Public safety and first responders are exposed to some harrowing scenes that showcase the darker side of our society. While some may seek medications for their anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress injury, others may turn to alcohol and other controlled substance as a way to cope with the violent or disturbing memories they acquire over the years.
Over time, these experiences can all lead to increased substance use and even addiction. Usage increases with each new scene with memories of destruction or loss, and substances seem to be an easy, accessible form of escape from whatever may be haunting. However, using substances to treat the stressors of being a first responder is not a healthy way to cope.
People use controlled substances for many reasons, whether it’s to relax or unwind after a long day or simply escape from reality. Among first responders, some turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the stress and trauma they experience on the job, but this can quickly lead to addiction as the body begins to rely on them to get through the day.
Once this happens, the illusion of control vanishes and recovering without professional intervention becomes more difficult, but the addiction experts at First Responder Wellness can help. With specialized programs designed specifically for first responders, our goal is to privately give clients the support they’ll need to explore their deep-seated issues and achieve lasting recovery from a variety of controlled substances.
Controlled substances are drugs that are regulated or restricted by the government due to concerns of abuse and physical or psychological dependence. Categorized based on their addictive properties and whether or not they have medicinal uses, controlled substances are placed into “schedules” that determine their legal status. Drugs with the highest potential for abuse and no medicinal purpose are schedule I, while those that are also addictive but have therapeutic value are schedules II through V.
The long list of controlled substances demonstrates the diverse range of drugs with the potential for abuse, however, and it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms that could indicate a problem with narcotics.
Controlled substances affect the mind and body in different ways, but addiction and physical or psychological dependence often occur with long-term use. Although the signs of addiction vary from person to person, it will eventually take a toll and negatively impact every aspect of life, from overall health and relationships to career goals and emotional well-being.
If you open your medicine cabinet, you might be surprised to find that it contains some of the world’s deadliest and most addictive drugs. As a first responder, you may have been prescribed some of these drugs to treat an injury, reduce anxiety or help you sleep at night without knowing their potential for abuse and addiction. For many individuals, this is how their substance use begins — with medication prescribed to treat a legitimate medical condition and a belief that these drugs are harmless compared to their illegal counterparts. Prescription drugs are incredibly powerful, however, and carry many of the same risks as illicit substances. While doctors take certain steps to curb abuse and ensure that medications are being used as prescribed, dependency and addiction can still become a problem.
At First Responder Wellness, we understand the dangers of prescription drug abuse and how it can negatively affect every aspect of your life. We’re also familiar with the stress and trauma you experience on a daily basis and how prescription drugs may help you cope with difficult situations. Our culturally competent team of clinicians are uniquely qualified to help you explore the issues that contribute to your addiction and achieve a life free from drugs or alcohol with effective programs that meet your specific needs.
When it comes to prescription drugs, addiction can develop quickly and have consequences that affect your health, relationships, finances, career, and daily life. Regular or long-term use may even lead to withdrawal symptoms, making it more difficult to quit despite the negative impact. This can leave you feeling trapped and unsure where to turn, but First Responder Wellness is here to help. With specialized treatment programs designed for first responders and their unique needs, we understand that prescription drug abuse is a serious problem and are here to guide you through each stage of recovery as you reclaim your sobriety.
Our treatment programs at First Responder Wellness are designed specifically for first responders and other public safety professionals and the unique challenges they face in recovery. Depending on your needs, your experience may begin with a medically supervised detox to ensure that your treatment begins on the right foot. Once you’re ready, you’ll transition into the level of care that is appropriate for you and participate in a variety of evidence-based treatments and proven psychotherapies.
While in recovery, you’ll have the opportunity to discover which methods work best for you by engaging in a diverse selection of therapies and treatments. Rather than utilize a “cookie cutter” approach, we’ve embraced individualized recovery plans that allow clients to heal in their own way. Our continuum of care also offers flexibility so you can receive the help you need on your terms, regardless of your situation.
If you or a loved one is a first responder struggling with mental and behavioral health concerns, First Responder Wellness is here to help. Our clients receive treatment with our culturally competent treatment team. Contact us today or call 888-443-4898 to learn more about our programs so you can start a journey to a happy and healthy life.