Moments of Clarity in Recovery
Sep 24 2020

Moments of Clarity in Recovery

Choosing a life of recovery entails personal growth, self-reflection, and atonement to relieve the weight of guilt and shame. The path forward can be painful, yet fulfilling. Working towards a sober lifestyle requires sacrifice, but can yield moments of clarity which reaffirm the decision to live free of alcohol and/or substance use. First responders who…

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What Are the Signs of Substance Use Disorder?
Sep 23 2020

What Are the Signs of Substance Use Disorder?

Using alcohol and/or substances has many variations. For some, the relationship to chemical-induced escapism is no more than a social convention. Others become hardwired to constantly crave using alcohol and/or substances to the point that a disorder develops. Even among frequent users, there is no blanketing personality by which one can identify a person’s tendency…

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How to Handle the Stresses of School Without Using
Sep 19 2020

How to Handle the Stresses of School Without Using

Studying for school or training for a profession can mark an exhausting chapter of little to no rest. Committing to a program of education can be highly demanding — and with an increase in responsibilities comes intensified feelings of stress. First responders experience this in the form of training, while military personnel may be making…

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First Responders and Panic Attacks
Sep 11 2020

First Responders and Panic Attacks

Anyone who lives through a traumatic experience can be triggered into an onset of panic. Any veteran firefighter, EMT, or law enforcement officer has likely assisted someone going through a panic attack — probably many people. Yet, regardless of their experience, first responders themselves can also be prone to experiencing panic. These episodes may not…

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Sep 10 2020

Online Outpatient Care Provides a New Lease on Sobriety

Undergoing treatment for addiction to alcohol and/or substances does not guarantee a future free from relapse. Far from it — the nature of addiction brings a seemingly endless parade of temptations into the mind of the afflicted individual. After years of group meetings, the impact of a prescribed format can grow dull and ineffectual. Online…

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Sep 10 2020

How Can First Responders Manage Their Mental Health During Fire Season?

With dry conditions, temperatures over 90ºF, and erratic winds, fire season is in full swing through the American Southwest. As the scale of late summer firestorms has grown larger in recent years, so has the responsibility of firefighters and emergency service workers. As a community, every resident of high-risk wildfire regions can contribute to either…

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Can Volunteer Firefighting Trigger Depression?
Sep 05 2020

Can Volunteer Firefighting Trigger Depression?

With a majority of fire departments relying on the assistance of volunteers, the safety of our society hinges upon the support of non-career first responders. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, approximately 54% of firefighters are volunteers. While this support is essential, the lack of financial compensation often leaves volunteers without much recourse in the…

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Seeking Help for First Responder Families
Sep 03 2020

Seeking Help for First Responder Families

Let’s say there is a first responder named Jim who has worked hard to lead a sober lifestyle. He has gone through withdrawal, treatment, counseling, sponsorship, and even sought extended recovery through sobriety-focused group meetings. Months have passed since he committed to his sobriety. Work feels normal. Life almost feels normal. Why then, does Jim’s…

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Just Dance: How Can Movement Therapy Help PTSD?
Aug 23 2020

Just Dance: How Can Movement Therapy Help PTSD?

Therapy is a great place to begin working through trauma — for some. Others have found the benefits of immersing the body in movement therapy upon being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Incorporating the body right off the bat initiates healing between any disconnect with the mind. The interconnectivity of mind and body act…

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Reliving Trauma in Social Situations: How First Responders Can Cope
Aug 19 2020

Reliving Trauma in Social Situations: How First Responders Can Cope

First responders enter into life-and-death situations on a daily basis. Between rushing into burning buildings, arriving at traffic collisions, and speaking with those in crisis, the proximity to risk is constant. For many first responders, this is commonplace. Some cope well with their fast-paced and often dangerous work environment. However, when social situations trigger the…

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