Substance Abuse Treatment for Firefighters

Firefighters are modern-day heroes who save lives every day. These brave men and women are usually the first responders to accidents, dangerous situations, disasters and more. A career in fire protection is both rewarding and challenging.

Many firefighters live with high levels of stress. Some firefighters witness devastating events and experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result. Many firefighters describe a culture of drinking and camaraderie among their teammates that can easily lead to substance abuse and even addiction. There is a “work hard, play hard” ethic found among many firefighting teams. This makes firefighters among some of the hardest working people on earth but can also lead to binge drinking and substance abuse.

PTSD, Stress and Substance Abuse in Firefighters

Even though the portrait of a firefighter is a brave hero, firefighters are still humans. Few people witness the traumatic and violent experiences that firefighters see for a living. If you are a firefighter, it is important to be aware of your stress level and learn more about PTSD. The following symptoms indicate PTSD:

  • Intrusive memories about traumatic accidents or scenes that you visited or worked on
  • Anxiety when faced with memories about trauma
  • Fatigue, depression or inability to sleep
  • Nightmares about the traumatic events
  • Feeling depressed or angry or experiencing extreme mood swings
  • Using alcohol or drugs to try to make the memories fade or cope with anxiety
  • Guilty feelings or feelings of regret that are either real or imagined

It is also important to understand addiction and be aware if you or one of your colleagues is struggling with substance abuse. You may need treatment for addiction if you do the following:

  • Experience strong cravings for the substance or activity
  • Feel anxious, uneasy or ill when you try to stop using the substance or activity
  • Make attempts to hide use of the substance or activity
  • Have experienced negative consequences from the substance or activity, yet can’t stop
  • Your habit has been pointed out to you in the past
  • Tell yourself you will quit one day but never do

Addiction and Substance Abuse Help for Firefighters

Although danger is part of a firefighter’s job description, you may need to seek help before things get worse. If you are facing a pattern of substance use that has gotten out of control, there is help. We offer a toll-free helpline to put you in touch with the most reputable treatment programs in the country. When you call, you will speak directly with one of our experienced counselors who will take the time to match you to a treatment program that fits your specific addiction, personality and desires. We also work on your behalf to help you get treatment covered by insurance. We provide this service 24 hours a day and at no cost to you. Learn how your life can be better. Call us today.

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