Law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMT’s, dispatch, emergency room personnel, and other first responders put themselves on the front lines of responding to crises and emergencies every day. Dealing with stress and trauma is a part of the job. Unfortunately, repeated exposure to highly stressful and traumatic situations is known to impact mental health and wellbeing in a myriad of ways.
Due to the very nature of their job, first responders experience more acute stress and trauma than the general public. 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 stress disorders.
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 at Simple Recovery, a premier 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 many 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 law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics, and other first responders to receive adequate treatment.
Today, Simple Recovery offers First Responders trauma-informed substance abuse and co-occurring mental health treatment 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 anxiety, stress and depression treatment, as well as incorporating family systems support. Our program was designed to help patients recover from trauma while increasing their overall well-being. We offer sobriety tools and healthy coping mechanisms to ensure a safe transition back to their careers and personal lives.
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 feel daunting and unnatural. Often “being tough” 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, there are severe stigmas associated with seeking mental health on the job. Findings of the study showed:
- 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% of first responders 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.
Our mission with the First Responders Treatment Program is to foster a compassionate and healing environment for those who dedicate their lives to protecting and serving. 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.
Levels of Care:
- Sub-Acute Detoxification
- Day Treatment with Structured Sober Living (with flexible scheduling for first responders)
- Intensive Outpatient Program
- Partial Hospitalization Program
- Sober Living Environments
- Orange County First Responder Alumni and Meeting
- Aftercare Program
- Family Program
Core Addiction Treatment Program Components:
- Initial and Ongoing Assessment and Treatment Planning
- Initial Psychiatric and Ongoing Assessment and Medication Management
- Individual Therapy (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, EMDR Therapy)
- Group Psychotherapy
- Addiction Psychoeducation and 12 step Recovery Integration
- Meditation and Mindfulness
- Families in Recovery Program
- Experiential Therapies Including Art Therapy, Music Therapy & 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 including:
- Traumatic Incident and Trauma Awareness Group
- Return to Work Skills Group
- Physical Wellness/Personal Fitness
- Anger Management/ Mindfulness Group
- Specialized Case Management
- Occupational Therapy
- Panels from recovering Law-Enforcement and Firefighters
- Family Programming for First Responder Families
Families of First Responders
Families of first responders often experience secondary trauma due to their loved one’s experiences. 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 your loved one’s addiction may have had on you. 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 our comprehensive treatment program to serve and heal you. Whether you’re struggling from alcohol dependence or drug dependence such as prescription painkillers after an injury on the job, the First Responder Treatment Program at Simple Recovery is here to help you overcome your dependency and get you back to optimal health and wellness.
Contact us for a confidential discussion about how our program can help get your life and career back on track. 888-743-0490