First Responder Services FAQ

Why are First Responders more likely to experience an alcoholism or substance abuse problem?

Long hours, rotating shift work, and constant exposure to chronic stress impact the lives of First Responders like no other profession. We understand that being in a chronic state of heightened awareness can lead many First Responders to unwind or detach by abusing alcohol or other substances. We know that it’s not easy to “flip the switch” after a long, difficult day.

What about the stigma associated with seeking treatment?

The stigma that many First Responders expect to experience if they seek assistance is becoming obsolete as advances in medical and behavioral health treatment are evolving. We are here to help those in trouble and to help repair the damage through professional treatment.

When will I know if it’s time to seek treatment?

As with any medical problem, the sooner you reach out for help, the earlier you can begin treatment. You do not have to be “in a jam” before seeking help. Early intervention – whether from a brother or sister First Responder, family member, or supervisor – can help you interrupt the problem and lead to new ways to cope with on-the-job stress.

Are these services confidential?

Our First Responder Treatment Services are confidential and completely private from the beginning of treatment until you return to your work and home. Your supervisor and brothers/sisters at work will not have to know that you have turned to us for treatment.

Will my family have an opportunity to be involved in my treatment?

Alcoholism and substance abuse strike a First Responder’s entire family. Family participation is an important component of inpatient treatment, and it is crucial to a First Responder’s recovery. We strongly encourage family members to visit their loved ones in recovery and to attend group therapy and psychoeducation sessions.