Addiction and the First Responder

First responders are unique people. Unlike the majority who flee from tragedy, first responders head into it. Most first responders entered the profession out of a desire to help, to give back and to make a difference; therefore, they tend to be more comfortable helping others than receiving help. Unfortunately, this altruistic desire results in many first responders not seeking the help they desperately need.

Much of what a first responder is exposed to is traumatic. and can be processed and addressed in healthy ways without the need for the involvement of professionals. However, on-going and repeated exposure to traumatic events or exposure to a massively traumatic event can begin to cause difficulties in a first responder’s day-to-day life.

When these events begin to impact a first responder’s life negatively, it’s imperative that they seek help or explore strategies to address these issues in healthy ways. Unfortunately, the high rate of first responder suicides and addiction indicates that this important population isn’t getting the help they need. Sadly, substance abuse and alcoholism in the first responder population are significantly higher than the general public.

First Responder Treatment

I work as both a first responder and a licensed professional counselor, and I know how difficult seeking help can be. I’ve worked with first responders who have been on scene at nationally televised tragedies in our county. These brave people who seek out help aren’t weak; in fact, they are some of the strongest I’ve ever known!

To encourage first responders to seek help, we must offer them a place where they will be understood. They want to know that the person they’re talking to understands the many facets of being a first responder.

LakeHaven Recovery Center responded to this need and developed the First Call program. These professionals are retired first responders along with specially-trained staff who understand what it takes to cope with job stress of dealing with trauma and tragedy on a daily basis.

The LakeHaven team grasps the many challenges these professionals face whether correction officer, police, firefighters or EMS. Most importantly, they assimilate how these challenging careers play a role in addictions and the underlying causes.

Why Treatment?

Treatment is often imperative to breaking the cycles of addiction. Addiction is never as easy as just stopping.

LakeHaven’s experienced professionals are experts at working with those trapped in the cycles of addiction. In the First Call program, staff and first responders work together to untangle the complicated web that accompanies addiction. Having lived similar lives, the staff relates to the first responder and then works to reveal the core reasons for treatment.

It bears repeating: treatment isn’t weakness. Treatment is actually a process of reaching out and receiving strength through other professionals. If you are a first responder stuck in the cycle of addiction or know someone who is struggling, get help now!

Why Now?

Well, why not now? There’s no time like the present! Addiction doesn’t get better; it only gets progressively worse. For first responders, waiting to seek help could mean the loss of a job, family, even a life. Getting help now can stop this downward spiral of turbulence.

Getting help now can also offer the first responder new and healthy ways to deal with stress and the trauma. LakeHaven’s staff of therapist and doctors are uniquely prepared to help in the recovery process.

Call Now!

No matter where you are, we want to help.

You can reach me, Clint Clark, directly at 720-683-2639 or

You may also contact the experienced staff at LakeHaven directly at (786) 404-1353. 

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