallus is getting patients into long-term recovery care.
“If you are comfortable and feeling ok, you are much more open to talking about options. If you’re curled up in a ball on the floor and sweating, there’s not a lot of conversation happening about what they are going to do after that. We make people comfortable enough to talk about the next steps,” Carleton said.
“We can bring them in, treat them with dignity, help them move along and set a strong foundation for recovery, it’s great. It’s fantastic,” Carleton said.
For fentanyl addiction, it’s about a 7-8 day detox process. Patients are monitored by medical providers who are with them every step of the way, keeping them as comfortable as possible. Gallus says they have an 85% success rate of getting patients into recovery after detox.
“At Gallus, we have six beds at each facility. So each patient who is with us is getting very one-on-one care. All of our nurses are ER or ICU trained nurses so they have the ability to take the higher acuities and be one-on-one with every patient. We have a full time doctor at every facility so they are seeing the patients every single day,” said Herrmann.
The Gallus AMI treatment protocol is being offered at its locations in Scottsdale, Arizona and Littleton, Colorado. For more information: https://www.gallusdetox.com.