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Substance Use & Mental Health Treatment for First Responders
At Genesis House, First Responders are treated with the respect, support, and expertise of those who have been there.
First Responder Treatment
First responders are a unique set of individuals, as they willingly put themselves in harm’s way to help people they have never even met. They sacrifice their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing in order to uphold their oath of doing no harm. Not only do first responders have the responsibility of determining how to handle the situation they arrive at, but they hold the lives of others in the palm of their hands. Their actions dictate the severity of the outcome, and that in itself is an enormous load to carry. And while nearly all first responders will say that they could never imagine doing anything else, there is a dark side to being the first one on the scene.
First responders continually face situations that put weight on their hearts and minds and sometimes even change them forever. The greatest offering that can be provided to this profound group of people is to be the first ones there when they need it. At Genesis House, our goal is to care for those who drop everything to care for us. Our first responder treatment program provides specialized treatment for first responders struggling with mental health conditions like posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression anxiety, and substance abuse problems. We proudly provide care for the following first responders:
- Police officers
- Paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMT’s)
- Military members and veterans
- Correctional officers
- Security officers
- 911 dispatchers
- Rescue workers
- Crisis workers
- Disaster responders
We recognize the unique challenges facing first responders, which is why we offer professional, individualized care for those who are experiencing a substance use disorder and/or a co-occurring mental illness.
First Responders and Trauma
A startling 30% of all first responders develop mental health conditions like posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of what they witness on the job. A first responder who only experiences one traumatic event within his or her career is one in a million, as first responders are regularly witnessing traumatic scenes while on the clock. From firefighters who pull victims out of burning buildings and police officers who witness heinous crimes to doctors who lose patients on their tables and military members who get attacked by enemy forces, first responders cannot shield themselves from seeing some of the most horrific things imaginable. It comes as no surprise that this population of professionals struggles with PTSD as a result.
So, what does PTSD look like? Well, there are three types of trauma that can lead to the development of PTSD — acute trauma, chronic trauma, and complex trauma. Depending on the type of trauma he or she has experienced and the severity of the PTSD, he or she may show any or all of the following symptoms:
- Intrusive memories
- Vivid dreams
- Avoiding people, places, and things that remind them of the event(s)
- Feeling hopeless
- Feeling guilty
- Social isolation
- Problems focusing
- Reduced work performance
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Engaging in risky behaviors
These are just some of the many PTSD symptoms that a first responder can experience. When these symptoms are occurring and more traumatic events continue to occur, it can seem like an easy solution to drink or experiment with drugs to help take the load off. Unfortunately, this is how many first responders find themselves addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, too.
First Responder Treatment Programs
Of all individuals with PTSD, 20% of them develop a co-occurring substance use disorder. Many of those people are first responders who have turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with their overwhelming symptoms associated with trauma. At Genesis House, we offer first responder PTSD support and first responder substance abuse treatment services at the same time so that those who work in this profession can have both issues treated simultaneously. Studies have shown that when the components of a co-occurring disorder are present, the most effective way to treat all associated symptoms is to treat everything at once. At Genesis House, we have developed first responder treatment programs designed to meet the unique needs of firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses, and other first responders. We are happy to provide a confidential yet comfortable setting for all first responder clients of ours. The first responder treatment program is led by Dr. Philip Bulone, a retired first responder who specializes in trauma-informed care and PTSD. The individual and group therapy sessions that Dr. Bulone offers first responder PTSD support as well as first responder rehab services. We feel honored to be able to connect someone like Dr. Bulone who has the experience of being a first responder with other first responders who can bond and benefit from his programming.
We Proudly Serve:
Police – Firefighters – Military – Veterans – Correctional Officers Security Officers – Paramedics – Emergency Medical Technicians Emergency Response Providers – 911 Operators – Doctors – Nurses – Crisis Workers – Disaster Responders – Rescue Workers