Emergency Personnel have extraordinarily high coping abilities and deal with events, almost daily, that would be highly stressful for any “normal” person. No matter what uniform is worn, he or she is a human being first. Beyond personal histories of traumatic events are work related incidents known to be critical incidents such as:
- Line of duty death/injury
- Suicide of a working colleague
- Serious injury/death of a child
- Prolonged failed rescue
- Mass Casualty
- Victim known to responder
- Safety jeopardized
- Administrative betrayal
- Excessive media coverage
These events can overwhelm even the most experienced veteran. In addition, the cumulative effects of years of experience and coping in the field can also be overwhelming. Nightmare, flashbacks, fear of the event happening again, appetite and sleep disturbances, nausea, anxiety, are but a few of the possible reactions to stress/trauma.
Substance Abuse / Addictions
There is a growing awareness of substance abuse in emergency personnel. Yet many civilian facilities are not equipped to treat emergency personnel in a residential setting in a way that creates safety and understanding for the population. At On-Site Academy emergency personnel work with other emergency personnel. This enables treatment to be open and honest without judgment.
Why Trauma and Addictions Together?
The integrated model of treating Trauma and Addictions together is more and more often considered the treatment of choice as today’s understanding of the two diagnoses continues to grow.
Becoming abstinent from substances does not “fix” trauma and, in some cases, may cause the symptoms to worsen. Creating a safe environment to treat both the Trauma and the Substance Abuse simultaneously allows for greater and lasting success.