Leading Inpatient Medical Detox Provider Launches Expansion of Benzodiazepine Taper Program

in News
Published Mar 25, 2021
difference in substance abuse and dependency

The Gallus Benzodiazepine Taper Program expands to include virtual patient support; addresses the rise in benzodiazepine prescribing crisis that has risen to alarming rates

DENVER, CO (3/25/21) – Gallus Medical Detox Centers (Gallus), an inpatient drug and alcohol medical detox services provider, announces today the expansion of the Gallus Benzodiazepine Taper Program. An extension of inpatient detoxification services, the taper program expands patient recovery support to include virtual patient services, such as telehealth visits for medication management and telehealth therapy sessions, that coordinate with aftercare providers to facilitate recovery.

Benzodiazepines are highly addictive sedative drugs that are often prescribed to treat a range of conditions, including panic and anxiety disorders, seizures and insomnia. The more familiar names include Ativan, Valium and Xanax, and the prescriptions of these addicted substances have risen at alarming rates. According to the American Journal of Public Health, between 1996 and 2013, the number of adults filling a benzodiazepine prescription increased 67 percent, from 8.1 million to 13.5 million1. Additionally, a report in Psychiatric Services found that in 2018, nearly 13% of adults in the United States reported abusing benzodiazepines, with misuse accounting for roughly 18% of overall use2. And this isn’t something that only affects young adults. Long term use of benzodiazepines, which can lead to dependence, addiction and cognitive damage, occurs in almost 32% of adults between the ages of 65 and 803.

“The benzodiazepine crisis has unfortunately been overshadowed by other drug epidemics, including opioids, and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic.  Just because we’re not talking about it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening and that many people aren’t suffering from severe and even life-threating addictions,” says Patrick Gallus, D.O., Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Gallus Medical Detox Centers.  “Even more alarming is that many patients are unaware of their addictive properties and how dangerous they can be when combined with other prescription and non-prescription drugs, as well as alcohol. By expanding the Gallus Benzodiazepine Taper Program to include virtual services, we will reach more patients who are struggling with an addiction and are seeking a road to lasting recovery.”

Because benzodiazepine’s have a long half-life, it can be physically and psychologically taxing to go through withdrawal. Therefore, a tapering program helps the patient start their recovery journey by slowly decreasing their consumption of the substance, allowing them to fully focus on the withdrawal and enter into a long-term rehabilitation facility sober. The Gallus Benzodiazepine Taper Program, which can last from three weeks to six months, involves both medical and therapy visits. In addition to a personalized treatment plan, each patient’s recovery plan includes aftercare planning which identifies resources and next steps toward long-term recovery.

Because benzodiazepines alter the brain’s chemistry in a way that can impact cognitive, behavioral and emotional, and cardiovascular functions, abruptly ceasing long-term benzodiazepine use can cause too dramatic a change in brain activity, leading to unpleasant side effects including, intense anxiety, convulsions and seizures and muscle/joint pain, among others. In some cases, benzodiazepine withdrawal can also be life-threating. For these reasons and more, it is essential that patients who are looking to begin their path to recovery do so under the medical expertise, care and guidance of a medical detox inpatient facility.

“The physical ramifications of benzodiazepine misuse and addiction are severe but the psychological impact can actually be more damaging on the exact thing that it is intended to treat, like anxiety.  Research is clear that long term consistent benzodiazepine use worsens anxiety and panic over time,” says Steve Carleton LCSW, CACIII, Clinical Director at Gallus Medical Detox Centers. “The Gallus Benzodiazepine Taper Program not only improves access to quality and compassionate care that puts the comfort and dignity of the patient first, but it increases the success of recovery by incorporating psychotherapy into the beginning of a patient’s recovery journey.”

Gallus has been offering tapering programs since 2016 and in an effort to reach more patients, is expanding to use virtual technology. In addition to treating benzodiazepine addiction, Gallus provides medical detox services for substance use disorders, including alcohol, opioid, stimulants, polysubstance and others.  It also has the expertise to treat patients with acute substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health or chronic physical conditions. Services are offered through the Gallus Method, a proprietary method that uses expertly trained medical teams to administer evidence-based IV medication protocols to deliver a world class patient experience.

The Gallus Benzodiazepine Taper Program is currently accepting patients at its locations in Scottsdale, Arizona and Littleton, Colorado. For those who are seeking professional help to treat a benzodiazepine addiction, please visit https://www.gallusdetox.com or call 888-306-3122 for Admissions.

1 Increasing Benzodiazepine Prescriptions and Overdose Mortality in the United States, 1996–2013 | AJPH | Vol. 106 Issue 4 (aphapublications.org)

2 Benzodiazepine Use and Misuse Among Adults in the United States | Psychiatric Services (psychiatryonline.org)

3 Despite risks, benzodiazepine use highest in older people | National Institutes of Health (NIH)

About Gallus Medical Detox Centers

Gallus Medical Detox Centers provide the highest quality inpatient medical detox services using evidence-based IV medication protocols that avoid cross-addiction, delivered by highly trained medical staff, in a safe, comfortable and private patient environment that optimizes treatment outcomes.

With locations in Arizona and Colorado, Gallus’ vision is to be the best, first step in overcoming substance use disorders for patients needing medical detox and to lead the field in the science, education, training and customer experience.  Through the Gallus Method, patients receive unique, personalized and 24-hour care delivered in a professional, safe and peaceful environment to achieve an optimal physiological withdrawal experience that will move them into behavioral health therapy and ultimately find long-term recovery.