FIRST RESPONDERS addiction wellness IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
A person’s life can be severely disrupted by addiction, which is a severe and intricate disorder, and being affected by addiction can have long-lasting impacts. Many people who struggle with drug misuse or untreated addiction experience a wide range of adverse effects on their relationships, security, and mental and physical health. Many biological, environmental, and personal variables increase the likelihood of someone developing an addiction, with stress and mental fatigue being the triggering factor in most cases.
Most people experience mental stress of some form on an almost daily basis, as this is a characteristic of what being human entails. People occasionally experience extreme stress due to difficulties, changes, trauma, or challenging circumstances.
And in some highly demanding professions, these moments might be an everyday occurrence and, as a result, push people towards finding a means of escape by indulging in various substances. This creates a slippery slope effect for the user, as repeated use of these substances would inevitably generate a form of dependency on them, a dependency that would inevitably lead to addiction. This is the case for most first responders battling with one form of addiction or another.
WHO ARE FIRST RESPONDERS
While emergency medical technicians (EMTs), police, and firefighters are the first few jobs that come to mind when most people think about first responders, several other jobs also put workers right in the middle of tense situations. Park rangers, FEMA personnel, animal control personnel, Red Cross personnel, and military personnel are all professionals who can be considered first responders.
A first responder is defined as a person with specialized training who is among the first to appear at the scene of an emergency, such as an accident, catastrophe, medical emergency, structure fire, crime, or terrorist attack, to provide help, assistance, or any form of resolution to the incident. And to be adequately equipped to deal with these dangers, hazardous circumstances, or uncertainties, a first responder requires specialized training and abilities that distinguish them from other members of society.
Due to the nature of their work, first responders are exposed to risk and trauma almost constantly. It has become increasingly apparent that everyone in these positions is at heightened risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic stress, and burnout. In the past, a popular opinion held by most people was that any individual could handle the pressure brought about by this high-intensity profession. However, this is no longer the case.
FIRST RESPONDERS AND ADDICTION
First responders deal with various scenarios that most people would find challenging. Due to this, there is a much greater chance of acquiring mental health problems. According to experts, nearly 30% of first responders have behavioral health problems while serving. Anxiety, sadness, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are some problems these brave men and women face.
They could also experience increased stress even if they don’t have a specific illness. And as a result, these people tend to develop traits like anger issues and trouble eating or sleeping. First responders struggle with working in a dangerous, high-stress situation while being expected to hide their mental health due to how the work environment has conditioned them to frown against any form of weakness.
First responders, particularly police officers, deal with many distressing incidents daily. They risk getting hurt physically and could run into painful things like murder, suicide, and domestic abuse. Additionally, police personnel must present a respectable image to the public. This may be a very delicate balance to maintain.
When comparing police personnel to the general population, the tendency to indulge in illicit drugs is less likely. However, they are more susceptible to becoming addicted to alcohol. Numerous studies reveal that police personnel has high rates of drunkenness or risky behaviors. According to a 2010 survey, 16% of female and 11% of male police officers had consumed alcohol at a level that put them at risk the week before.
In firefighters’ cases, the risk of smoke inhalation, severe burns, and even death is increased for them. They can also be on edge due to the 24-hour shifts that firefighters perform. As a result, the probability of developing mental health conditions such as PTSD, depression, and acute stress disorders is heightened. To cope with their intense situation, many firefighters, unfortunately, attempt self-medication to treat the symptoms of these illnesses.
According to a recent national poll, 29% of firefighters misuse alcohol, and over 10% misuse prescription medications. In addition, compared to the general population, firefighters had substantially greater rates of drinking alcohol in excess. This situation is more or less similar to other professions that fall under the first responder’s category.
addiction wellness FOR FIRST RESPONDERS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
addiction wellness for first responders in New Hampshire is comparable to the addiction wellness programs used for the general public. Peer support groups, however, have shown to be quite helpful in high-stress occupations when there are communication hurdles. It is easier to relate to one another because these organizations frequently include members from related professions.
First responders will immensely benefit from the various therapies and programs we offer at Recovery Mountain. For instance, assistance can be provided via inpatient wellness and outpatient wellness programs. These programs have a good track record of success and are thus a must for drug and alcohol addiction wellness. Additionally, first responders will significantly benefit from behavioral therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and various forms of physiotherapy, as most of their issues involve a dual diagnosis of substance addiction and one or more forms of mental disorder. To this end, a dual diagnosis wellness is pivotal to a significant recovery.
At Recovery Mountain, we prioritize the well-being of our first responders, as they are a core building block that makes our society function as it should. We are committed to delivering the absolute best in terms of care and quality of service for these brave men and women and will strive above and beyond any means necessary to ensure they recover and can once again live the healthier lifestyles they so richly deserve.