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First Responders and Substance Abuse: What’s the Connection?

What a first responder sees and does is nothing short of intense. The work you do is difficult. While you don’t falter from those responsibilities, indeed, this is mentally and physically challenging work. That is why there is a link between first responders and substance abuse. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, allow our team at The Ranch PA to provide you with guidance and support as you work through this challenge.

First Responders and Substance Abuse: Knowing the Risks

It’s not always clear why a person starts to use drugs or alcohol, but for many people who work as police officers, paramedics, firefighters, and emergency room physicians, the intensity of their job is very clear. In these situations, a person is faced with a continually high level of stress. That can create mental health disorders like stress, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It can also lead to substance abuse. A study reported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that about 50 percent of all males reported heavy or binge drinking worked as firefighters, far above the national average. Why there is a link between first responders and substance abuse may be clear, but the question many people have is what they can do about it. If you are facing this type of addiction to drugs or alcohol, it is critical to recognize the signs and then seek help.

What Are the Signs of Substance Abuse in First Responders?

When it comes to first responders and substance abuse, the signs are likely to be somewhat like what is experienced by the general public. They may include:

  • Changes in appearance, such as bloodshot or glassy eyes
  • A loss of inhibitions is likely, where they feel less at risk
  • Aggressive behavior may be present in some people especially when they do not get access to the drug of choice
  • Increased energy and confidence, sometimes with the belief that they  have to use to perform well
  • Mistakes such as trouble concentrating and problems with simple tasks

Many times, men and women who work as first responders may begin to exhibit signs of distress in the way they communicate, complete tasks, and interact with others. Withdrawing from the emotional impact of this work is not uncommon, but that isn’t a good thing either.

What to Do to Get Help

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, contact our team at The Ranch PA today to discuss what’s happening. We can help you in several key ways, including by providing:

We work closely with our clients to ensure you are getting the quality support you need through a personalized treatment program. We work with most types of drug addictions, including opioids, cocaine, meth, and benzos. Also, we offer comprehensive treatment, including pain management support, 12-step and non-12-step treatment, and much more. You may be the most dedicated worker in your team, but when it comes to first responders and substance abuse, the risk is very clear. If you do not seek help, you could be putting others at risk of injury or a lack of care that you know you can provide. Help yourself first.

Find the Support You Need at The Ranch PA

If you know first responders and substance abuse is a concern, don’t wait for help. Allow our trusted and experienced professionals to guide you towards treatment. Call The Ranch PA today to learn more about our treatment options. We are available at 717.969.9126 to speak with you.

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