Interview with Dr Gallus: Why I Opened Gallus Medical Detox

in Addiction
Olivia Pennelle
Published Jun 10, 2020

This interview with Dr Gallus highlights his passion for medical detox, the reason he opened Gallus, top tips for people seeking recovery, and his greatest sense of achievement.

 

Dr. Gallus is a board-certified emergency medicine physician. He obtained his B.S. in Health and Physical Education from the University of Montana, and his D.O. from the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific. He completed his emergency medicine residency at Texas A&M University, Scott & White Memorial Hospital. As the Chief of Staff at Yavapai Regional Medical Center in Prescott Arizona, he developed two emergency departments with a staff of 18 board-certified physicians that saw 72,000 patients a year. Dr. Gallus has over 15 years of experience treating drug- and alcohol-related issues.

 

Interview with Dr Patrick Gallus

What made you start Gallus detox centers?

Through my work as an emergency medicine physician, I noticed an alarming increase in the amount of patients presenting to the emergency department with drug and alcohol related issues. It became more and more evident that they simply had no reasonable choice to go for the help that they were desperately in need of.

In 2011, when I looked at the existing facilities I quickly noticed they mostly existed in large psychiatric complexes. On further evaluation they all seemed to be under-funded and used inadequate medical protocols and staff. Patients also seem to be treated like psychiatric patients, which automatically places them in an involuntary lockdown environment.

We chose to drastically change all of the basic components of this industry — a change long overdue. First, we looked at the overall environment and created a facility that was clean, comfortable, safe. More specifically: voluntary. We then set out to change the medical protocols and the way people were treated from a medical standpoint concerning drug and alcohol related issues.

Over the years we have developed advanced IV protocols that are cutting edge in our industry. Together with these components of environment and the advancement of medical care we have developed a premier medical detox company — exactly what we had planned to accomplish. We named this way of treating drug and alcohol dependency the Gallus Method.

 

How long have you been working in medical detox?

Technically, my personal treatment of medical detox started when I became a resident at Texas A&M, Scott & White hospital systems in 1997. Dealing with drug and alcohol related issues is an ongoing and integral part of the daily life at any emergency department.

Regardless of whether I was practicing in Temple, Texas, or Arizona I have dealt with these issues constantly throughout my career.

More formally, I developed our first medical detox clinic in Prescott, AZ in May of 2011. For nine years —since its inception — I have focused solely on acute medical detox, our culture, the development of our protocols and our expansion efforts.

What are the key differences between IV therapy vs oral medications for detox patients?

There are significant differences between these modes of delivery. It all comes down to physiology and bio-availability.

Physiology is the make up of our bodies and how they function. Although this is important, bio-availability becomes an even greater factor in determining which route you choose in delivering a medication to a patient.

Bio-availability speaks to the amount of medication that becomes available for the body to utilize. When we choose to use the oral route of treatment several negative factors come into play that are now out of your control. Factors may include the patient’s metabolism, weight, if they have recently eaten or not, vomiting and gastrointestinal disease. However, due to the fact that IV medications go directly into your bloodstream, all of these potentially detrimental issues are negated.

Therefore, not only are these IV medications safer and much more efficient, they can be adjusted much more quickly for patient comfort and more importantly to address safety concerns.

 

What gives you the greatest sense of achievement?

I think the major achievement was being able to change an industry that has been inadequate for decades and giving patients with drug and alcohol related issues a different choice. A choice that allows them to be treated with dignity and respect in a safe and comfortable environment.

Advancing medical care was paramount to this coupled with treating people with kindness. A pretty simple concept.
I also feel proud and grateful for the culture that we’ve created and the staff that I’ve been able to gather and maintain. They are truly special people.

I can’t forget about the patients. I’ve met some truly special people from across the country: industry leaders, and people that have created a great life for themselves, their companies, and their friends and families. They just simply found themselves in a hopeless situation and despite their previous successes, were in need of our help and direction. At times I have learned as many lessons from them as they have learned from me.

It has been an honor to help them to overcome their obstacles and go on in a positive manner with the rest of their lives.
Lastly, building a company that has a defined purpose and is presently on a growth curve makes me happy.
As an industry leader we want to expand across the nation and help more patients overcome their drug and alcohol related issues.

 

 

What are the top tips for a person who may think they might have a problem with drugs or alcohol?

  • The major tip is this: don’t delay care or not seek help because you are ashamed or fearful. Some of my patients have lost very little while others have lost everything they have. One thing remains constant: they wish they would’ve come sooner and not endured the misery and pain that had occurred. Mostly, I find patients delay their care due to shame and fear.
  • We are all human beings and therefore vulnerable to making mistakes and finding ourselves in situations that are no longer under our control. We observe this on a daily basis with our patients and are in a prime position to help them get through this hopelessness and find a new life.
  • Another tip is listening to those around you. Most of my patients feel they are being nagged or badgered into confronting their behavior when in reality, in most of them are  simply hearing things from people that they are close to and who care about them. In most cases, their loved ones are more concerned about their health and safety than their overall behavior.
  • My last point is to choose your detox center with utmost care. This means looking beyond the website and asking the following pertinent questions:
    • Who does their staff consist of? Critical care doctors and nurses? Are they capable of saving my life?
    • Is the environment set up to comfort me and make me hopeful or to shame me into conforming to what they want me to be?
    • Have they initiated every reasonable safety measure like IV therapy, cardiac monitoring and cameras throughout their facility?
    • Am I going receive recommendations for aftercare that are good for me or simply just good for them? In other words, are they independent or a part of a larger treatment facility system?

If any of the answers to these questions are no, I would seriously recommend you to keep looking for a proper clinical environment. Your success and life may depend on your decision.

If you or a loved one need help with addiction, please call us today for a free and confidential assessment. Gallus Medical Detox is the best first step toward recovery.