The Importance of Medical Detox with Shannon Weir

in Detox
Morgan Metzger
Published Mar 11, 2021
medical detox

With Gallus Medical Detox being a center of excellence, industry leaders in medical detox, and 10 years of experience treating substance use disorder patients, we have a unique front-line perspective in providing the medical assistance needed to help patients overcome addiction. Gallus Medical Detox introduces Shannon Weir, the Director of Clinical Education and Quality Assurance at Gallus as to why medical detox is crucial for a successful recovery.

1. Introduce yourself.

My name is Shannon Weir, and I’m the Director of Clinical Education and Quality Assurance. I’ve been a Registered Nurse for 30 years, 15 years in critical care, 5 doing various things including flight nursing, detox, sexual assault exams, and SWAT nursing. The past 10 years I’ve been at Gallus Medical Detox.

2. What is your background with Gallus?

My initial exposure to doing detox was in Utah with a company called New Visions. I took some shifts with them to help out and fell in love with the patient population. When I moved to Prescott, AZ and I heard that Dr. Gallus was looking into opening a detox, I jumped on board. I was initially a RN caring for patients, then was the Director of Nursing for 9 years, now the Director of Clinical Education and Quality Assurance.

3. Why is medical detox so important in Substance Use Disorder?

There are two main reasons.

1) Detox can be dangerous if it’s not monitored properly by experienced professionals who are going to recognize any medical issues or problems early on, and intervene appropriately before they become life threatening. Highly trained medical detox staff will also provide more aggressive symptom management using IV medications and fluids in order to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms that can lead to complications.

2) With a true medical detox, the length of stay can be shortened, while still accomplishing a safe and comfortable detox for the patient, allowing them to transition to their next level of care sooner.

4. What are the most important components of a true medical detox?

IV medications and fluids. Acute care emergency room and critical care nurses that have the experience and knowledge to recognize and intervene if any medical complications occur. Ability to provide cardiac monitoring for patients with co-morbidities in order to assure they are tolerating the detox physiologically. The ability to treat other co-occurring issues that may need treatments such as IV antibiotics, wound care, supplemental oxygen, breathing treatments, or aggressive diabetes management – all co-occurring needs seen frequently in detoxing patients that might otherwise require a transfer to a hospital from a non-medical detox.

5. What is the Gallus Method of detox?

The Gallus Method of detox includes using a combination of IV and oral medications, using evidence-based protocols. Each protocol is then individualized based on each patient’s response and needs. Because we stay on top of new and trending substances, as well as current research regarding treatment of withdrawal, we are constantly updating and improving our protocols in order to maintain the safest and most comfortable detox experience for our patients. Our highly trained staff and small nurse to patient ratios allow us to modify our plan of care quickly and effectively for our patients.

6. What is in the IV?

It is very patent dependent – sometimes it may just be saline solution for hydration, other times there will be vitamins or medications added to the IV drip.  In addition to the IV hydration and drips, we use a variety of IV medications to address symptoms from withdrawal including benzodiazepines, pain medications, medications that target specific opiate withdrawal symptoms, medications for gastrointestinal issues, etc. IV medication is 100% available to the body, since it does not depend upon various differences in peoples gut absorption or other physical conditions that can effect medication absorption.  It also allows to better titrate doses. When not in use, the IV is capped off in order to keep IV access available but not requiring the patient to be constantly hooked up to an IV bag

At Gallus Medical Detox Centers, we bring compassion to the commotion. Peace to the pain. Empowerment to the powerless. If you or someone you know needs support with addiction problems, bring us your battle. Call us today and take the best, first step towards recovery: 720-704-1432