toxic positivity
Nov 28 2019

What Is Toxic Positivity?

The term “toxic positivity” may seem like a contradiction. For those looking to create meaningful change in their life, understanding how positivity can be problematic in certain circumstances is critical. We received advice to “stay positive” and “look on the bright side.” Unfortunately, these cliché phrases can be less than helpful and even detrimental to…

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substitution addictions
Nov 15 2019

Avoiding Substitute Addictions in Recovery

While sobriety can be exhilarating and freeing in many respects, it also comes with its fair share of challenges and common pitfalls. Many people who are new to recovery tend to float along on “the pink cloud”. This period can include the first several weeks or months after treatment. Life can feel intensely hopeful and…

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How Childhood Trauma Tethers Itself to Addiction
Aug 11 2020

How Childhood Trauma Tethers Itself to Addiction

First responders see and experience trauma every day. But what if the trauma that affects them most happened long before they joined the police academy or completed firefighter training? Without resolving our traumatic memories from childhood, first responders and other adults become susceptible to a host of other problems, including addiction. The development of the…

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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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Can a First Responder’s Family Experience Secondary Trauma?
Aug 05 2020

Can a First Responder’s Family Experience Secondary Trauma?

First responders go to work knowing full well that they risk being exposed to traumatic events on a daily basis. Feeling the mental exhaustion that comes with seemingly never-ending exposure to emotionally-scarring moments can pose many risks for first responders recovering from addiction. As long-term trauma builds, it can have a major impact on these…

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How Do Trauma and Addiction Go Unnoticed in First Responders?
Aug 10 2020

How Do Trauma and Addiction Go Unnoticed in First Responders?

The effects of trauma coupled with alcohol and/or substance use disorder present themselves in several ways — if you are trained to look for them. Still, for first responders dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and addiction, there are many reasons why these underlying disorders go unnoticed. Under Pressure First responders are asked to do…

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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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Helping A Loved One with PTSD
Mar 20 2020

Helping a Loved One with PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a psychiatric condition that affects those who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. Some causes of PTSD include child abuse, a serious accident, assault, natural disaster, or exposure to severe violence. Having a loved one with PTSD can be painful and frustrating, and many spouses and family members…

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spouse in recovery
Dec 13 2019

6 Ways to Support Your Spouse in Recovery

Loving and living with someone with an addiction can be emotionally exhausting, and at times it can feel like you have nothing left to give.  However, if your spouse has decided to seek out treatment for their addiction, it is important that you find ways to support them in their journey if you wish to…

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when a spouse is depressed
Dec 13 2019

7 Signs Your Spouse is Depressed

Depression is a complex disease that can cause different symptoms to develop in different people.  Some people appear visibly sad and deprived of energy when they are depressed, while others maintain a high-functioning personality and work ethic.  Depression can even go unnoticed by those closest to us, such as partners in intimate relationships. As the…

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addiction recovery
Dec 24 2019

5 Factors that Contribute to Poor Heart Health in First Responders

First responders, especially police officers and firefighters, have some of the highest rates of heart-related health issues including heart disease and sudden cardiac arrest.  The average age of a police officer who has suffered a heart attack is 49 years, while the average for the general population is 67 years. Similarly, nearly half of firefighter…

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recovery rut
Apr 20 2020

How to Escape a Recovery Rut

It’s not uncommon to find yourself stuck in a rut at some point in addiction recovery. This can happen at various times, and for various reasons, but one common sticking place is after about nine or 10 months of sobriety. At first, recovery is a lot of work, but you also see a lot of…

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