First responders are our society’s heroes. They are highly respected because these jobs are among the most rewarding yet difficult occupations available. First responders include police, firefighters, and emergency medical services personnel.
Most people don’t see the mental health challenges that accompany these professions, which can often lead to higher rates of alcoholism and substance abuse. Many first responders will benefit from going through drug detox as a way to begin their addiction treatment.
The Need for First Responder Drug Detox
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), first responders experience higher rates of mental health and substance abuse disorders compared to the general population. Two factors contribute to this statistic.
First, these occupations are exposed to hazards not present in other jobs. For example, first responders regularly experience threats to their personal safety and witness events like death, injury, and suffering. These can all be traumatizing to a person exposed to these situations.
Second, people in these professions may work irregular shifts and long hours. This can lead to disruptions in sleep quality and hinder social relationships with family and friends.
Unfortunately, many first responders cope with these stressors by using drugs and alcohol. Alcoholism and substance abuse can prove to be fatal, so knowing when and how to seek help is important.
When To Seek Help
For many first responders, it can be difficult to admit when you are struggling. Working alongside others who keep similar habits and share the same experiences may make it hard to realize when feelings and behaviors aren’t normal. There may be stigmas associated with expressing the need for help.
First responders can have additional barriers to seeking mental health care like:
- Guilt about disappointing your co-workers
- Fear of facing discipline or losing your job
- Difficulty asking for help in fear that it shows weakness
Multiple signs suggest someone may need a rehab program. If you want to stop using a substance and have tried to quit but failed, this is a sign that you may need professional guidance to help you be successful.
If you are dependent on a substance and need to use it regularly to avoid withdrawal symptoms like nausea or anxiety, a detox program can help you resolve this problem.
Mental health disorders commonly occur alongside substance abuse disorders. If you are experiencing depression, PTSD, or other mental health issues, getting treatment will make it easier to stop using drugs.
Contact Summit Detox to discuss your unique situation. Our specialists can answer your questions and help you decide on the best treatment options for you.
Drug Detox for First Responders
According to research, first responders experience PTSD symptoms differently than the rest of the population, and thus, rehab programs need to be tailored to their needs to be effective.
Summit Detox understands the complex relationship between mental health and substance abuse disorders. Every patient receives an individualized treatment program for drug detox that addresses their unique challenges and needs.
During treatment, you will learn strategies to minimize relapse. Stressful situations in life or at work can trigger a relapse. Being in environments or around individuals that encourage drug or alcohol use can also result in relapse.
There may be cultural norms in the workplace, like social drinking after a shift ends, that can make it hard for a person to avoid triggers.
Recovery is an ongoing process that continues long after you leave treatment. Summit Detox specializes in relapse prevention so you can maintain your sobriety.
An effective drug detox program will result in benefits that go beyond curbing your substance abuse. Your overall health will improve, and you will establish healthy habits to maintain and continue your progress after leaving treatment.
Taking the First Step
Deciding to seek help is the first step on the road to recovery. Summit Detox is an accredited treatment facility in scenic Boynton Beach, Florida, experienced in providing detox for first responders. We offer medically supervised detox and mental health programs to pave the way to a sober, healthier lifestyle.
Our staff is made up of highly trained professionals who will support you in your recovery every step of the way. Our team of licensed addiction psychologists, registered nurses, and nurse practitioners is experienced in dealing with the unique challenges first responders face.
We are available 24/7, and all of our calls are completely confidential. Call Summit Detox today at (888) 995-5265 to discuss our treatment options and begin working toward a brighter tomorrow.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). SAMHSA Disaster Technical Assistance Center: Supplemental research bulletin first responders: Behavioral health concerns, emergency response, and trauma. May 2018. Available at gov.
- Utah State University. First Responder Mental Health. Accessed September 2022. Available at edu.
- National Institutes of Health. The nature of posttraumatic stress disorder in treatment-seeking first responders. European Journal of Psychotraumatology. 2022 Jan 26;13(1). Available at gov.
- Centers for Disease Control. Emergency Responders: Tips for Taking Care of Yourself. March 2018. Available at emergency.cdc.gov.