As research continues to be done in the addiction field, we are learning what the best strategies are for clinicians to use. For example, we know that individuals who have mental health concerns, and those who have specific experiences, have a better chance of a stronger recovery if they receive treatment for them. Because of this, you will find that addiction treatment programs can help you with more than just your addiction.
A specialized program is often available for First Responders, in addiction treatment programs. When we talk about first responders, we are referring to the professionals who run into emergency situations. This includes police officers, firefighters, and EMTs.
These professionals are constantly putting themselves at risk in dangerous situations. This can be emotionally draining over time. These individuals have a high risk of developing mental health concerns including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. When an individual is continuously exposed to death, injury, pain, and life-threatening situations, they can develop complex trauma.
Research estimates that 30-40% of first responders develop a mental health concern. These rates are higher than what we see for individuals who are not first responders.
When we look at the prevalence of addiction among first responders, it is important to recognize the role that these experiences play in their lives. For example, alcohol and drugs can be used to cope with distress and negative emotions that individuals experience. When individuals don’t have other coping skills to use, alcohol can be used in excess which can contribute to the development of an addiction.
Because of this, you will see that First Responder treatment programs are offered in addition to addiction treatment. First Responders have unique experiences that other individuals may not be able to understand. Having tailored treatment approaches can help address mental health concerns such as depression and trauma. These are commonly seen among first responders.
Benefits of a First Responder Treatment Program
There are several benefits that you can experience by choosing to participate in a First Responder rehab. One benefit would be that you are able to be supervised by medical professionals while you detox. Common symptoms when you detox include nausea and vomiting. If you are detoxing from alcohol or benzodiazepines, detoxing can be dangerous.
Choosing to go to a rehab that has a First Responder program will improve your chances of having a successful recovery. Research has repeatedly shown that if you receive mental health treatment and addiction treatment at the same time, you have a greater chance of succeeding. With First Responders, common mental health concerns include complex trauma, grief, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Group therapy is a common approach used in First Responder rehab programs. Participating in a group can provide you with validating experiences, and give you an opportunity to connect with other First Responders. Addiction is an isolating disease that can make us feel as though we are alone, and cannot relate to others. Group therapy challenges this thought directly and encourages open communication.
What to Expect at a First Responder Rehab
When you first begin your First Responder addiction treatment program, you will meet with a staff member for an initial assessment. During this appointment, the staff member will take the time to understand your concerns with drugs and alcohol, the consequences that you have experienced, and assess for other mental health concerns.
A common recommendation is to complete a detox program before beginning treatment. Withdrawal is known to be uncomfortable and distressing, which can make engaging in therapy difficult. Because of this, you will likely be exposed to more addiction education than therapy during detox.
After you have finished detox you will begin your addiction treatment program. Because you are a first responder, you will likely be placed in an additional program that is tailored to your needs. In this program, you would be with other First Responders who are in the same addiction treatment program.
With addiction treatment programs that have their First Responder program as an added service, you will likely be engaging in addiction treatment with individuals who are not first responders. Addiction can be found in many professions, cultures, and social classes.
Individuals who are diagnosed with mental health concerns such as depression and PTSD are often encouraged to continue engaging in treatment after completing their addiction treatment program. Addiction treatment programs can provide you with some treatment, however many individuals require longer exposure to therapy. Upon discharge, your clinical staff will be able to provide you with a referral for continued treatment.
One option would be to continue engaging in addiction treatment on an outpatient basis in a treatment center that offers specialized treatment programs for First Responders. This can include group and individual sessions that build on what you learned while you were in the inpatient rehab program.
Impact IOP’s First Responder Program
Impact IOP is an outpatient addiction treatment program in Mt.Washington, KY. We start by meeting with you, individually, to learn more about your experiences with drugs and alcohol, the consequences you have faced from them, your goals for recovery, and other mental health concerns that you may be struggling with. Once we have a solid understanding of you and your addiction, we will work together to develop your treatment plan.
One option would be our Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP). This program resembles an inpatient treatment program with 6-8 hours of treatment, several days per week. This program is designed for individuals who need significant support and have a safe and supportive home environment where they can live.
Another option that we have is our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). This program is ideal for individuals who have recently completed an inpatient rehab program and are looking for continued support. This program will include 15 to 25 hours of group therapy, with one hour of individual therapy.
After completing IOP, you can move on to our Outpatient Treatment Program which will focus more on finding your way through recovery. There are many changes that you will experience as you begin your recovery. These group sessions allow you to talk about your concerns as they arise, and recognize your successes.
Our staff is trained and experienced in working with a variety of addictions, including opioids, alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, and benzodiazepines. We can provide treatment for mental health treatment for additional concerns such as anxiety, depression, bipolar, PTSD, and trauma. Additionally, we offer specialized treatment programs for men, women, college students, professionals, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
To learn more about our First Responder addiction treatment program, we encourage you to call (502)912-1038. Our representatives are standing by to answer questions you may have about our rehab program.