Police officers, firefighters, paramedics and other first responders put themselves on the front lines of responding to crises and emergencies every day. The stress and traumatic of these situations serve as a norm for most first responders and can affect the mental health and wellbeing of these individuals in ways that they don’t always notice.
Due to the very nature of their job, first responders experience more acute stress and trauma than the general population. In response to the high intensity of their jobs, drugs and alcohol use can become a means of coping, leaving First Responders at risk for developing substance abuse disorders along with co-occurring mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
While the average civilian can experience a few traumatic events in their lifetime, first responders become accustomed to acute trauma, causing both physical and emotional exhaustion of the body and mind.
First Responders Treatment Program
First Responders Treatment Program is a program of Simple Recovery, a Southern California chemical dependency treatment program for adult men and women. After treating several first responders within our program, our team found that while 85% of first responders have experienced symptoms of mental health issues, the very nature of being a first responder prevents as much as 50% of these individuals from seeking mental health or substance abuse treatment.
With this in mind, we reached out to the leading First Responder Organizations in Southern California to better understand the needs and barriers for police, firemen, paramedics, and other first responders to receive adequate treatment.
Today, Simple Recovery has developed First Responders Treatment Program, designed with the help of First Responder Organizations, respected addiction and mental health professionals, and strategic community partners. Our comprehensive curriculum combines substance abuse treatment with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) treatment, depression treatment, and treatment for other mental disorders to reduce symptoms and increase these individual’s overall well-being to maintain sobriety and create emotional and physical healing.
Barriers for First Responders in Need of Treatment
First responders risk their lives daily to protect and serve their communities. In their line of duty as caretakers, asking for help can seem daunting and unnatural. Toughness is reinforced in their job culture, preventing many first responders from seeking mental health and substance abuse treatment that they need.
According to a 2017 survey of 2000 first responders by the University of Phoenix, there are severe stigmas associated with seeking mental health on the job. Findings of the Survey: -55% of first responders say their supervisor will treat them differently if they bring up a mental health concern at work. -45% say talking about mental health concerns at work will make them appear “weak” to co-workers. -34% say bringing up mental health concerns at work will prevent them from being considered for promotions. Accompanying these mental health issues, nearly 25% of first responders suffer from some form of substance abuse and have twice the rate of alcoholism as the general population.
First Responders Treatment Program’s mission is to foster a compassionate and healing environment for those who dedicate their lives to protecting and serving their communities. Our esteemed clinicians combine a multi-modal approach of proven and effective therapies and a genuine understanding of what it means to serve as a first responder to address the core components of addiction and co-occurring mental health issues of first responders.
Levels of Care:
- Medical detoxification
- Inpatient Residential Treatment
- Day Treatment with flexible scheduling for first responders
- Intensive Outpatient with flexible scheduling for first responders
- Sober living environments
- Orange County First Responder Alumni and Meeting
- WeConnect Monitoring and Aftercare Program
Core Addiction Treatment Program Components:
- Initial and ongoing assessment and treatment planning
- Initial psychiatric and ongoing assessment and medication management
- Individual therapy
- Group psychotherapy
- Addiction psychoeducation and 12 step recovery integration
- Meditation and mindfulness
- Families in Recovery Program
- Experiential therapies including Drama Therapy, Art Therapy, Music Therapy and Hypnotherapy
- Relapse prevention and evaluation
- Occupational Therapy
Specialized First Responder Treatment Programming:
First Responders Treatment Program offers first responders curriculum that is specific to their individual underlying issues and needs.
- Traumatic Incident and Trauma Awareness Group
- Return to Work Skills Group
Anger Management/ Mindfulness Group
- Occupational Therapy
- Panels from recovering Law-Enforcement and Firefighters
Families of First Responders
Families of first responders often experience much more secondary trauma due to their loved one’s experience on a regular basis. Simple Recovery’s First Responders Treatment Program offers families a four-day intensive family program that encompasses education, psychotherapy and interactive groups to address the family dynamics and unpack the impact that your loved one’s addiction has had on each family member and the family unit in its entirety. Families are also encouraged to participate in a bi-weekly continuing care family group on the second and fourth Thursday of every month.
Helping Our Heroes: Reach out Today.
Simple Recovery’s First Responders Treatment Program is dedicated to meeting the needs of America’s crucial First Responders. We recognize the sacrifices you make every day as a first responder and have developed a comprehensive treatment program that is dedicated to the sensitivity of our heroes. Don’t wait. Call us today to get the help you deserve: 844-467-0267