Recovery Centers of America has launched a drug and alcohol addiction treatment program for first responders at its Devon, Pa., facility. The residential program, which started this month, includes more than 20 hours of treatment and educational programming per week for law enforcement, firefighters, correctional officers, EMTs, paramedics and veterans, as well as their families. In its initial phase, the program has 16 beds.
Led by licensed clinicians and peer first responders, the RCA first responder program includes clinical therapy, non-clinical activities and educational seminars.
Given the possibility in a traditional treatment setting of encountering patients they have previously helped or possibly incarcerated, several measures have been taken to maintain first responders’ privacy and confidentiality. Patients in the program are provided with separate living quarters, roomed only with other first responders, and have separate therapy, social, classroom and exercise spaces, as well as separate 12-Step meetings.
The first responder treatment program incorporates EMDR to alleviate stress triggered by traumatic memories, and at the program’s conclusion, RCA staff members work with patients and their employers to assist with returning to duty and connecting with first responder-specific outside 12-Step meetings and networks.