Everyone has heard the statement, “firefighters run in while others run out.“ But how do firefighters handle the stress of running into a life-threatening situation?
Firefighters, police officers, and EMS are at a greater risk for developing stress-related disorders, substance abuse disorders, and many other behavioral health concerns. Based on this information, programs have been designed to support first responders through critical incident stress management, substance-abuse treatment, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
At Relevance Recovery, we have specially designed a treatment program for first responders that addresses the needs and concerns of the community. Contact us today to learn more about our Freehold, New Jersey First Responder addiction treatment program.
How Does Addiction Impact Firefighters?
Based on the nature of their jobs, firefighters experience more stress, sleep disruptions, and death than the general public. This combination can “[lead] to emotional and behavioral health problems, including anxiety, depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress-related illnesses, and suicide.” Additionally, firefighters may have additional barriers, including stigma and cost of treatment, based on their job, that prevent them from seeking mental health services.
Based on a 2017 study, approximately 50% of male firefighters reported heavy or binge alcohol drinking in the past month. Female firefighters reported that more than 60% drank more than the recommended amount, while 40% binge drank. These statistics more than double the percent of females reporting heavy drinking and binge drinking and the general population. Another study of Alcohol Use Among Firefighters in the Central United States indicated that 9% of career and 10% of volunteer firefighters self-reported driving while intoxicated in the last month.
When it comes to behavioral healthcare services, volunteer firefighters were less likely to report the availability of drug and alcohol services. Career firefighters were more likely to report a lack of support from leadership, fear of breach of confidentiality, and clinicians who are unaware of work culture as barriers to accessing treatment.
Is There Addiction Treatment for First Responders?
There is addiction treatment for first responders. Studies evaluating the quality of life for professional and volunteer firefighters have demonstrated the need for specific treatment surrounding substance abuse in the fire fighting community that addresses stress management, trauma counseling, and resiliency tools.
Agencies worldwide like the National Interagency Wildland Fire and Aviation Critical Incident Stress Management Program are dedicated to providing support for firefighters that address substance abuse and behavioral health concerns related to critical incidents and trauma.
What Does First Responders Addiction Treatment Entail?
Addiction treatment is the same. Addiction treatment for first responders combines traditional evidence-based substance-abuse treatment with behavioral healthcare that addresses mental health concerns like post-traumatic stress, suicidal ideation and suicide, and depression which are heightened in the firefighting community.
Firefighters entering treatment often benefit most from dual diagnosis treatment or a treatment program that is specifically designed to address the frequent problems that first responders deal with. A first responder treatment program should be multifaceted, including individual, group, and family therapy. It should also implement a holistic treatment program that addresses physical, behavioral, and mental health.
Finding Drug Rehab for Firefighters?
Not every program is designed to be the most beneficial for each individual. For example, finding drug rehab for firefighters can be difficult if the treatment program is not intended for first responders.
At Relevance Recovery, we have a specifically designed treatment program for first responders that addresses physical, mental, and behavioral health concerns. Our program utilizes multiple treatment methods and evidence-based therapy models in order to provide first responders with the support they need. Through a combination of evidence-based programs like cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and peer support groups, our Clinicians are trained to support individuals who are typically in charge and who take control of stressful situations. In addition, through First Responder peer support groups, first responders can tackle the stigma of addiction by addressing their concerns with like-minded individuals from similar backgrounds.
Our Monmouth County treatment facility offers detoxification, inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient treatment, and generalized outpatient treatment. We also have family group therapy, teen and adolescent programs, and support programs for families with interventions. Our comprehensive facility is designed to help you or your loved one through every stage of the addiction treatment process, making it as easy as possible for you to transition through the steps of recovery.